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Past and Present images

Past and Present

A "historical" location is a bit of an open ended term, as basically anywhere in Tokyo that has existed for an amount of time is in its own right historical. if you are interested in the evolution of Tokyo through the Meiji and Showa periods, leading up to the current Heisei period which began in t…(113 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Walking a Historical Path images

Walking a Historical Path

Tokyo, as well as Japanese commerce in general, was structured largely along walking routes in the 16th to 18th centuries. Tokyo has done a good job of preserving its classic street structures, so when you walk down a road in downtown Tokyo, of course the shops have grown from small, one-merchant s…(171 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

A trip under bridges on Sumida River images

A trip under bridges on Sumida River

Sumida river, on eastern part of main Tokyo, is full of beautiful bridges. One can take a boat ride from traditional town of Asakusa to beautiful Hamarikyu gardens which goes under a series of beautiful bridges. Come of the so called water buses also have an open deck on the top which makes the exp…(100 words)

Sanjeev Sinha image

Sanjeev Sinha

Spread-out sights images

Spread-out sights

Tokyo's best examples of modern architecture tend to be fairly spread out over the city, so you're better off checking out a building here and there instead of trying to take them all in in a single day (or even a week). Here are a three of my favorites.Tokyo International Forum, Yurakucho Stat…(212 words)

lrnelson image

lrnelson

Otaku Battles images

Otaku Battles

There are groups who dress up in camouflage clothing and run about in various settings - woods, countryside, even urban - shooting at each other with air guns. These outings are actually organized and some of the participants will own several models of air guns. They even have magazines dedicated t…(75 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

I concur about Roppongi Hills Observatory but don't forget the Big Picture too images

I concur about Roppongi Hills Observatory but don't forget the Big Picture too

Indeed, I second the advice that the Roppongi Hills Observatory - the night view in particular - is to be recommended. But in fact I think you can get a nice view from many other locations in the Roppongi Hills area, whether in the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (Academy Hills) facilities on 49th floor,…(143 words)

Mike's image

Mike's

Space Battleships images

Space Battleships

A bit different than the way many consider "nerd hobbies" in America, for example wizards and knight games, Star Wars collectibles, video games, etc, Japan's "Otaku" classification is a bit broader in scope. Otaku will sometimes be less concerned about the actual appearance or collection aspect of …(187 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Sunrise on the New Year's Morning images

Sunrise on the New Year's Morning

You will only get one chance a year at this, but if you happen to be in Japan during the new year, you can see literally the first sunrise on earth. Many people will either stay up all night or wake up especially early to see the first sun in "the land of the rising sun" no less.However, even i…(148 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Shinjuku South Exit images

Shinjuku South Exit

If you exit Shinjuku station out the south exit, or better yet the "new" south exit, you arrive in a promenade with Krispy Kreme donuts, Starbucks, Tokyu Hands, and other shops.This whole area is lit up with spectacular lights, and being right outside the station, is a great place for a stroll.…(114 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Shinjuku - Southern Terrace images

Shinjuku - Southern Terrace

Across from Takashimaya, Southern Terrace - some pretty good illuminations.(10 words)

Steve image

Steve

The Magical DisneySea Perfect for Families images

The Magical DisneySea Perfect for Families

It seems a no-brainer that Disney Sea would be one of the places you dont want to miss during your visit to Japan. Disneyland is in a few places around the world, but Japan is the only country to have a Disney Sea (the fourth most visited theme park in the world) that focuses on the nautical, explo…(375 words)

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Robert Yellin is the person to talk to about Japanese Pottery images

Robert Yellin is the person to talk to about Japanese Pottery

I have never met anyone who knows more about Japanese pottery than Robert Yellin. I visited his Kyoto gallery a few years ago as was deeply impressed with his selection of pottery and his love of Japan. He is also a super nice guy and very easy to talk to. You can learn more about Robert athttp:/…(73 words)

Jeff Aasgaard image

Jeff Aasgaard

Itami in Hyogo Prefecture images

Itami in Hyogo Prefecture

Itami city is located in Hyogo Prefecture – known as a town for Itami Airport. Itami is also known as a is the birthplace of Seishu (refined sake). They have the oldest Sake storehouse in existence that is clear when it was build. They are important cultural property that pass on the history of t…(91 words)

OKAKI-sun image

OKAKI-sun

Spend the day in old Tokyo - follow this guide for an easy outing. images

Spend the day in old Tokyo - follow this guide for an easy outing.

The Yanaka area of Tokyo (in Taito Ward) is a wonderful place for a day's outing. Start at the south exit of Nippori Station (Yamanote line). Exit the station, turn left, at the end of the walk take the steps to your left up to Tennoji Temple. It was founded over 500 years ago, but was destroyed in…(1247 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

Omnipresent "KOBAN" - translated as "police detached station"? images

Omnipresent "KOBAN" - translated as "police detached station"?

