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Easy hike through Kamakura images

Easy hike through Kamakura

Seeking to combine some sight-seeing with a bit of hiking, I found a short hiking course in Kamakura, starting at Kita Kamakura Station and ending up near the Daibutsu, from where the walk can be extended until the sea shore.The trail starts right next to Jochiji temple, and winds into the hill…(427 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise images

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is just south of Yokohama. This is a great place to spend the day for the whole family. Multiple aquariums with hundreds of varieties of sea life. Total number of sea life is well over 100,000. From sea turtles to penguins and numerous other attractions you may be surpri…(89 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Lavender fields of Farm Tomita/Hokkaido images

Lavender fields of Farm Tomita/Hokkaido

In Hokkaido, Furano's lavender fields attract large numbers of visitors to the region every summer when the plants are in full bloom. Lavenders usually start blooming in late June and reaches its peak from around mid July to early August. I had always wanted to visit Furano since I watched the …(328 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Lake Shikotsu in Hokkaido images

Lake Shikotsu in Hokkaido

Lake Shikotsu is located near Chitose in Hokkaido. This lake is the second deepest lake in Japan. The average depth is 265 meters and the deepest point is 363 meters. One interesting thing about this lake is the water temperature stays the same virtually all year long. It is also the northernmo…(125 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Mt. Fuji and Me images

Mt. Fuji and Me

I wanted to climb Mt. Fuji from the first time I saw it up close. And although it was a beautiful sight, I would have been content to just view it from afar. Seeing Mt. Fuji’s beauty up close was not the reason I wanted to climb to the top. My first visit was to the fifth step in early May of 2011 …(1677 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

Psychedelic Buddhas images

Psychedelic Buddhas

Fukagawafudo is so funky. There is a hidden path behind the main stage (?) with thousands of crystal towers. I visited many temples but this is something insanely beautiful. All I can say is wow, who made these???Then go upstairs. There is a dark room with glow in the dark buddhas. There ar…(84 words)

Hitomi image

Hitomi

Beautiful Kyoto images

Beautiful Kyoto

Kyoto is a beautiful city where you discover small temples and shrines around the corner. One step inside and you are in another world, free from the noise of the city, stressless, peaceful. All it takes is a walk along Kamo river, and some curiosity to look around the corners... So, if you ha…(391 words)

Claire image

Claire

Kamakura: the hydrangeas of Hasedera images

Kamakura: the hydrangeas of Hasedera

June is really probably not one of the best times to be in Japan. Endless days of rain, laundry that doesn't really dry, excursions cut short because of squalls...However the plentiful watering does bring one positive event with it: the riotous blooming of hydrangeas. An attractive weed, they g…(200 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

Odawara Castle - Worth a Visit! images

Odawara Castle - Worth a Visit!

When you are in Odawara area, the Odawara Castle is worth a visit. It is actually located in a fairly short walk from Odawara Station. You can see it from the station as this castle is built upon a small hill. What I liked most is a beautiful red bridge leading across the moat into the castle g…(269 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Kyoto Love: Kiyomizu-dera & Jishu Shrine images

Kyoto Love: Kiyomizu-dera & Jishu Shrine

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 is a beautiful temple in Kyoto up on the hills, with a view over the city. The temple grounds are a nice place to walk around and look at the many halls, gates, and pagodas from different angles. This is a very famous place and it might get a little crowded, but it is really wo…(276 words)

David image

David

Great Mt.Fuji viewing spot : GOTENBA Premium Outlets images

Great Mt.Fuji viewing spot : GOTENBA Premium Outlets

The Gotemba Premium Outlets are Japan's most popular and largest outlet mall, located in Gotemba City. Seen from Gotenba City right at the base of Mt. Fuji, the Mountain looks even bigger and because of that Gotenba City is the popular sight-seeing spot. Gotenba Premium Outlets were opened in this…(140 words)

Daijo image

Daijo

Tokyo Bay Fireworks - HANABI Special buffet Dinner images

Tokyo Bay Fireworks - HANABI Special buffet Dinner

The Tokyo Bay Fireworks are held north of the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay. They feature about 12,000 fireworks launched from barges anchored in the water. They have official viewing spots at Harumi Park (15 minute walk from Toyosu Station), but transportation will be really bad especially after…(319 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Nakamise, the main street of Asakusa between Kaminarimon and Hozomon images

Nakamise, the main street of Asakusa between Kaminarimon and Hozomon

There are about 90 shops here in Nakamise. You can find Japanese traditional crafts, Kimonos, Japanese dolls, Ukiyoe, tenugui (Japanese towels) and chopsticks as well as Ningyoyaki (sponge cake), Osenbei (rice crackers), Japanese sweets and shaved ice. At Funawa, cold Matcha drink and sweet potato …(144 words)

Keiko, OTT image

Keiko, OTT

Service Robot “Sacchan” – Meet her at Huis ten Bosch images

Service Robot “Sacchan” – Meet her at Huis ten Bosch

Huis ten Bosch Theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture is one of the popular sightseeing spots for both international visitors and Japanese residents. They will have a new attraction called "Game Kingdom" starting from 5th of July. At the Game Kingdom, our service robot "Sacchan" will serve a…(267 words)

Takerobo image

Takerobo

Kappabashi Tool Street, best place to find kitchen tools images

Kappabashi Tool Street, best place to find kitchen tools

Kappabashi Tool Street is about 800m long located in 10 minutes walking distance from Asakusa and has more than 150 stores relating to kitchen or restaurant. These are sample foods made of wax, which you can find in a show-window at the restaurants in Asakusa.There are many specialty stores for kit…(79 words)

Keiko, OTT image

Keiko, OTT

Sumo!! images

Sumo!!

