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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

Yokohama Bay Bridge images

Yokohama Bay Bridge

I took this picture as I was returning from one of the outer Tokyo islands, Oshima, on a large passenger ship. As you approach the Tokyo bay, nestled between the Miura peninsula, and the Chiba Peninsula, you can begin to feel the magnitude of the ocean commerce of this area of Japan. Cranes, power …(170 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

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

Craziest Amusement Park in Japan, Fujikyu Highland images

Craziest Amusement Park in Japan, Fujikyu Highland

I was at Fujikyu Highland the other day for a speech and from the window in the hotel I spied this unbelievable drop on their huger roller coaster. Yes, you are right, it actually inclines like that and you could hear the screams of delight all through the day. The park did not seem very crowded on…(125 words)

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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

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

First Visit for the New Year - Hatsumode images

First Visit for the New Year - Hatsumode

Many Japanese people visit shrines and temples during the first days of the year. It is a way to start into the new year. The new year starts at midnight, so people line up already in the evening of December 31. At the big popular places like Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa or Meijijingu in Harajuku it …(161 words)

David image

David

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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音姫 "Sound Princess" images

音姫 "Sound Princess"

Many Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard by others during urination. To cover the sound, many women used to flush public toilets continuously while using them, wasting a large amount of water. Becase of that, Otohime was introduced which produces the sound of flushing water…(173 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

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

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

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

Japanese vaudeville images

Japanese vaudeville

If you want to experience Japanese traditional theater but Kabuki and Noh are too esoteric for you, try the vaudeville.You will have the experience of kimono, geisha and all the samurai-ism you crave for and on top of that you will get much much more:- an autograph by the artists before the p…(380 words)

Claire image

Claire

Not Quiet Temples and Shrines images

Not Quiet Temples and Shrines

Some Japanese temples are beautifully quiet places with peaceful gardens. Before I came to Japan I mistakenly imagined all temples and shrines would be like that. I was thinking of ponds with koi carp and turtles, perfectly maintained leaf-free stone gardens, and areas sculpted with moss and plants…(255 words)

David image

David

Enjoy Japanese department stores basements ! images

Enjoy Japanese department stores basements !

You might associate a Japanese word “department store” with expensive stores, but every Japanese department store has its own depachika and all of which are crammed with attractive shelves containing a wide range of foods from a delicious bento box to gorgeous sweets yet for reasonable prices. Aisl…(308 words)

fujimorison image

fujimorison

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

Local Secret: Plum Tree Valley in Okurayama images

Local Secret: Plum Tree Valley in Okurayama

While sakura usually steal the show in spring, I personally have a soft spot for the hardier, brighter ume (plum trees).Some trees are covered in pinkish-white blossoms, so that they resemble sakura, however ume can also be shockingly fuchsia or a deep lacquer red.Bairin (plum tree groves) …(202 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

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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Ohanami in Tokyo images

Ohanami in Tokyo

If you have time now you should go to Yasukuni shrine and Chidorigafuchi beside of Kitanomaru park. A lot of Cherry blossom trees blooming now. Tomorrow will be rain so you should go now! You have casual Japanese good with sake for dinner at Yasukuni shrine. If you have time now just go!(53 words)

noby image

noby

Huis Ten Bosch - The Netherlands in Japan images

Huis Ten Bosch - The Netherlands in Japan

Huis Ten Bosch - Believe it or not, you can experience Holland in Japan. This is a theme park located in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture in Kyushu. An entire town has been built to scale and hotels are there too. There are activities for the whole family, from a maze for young and old to exper…(97 words)

Kevin image

Kevin