You have seen them! They are everywhere, omnipresent, nearly invisible and they are among us: the KOBAN. Koban are small police stations, detached from the main office and in charge of peace within a small territory. Usually, the policemen and women are in the little station, either sitting or …(263 words)

Claire image

Claire

Asakusa's Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise Street in the Evening images

Asakusa's Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise Street in the Evening

Many tourists visit Asakusa and the Senso-ji temple during the day and it gets quiet in the evening. As one of the major tourist attractions in Tokyo, it is usually quite crowded here, but by the time the shops close in Nakamise-dori between 18:00 and 19:00 most visitors leave. At night, the temple…(194 words)

David image

David

Day Trekking at Mt. Takao images

Day Trekking at Mt. Takao

At 599 meters, or just under 2,000 feet, Mount Takao - Takaozan in Japanese - isn't an especially high mountain. However, with over half a dozen trails leading to the top, in addition to a cable car and chair lift that goes about halfway to the summit, Takaozan offers a great place for a day outing…(822 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

When visiting Kyoto... do not forget the Gold Pagoda images

When visiting Kyoto... do not forget the Gold Pagoda

I love Kyoto. It is a city with a soul. A city where people actually live. (weird to so but when living in Tokyo, Kyoto feels like a real city with people!) I often go there for my job (tough life, yes, I know!) and usually, I visit a new place, of some of my favorites: Adashino, a bit far in t…(341 words)

Claire image

Claire

Free WiFi in Osaka for Travelers images

Free WiFi in Osaka for Travelers

Osaka has started to offer free WiFi to travelers to help them connect with the city. All you have to do is check WiFi connections on your device, registrar and then connect. Usage time is limited but should be enough to check maps, find restaurants and check email. For more information please see…(59 words)

Jeff Aasgaard image

Jeff Aasgaard

Dark Souls Cafe in Roppongi Until April images

Dark Souls Cafe in Roppongi Until April

Oz cafe in Roppongi has collaborated with the game Dark Souls to bring you the Dark Souls Cafe! Open until April they have set up an entertaining theme restaurant with statues, decorations, swords, costumes, and a crazy themed menu. They will also hold special events such as the release of Dark Sou…(101 words)

Alex Kobayashi /Subtokyo image

Alex Kobayashi /Subtokyo

Mineral-rich Hot Spring in Japan Great for Skin images

Mineral-rich Hot Spring in Japan Great for Skin

It is a rare onsen (hot spring) where visitors can bathe in their bathing suits. When I first came to Japan way back when, I dreaded entering a hot spring area where naked bodies eased in and out of steaming mineral scented water. As I grew accustomed to the custom...I learned to practice the same …(431 words)

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Kyoto lovely spot to stay images

Kyoto lovely spot to stay

Kyoto is THE place to visit, and visit again, and again. It does not matter how many time you go, there is always a new wonder to discover. Flee markets such as the one of Toji (every 21st of the month) where you will find nice Japanese objet from kimono to ceramics..., or such as public bath s…(243 words)

Claire image

Claire

Look at this watermelon images

Look at this watermelon

Look at this watermelon water tank in Chiba!!It is 33.8 meters in diameter and 37 meters tall. I wish it was filled with watermelon juice! Such a cute way to decorate. It makes you feel cool just to look at it!This city is in the North of Chiba and is called Tomisato. It is Japan's seco…(73 words)

Eddie image

Eddie

The Plum Blossoms are the tough guys... images

The Plum Blossoms are the tough guys...

People think of Japan and many think of Cherry Blossoms first. Actually Apricot and Plum Blossoms are the tough guys, they push past the snow, they stand firm in rainstorms and endure the rainstorms... Posting this photo was inspired by a kind Facebook Friend who had spotted the early plum blos…(317 words)

Andrew Grimes image

Andrew Grimes

Do you need a taxi? images

Do you need a taxi?

There are plenty of taxi in Japan. They are cheap, easy, they won't try to cheat on you, they have white lace cover seats and they are safe. You even feel like a VIP when the driver has white gloves. But their driver might not understand other language than Japanese, and worse, he might not kno…(388 words)

Claire image

Claire

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Gunma images

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Gunma

You can find nature in Japan! And you may find it about 1hour and a half away from Tokyo: in Gunma prefecture.There is that contemporary art museum in the middle of the mountain that is fabulous. It is managed by the Hara Museum, and hosts collections that do not fit in the mother museum based …(193 words)

Claire image

Claire

Cherry blossoms: Sakura Time & Timing in Japan images

Cherry blossoms: Sakura Time & Timing in Japan

Sakura 桜 are all things cherry, everything cherry blossoms and cherry trees. Think of sakura as a season in Japan, the height of spring. When will the cherry blossom start to open and how long will they last? This question is essential for hanami planning and discussed in detail in the media e…(345 words)

David image

David

Nostalgia in Yokohama images

Nostalgia in Yokohama

Yokohama is still something of a grand dame. Perhaps no longer the celebrated talk of the town, but with sparkle showing that, in her heyday, she was a beauty to be reckoned with.The long wandering walk from Kannai to Nihon Oodori gives a glimpse into the exciting Meiji and Showa days, when thi…(206 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

If you are an ancient car freak! images

If you are an ancient car freak!