Sumo-the image conjured up in many gaijin minds is that of a couple of overweight guys in adult diapers belly-bumping each other until one of man falls off a raised platform like a drunken Baby Huey. As a martial artist, I never really thought of sumo in that way, but I get why others would. Still,…(1153 words)

Dave image

Dave

Tsuyu images

Tsuyu

Rain. Water. The source of Life itself.Tsuyu. It's that time of year again. It's not exactly like the monsoons of southeast Asia, or the hurricanes and tornados of most of the United States. Japan's got the typhoons, too, but that is later in the summer and hails the coming of fall and the …(358 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Urban Oasis images

Urban Oasis

The main intersection of Harajuku, where Meiji Street and Omotesando cross, is surprisingly nondescript. On one corner is a bank, with Jonathan's, a popular family restaurant above it. On another corner is another bank, with a small clothing boutique and a cafe adjacent to it. The third corner i…(415 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Efficient use of space images

Efficient use of space

Tokyo, a metropolitan area with something over 30 million people living within a 60km radius from its center, is obviously crowded. Space here is definitely a premium commodity.There are many places where careful observation reveals some pretty creative use of space. There are some extremely …(282 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Ku-tan Narita International Airport Character in Japan images

Ku-tan Narita International Airport Character in Japan

Continuing in my series of funny, cute and adorable Japanese mascot characters or “Yurukyara”, I would like to introduce you to Ku-tan from Narita Airport. You can see him here with some friends, along with some cool plane-related machines, etc., at a recent Narita Airport Festival.I am surprised…(362 words)

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Ride Local Trains for an Different and Deeper View of Japan images

Ride Local Trains for an Different and Deeper View of Japan

The Little station in Yokohama Caught me Off GuardI was there on a visit with my friend Keiji to see one of his colleagues at one of Japan’s largest Engineering firms. It was like a slip back in time to step off the train onto a long cement platform with no safety barrier, no electronic sur…(456 words)

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600 Cherry Blossoms Fill Japan's Air with Sweet Aroma images

600 Cherry Blossoms Fill Japan's Air with Sweet Aroma

Beautiful white flowers framed the quiet pond in the corner of the garden. I wander this place often as it reminds me of "The Secret Garden" depicted in one of my favorite childhood stories. It IS truly hidden from the main road and casual passersby.Those inside the Tokaido, Yokosuka, Yaman…(283 words)

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Hama Rikyu Gardens - a beautiful park in Central Tokyo images

Hama Rikyu Gardens - a beautiful park in Central Tokyo

A short walk from JR Shimbashi station (12 minutes) or either the Shiodome or Tsukiji Ichiba stations on the Toei Oedo line (7 minutes from either station), is one of the most beautiful and well kept parks in Tokyo. This park was created for the powerful Daimyo ruling class (feudal lords) during t…(126 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Whitewater Rafting in Gunma Pref. images

Whitewater Rafting in Gunma Pref.

Living in the concrete jungle of Tokyo can be overwhelming after a while. (Like the frog being boiled in a pot.)I was looking for a place to get back to nature within a short Shinkansen ride from Tokyo. A friend turned me on to a place called Minakami in Gunma prefecture. There the Tone Riv…(112 words)

JiyugaokaPaul image

JiyugaokaPaul

Awa Dance Festival in Tokushima Pref. images

Awa Dance Festival in Tokushima Pref.

In Japan, we have Obon holiday in the middle of August, where we believe the spirits of ancestors will return to this world and revisit the household altars. People return to ancestral family places and we have Bon Odori (盆踊り) throughout the country. Bon Obori, meaning Bon dance is performed dur…(299 words)

Suetsumuhana image

Suetsumuhana

Tourist friendly town at Hida Takayama images

Tourist friendly town at Hida Takayama

Places to go in the Tokai area I recommend going to Hida Takayama.It is in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture. 3 hour train ride from Nagoya station to Takayama station (3,350yen one way).The hotel I stayed at was the Takayama Ooan(高山桜庵)right next to the Takayama Station.The entranc…(300 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

Tourist Tip #3: Stay Away from Souvenir Shops images

Tourist Tip #3: Stay Away from Souvenir Shops

Here's a quick tip to make your memories of Japan more memorable for you and your friends back home: stay away from souvenir shops!Like anywhere else in the world, souvenir shops, by nature, tend to offer only the most generic - and usually hokiest - of gifts. I've seen wares that - at best - w…(219 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Children Love Pokémon (and Pokémon Centers)! images

Children Love Pokémon (and Pokémon Centers)!

Pokémon needs no introduction. But just in case you've been living under a rock in a cave for the last two decades, it is Nintendo's media franchise created in 1996, which has gone on to become their second-most successful character in history.What not so many people know, however, is that ther…(263 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Short trip in Fukuoka? There is Dazai Tenmangu and Toto factory to visit images

Short trip in Fukuoka? There is Dazai Tenmangu and Toto factory to visit

In Kyushu, there are many lovely things to visit and usually, Fukuoka, is not a must-go on the list.But, if you go there, you can certainly enjoy your time.Dazai Tenmangu is a temple dating from the 10th century and built by a Michizane Sugawara, an high-rank administrator of the Heian gov…(344 words)

Claire image

Claire

Enjoy to watch making something on the streets in Asakusa images

Enjoy to watch making something on the streets in Asakusa

In Asakusa, there are many shops where you can see the procedure to making something. Iriyama Senbei is located at Sushiya Street, while Ichiban Hanaya is located at Shin-Nakamise Street.There are many Ningyoyaki shops along Nakamise Street. Japanese tend to prefer the hand-made Ningyoyaki and of c…(95 words)

Keiko, OTT image

Keiko, OTT

Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree images

Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree

On my first visit to Tokyo, I signed up for a half day tour of Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa via Hato Bus tours. Hato, http://www.hatobus.com, has a number of different tour packages ranging from half day to full day. The full day tours include lunch. Our tour guide was a Japanese woman who spoke En…(169 words)

Dolores image

Dolores

JR East - Japan Railway Company images

JR East - Japan Railway Company

http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/index.htmlThe JR East train homepage is a great way to learn about train routes, fares and activities throughout what is known as Eastern Japan. This site: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/routemaps/index.html shows the routes that the different bullet trains take from the T…(201 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Hachiko - the famous meeting place in Shibuya images

Hachiko - the famous meeting place in Shibuya

Hachiko is the famous dog who followed his master to Shibuya station everyday when he went to work, waited all day for him to return, then followed him home. One day, his master died. Hachiko still showed up everyday at the same time waiting for his master. Hachiko is buried next to his master, …(154 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Travel back in time to Edo images

Travel back in time to Edo

Chiba Prefecture's Boso no Mura http://www.chiba-muse.or.jp/MURA/index.htmlThis attraction recreates life as it was, along with the scenery, from 150 years ago. You can walk around freely and experience what it is like to live in old Japan, during the Edo period. The homes have kitchens with woo…(114 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Shibata Castle, Niigata Prefecture images

Shibata Castle, Niigata Prefecture

I first visited Shibata in April 2013. Shibata is located in Niigata prefecture which is on the western coast of Japan's main island and is known for its pristine landscape. Within the prefecture is the second most extensive land area devoted to National Parks. Ijimino Park and Ominesan Sakura P…(171 words)

Dolores image

Dolores

Local Secret: Kawasaki Wind-chime Festival in July images

Local Secret: Kawasaki Wind-chime Festival in July

Each year, for 5 days always including the 20th and 21st of July, the grounds of the Kawasaki Daishi temple are taken over by a wind-chime market. The creators of these lovely crafts come from all across Japan, representing almost every prefecture, to display and sell their chimes. The varietie…(206 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

Lively NISHIKI market in KYOTO! images

Lively NISHIKI market in KYOTO!

A market is the best place to visit if you want to know about the lifestyle in the area. When you are visiting Kyoto, it's a good idea to go to the lively Nishiki Market.Now there are about 130 grocery and seafood shops lined up on both sides of the narrow street. They are selling Kyoto's speci…(250 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Local Secrets: Asagaya Tanabata Festival in August images

Local Secrets: Asagaya Tanabata Festival in August

The Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival) usually occurs in early July, celebrating the one day per year two star crossed lovers of legend can meet across the Milky Way. However, in some prefectures Tanabata is celebrated later, which is why the wonderfully colorful Asagaya Tanabata Festival occurs …(242 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

A view to die for images

A view to die for

Nagasaki was chosen to be one of the NEW top three night views in the world (the other two being Hong Kong and Monaco)! The observatory can be accessed easily by bus, train or taxi, depending on where you are. On a clear day, you can see the whole city light up like a Christmas tree. The feelin…(98 words)

RieS image

RieS

Kimono Experience in Asakusa images

Kimono Experience in Asakusa

Kimono is usually made of silk or hemp, beautifully dyed or embroidered. Yukata is made of cotton, the Kimono for summer. Most of Ryokan (Japanese hotels) prepare Yukata in each room as a sleepwear, but you can got out with Yukata in Summer.There are many shops you can rent Kimono for few hours. T…(162 words)

Keiko, OTT image

Keiko, OTT