This museum is located in Nagakute. It is a bit far from Nagoya city center, in a place where there is not much of anything else, really. But you can go there easily with the metro and then the "linimo". Linimo is this line that was build for the Nagoya Expo in 2005. It is a magnetic levitation tra…(174 words)

Claire image

Claire

How to visit shrines in Tokyo Metropolis! images

How to visit shrines in Tokyo Metropolis!

Japanese shrines generally are based in Shintoism and temples are based on Buddhism. Buildings have different names depending on religions just as we have churches for Christianity and mosques for Muslims. An easier way to tell which one is which is that you’ll find tori archways at shrines and gr…(349 words)

Eddie image

Eddie

Koyo in Inokashira Koen images

Koyo in Inokashira Koen

Inokashira Koen, a brief walk away from Kichijouji station on the Inokashira line, is mainly famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms, which reflect on the lake, and for the 'cursed' swan boats. Supposedly, if you ride in a swan boat with your significant other, you will break up!However, the p…(181 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

Smell the spring in the air! images

Smell the spring in the air!

Looks like we are up for some cold weather next week.Today was nice and warm in Hamamatsu.A cup of coffee in the morning and decided to take a walk in the nice weather.It's one of the things I like to do in the summer time but today seemed like a great day to start.I live on a small isl…(309 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

1-hour small yet great trip from Kyoto Station – Toji Temple images

1-hour small yet great trip from Kyoto Station – Toji Temple

My favorite spot in Kyoto is Toji Temple, a world heritage site which has history of 1,200 years!Located within 15-minute walking distance from Kyoto station (1 Kujo-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto City), it is easy to access. As everybody knows the famous temple, you can ask anyone for the direction on the …(126 words)

Eddie image

Eddie

How to "Onsen" Like a Pro images

How to "Onsen" Like a Pro

When getting into the onsen, be sure to enter bit by bit to attune your body to the heat. First your feet, then mid section, then fingers to shoulders, basically leaving your chest for last. Also, just progressing from your lower half to whole body is fine too.You probably only want to take about…(96 words)

Eddie image

Eddie

Hanami images

Hanami

Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers and people eat “bento” and drink alcohols under the trees. Every television and newspapers share the blossom forecast early March each year, which shows how hanami is a cherished annual event for the whole nation. T…(95 words)

Daijo image

Daijo

Kamakura: there is a reason why! images

Kamakura: there is a reason why!

If you like both, Kamakura is a sure spot. There are many beautiful places in Kamakura and it is tough to sort them out and make choices. But if you like to take your time, try to go on a week day, and visit the Great Buddha, Hase tera and Gorakuji.Well, this is the ABC of basics but there …(391 words)

Claire image

Claire

Bedazzled by Buds and Blooms images

Bedazzled by Buds and Blooms

Japanese, and many foreigners who have lived here for a time, have a particular love for sakura season. Of course, the blooming of the sakura trees does herald the arrival of spring and - hopefully - the end of a cold winter. The sakura maps that are popular on TV news, newspapers, Facebook, and ot…(575 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

View the Most Beautiful Cherry Blossoms in Japan images

View the Most Beautiful Cherry Blossoms in Japan

A somewhat drab introduction in the metro underground of Kudanshita will quell your palate for something exciting outside. You have probably heard about the beauty of Cherry Blossom season in Japan, but NOTHING will prepare you for the jubilance and grace of huge Cherry trees stretching branch tips…(289 words)

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Morning sumo practice in the Kitanoumi-beya images

Morning sumo practice in the Kitanoumi-beya

I got up early one morning to go visit the morning sumo practice, keiko, at the Kitanoumi-beya in Kotu-ku, Tokyo. We were instructed not to talk, move, or show the back of our feet out of respect to the training sumo wrestlers and trainees. One hour watching these men train for the upcoming tournam…(223 words)

Emelie Fågelstedt image

Emelie Fågelstedt

Parks in Japan: Kairakuen images

Parks in Japan: Kairakuen

“Kairakuen”On Sunday, March 16, 2014 I visited a place call “Mito, Ibaragi” Prefecture. The thought I had was to do some investigative work on a person by the name of Mito Mitsukuni kou (commonly known as Mito Koomon) who appears on a very well-known Jidaigeki TV series.However, I found a treas…(607 words)

AustinA image

AustinA