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Old Saidaiji Railway images

Old Saidaiji Railway

Saidaiji is well-known for its Hadaka Matsuri or Naked Festival but few people, even locals are aware that there was once a light rail line that ran to central Okayama City. Saidaiji Railway was in operation from 1911 to 1962 and provided transport along the 11.4 kilometers between what was then Sa…(364 words)

Kenji image

Kenji

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

How To Make the Strongest Wish: Shimanrokusennichi and Hozuki Flower Market at Senso-ji images

How To Make the Strongest Wish: Shimanrokusennichi and Hozuki Flower Market at Senso-ji

Shimanrokusennichi at Senso-ji temple in Tokyo Asakusa is your chance to make the strongest wish possible.It might be Friday the 13th and a full moon as I am writing this, but an extremely auspicious day is coming up in a few weeks. July 10 is Shimanrokusennichi 四万六千日 at Senso-ji temple in…(236 words)

David image

David

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

Surprise Views of Mount Fuji images

Surprise Views of Mount Fuji

Japan's highest peak, the iconic Mount Fuji was designated UNESCO World Heritage in June 2013. You can experience Mount Fuji during the short climbing season in the summer months, but you might spot it on any day of the year."Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration: The beauty …(287 words)

David image

David

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

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

What to do on rainy days in Tokyo: Palm Shoutengai (covered shopping street) images

What to do on rainy days in Tokyo: Palm Shoutengai (covered shopping street)

Rainy season can be a drag, but fear not! Covered shopping streets are the perfect place to people watch, find cool souvenirs and enjoy tasty culinary experiences.The covered shoutengai in Musashi Koyama (just two stops away from Meguro) is almost 1 kilometre long, and like all shoutengai is ju…(357 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

EPSON Shinagawa Aqua Stadium images

EPSON Shinagawa Aqua Stadium

This aquarium is a couple of minute walk from the Takanawa exit of Shinagawa station and located within the Shinagawa Price Hotel complex. The aquarium is rather small, but good size for little kids to walk around. A variety of colorful fish will entertain your eyes. Their tropical fish submari…(193 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

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

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

Gathering Place for Gundam Japanese Character Fans in Odaiba, Tokyo images

Gathering Place for Gundam Japanese Character Fans in Odaiba, Tokyo

He stands towering over the surrounding garden of Divercity Tokyo Plaza! (3 minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station/Linkai Line or 5 minute walk from Daiba Station/Yuri Kamome Line).http://www.divercity-tokyo.com/en/ Notice the Diver-City name pun? Cute right? The full scale of the Mobile Su…(308 words)

SEIJAN image

SEIJAN

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 beautiful gorge in Miyazaki images

A beautiful gorge in Miyazaki

Looking for scenery that's impossible to capture with a camera? Miyazaki Prefecture has a beautiful gorge named Takachiho-kyo, one of the must-go places in Kyushu. It is filled with greenery and the water has a beautiful turquoise tint.There are also areas to eat typical Japanese food and purch…(94 words)

RieS image

RieS

Gorgeous and Exotic "Pontocho" in Kyoto! images

Gorgeous and Exotic "Pontocho" in Kyoto!

At night, Kamogawa riverside is turned to be the scenic site well-known for its gorgeous Pontocho in Kyoto! I used to take my friends visiting Kyoto to Pontocho without fail. I just love their atmosphere - the traditional lantern lights in their narrow street are really exotic. Summer is here …(257 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri images

Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri

Tanabata, which means "double seven" in Japanese, is celebrated usually on the 7th of July, as one might expect. It is a celebration stemming from the lunar/solar calendar and the meeting of a mythical cowherd and weaver girl throughout much of East Asia.On July 7th, people throughout Japan pl…(489 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Road Trip Diaries #1: Umi Hotaru images

Road Trip Diaries #1: Umi Hotaru

In the middle of Tokyo Bay, there sits a handsome, white, 5-story structure remarkable as much for its awkward location as it is for its raw engineering. The artificial island stands there, surrounded by ocean, an unexpected accompaniment to the fishing boats and cargo ships which normally cruise …(776 words)

jdlawrence image

jdlawrence

Coming soon!: Bizen Pottery Festival in Okayama images

Coming soon!: Bizen Pottery Festival in Okayama

Many fans and afficionados of Japanese culture enjoy the traditional arts, pottery being one of them. Many people are aware of beautiful Kyo-yaki from Kyoto or Kutani-yaki from Ishigawa Prefecture, but did you know that Okayama Prefecture boasts THE oldest pottery kiln in Japan?Bizen-yaki began…(404 words)

Andrea Miyata image

Andrea Miyata

Road Trip Diaries #2: Nakaizu Hills Winery (In vino, veritas) images

Road Trip Diaries #2: Nakaizu Hills Winery (In vino, veritas)

Many people think of France, Spain, Italy, California or, more recently, Australia and Chile, when thinking about wine, and Japan is often thought of as a place where you make Japanese sake or beer. But, did you know that Japan has a winery in the Nakaizu area of Shizuoka prefecture? Nakaizu Wi…(907 words)

jdlawrence image

jdlawrence

Football? images

Football?

Football season has officially begun. If catching up on the latest scores online, or watching games on cable television aren't enough to satisfy your fix there is good news. It is possible to watch live games here in Japan. "Live" as in, actually being able to attend games in person. "Football?…(345 words)

KJ image

KJ

Kirin Yokohama Beer Village images

Kirin Yokohama Beer Village

Yokohama is renowned as the home of the Japanese beer industry. You can learn - and taste - all about it at the Kirin Yokohama Beer Village. The Kirin Brewery Company, one of Japan's big four beer breweries, was founded in Yokohama in 1907.Located in North Yokohama near Shinkoyasu Station (JR K…(201 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Dance Like Fools images

Dance Like Fools

Awaodori is a dance that is performed in summer festivals throughout Japan, but originating in Tokushima Prefecture in the southwestern island of Shikoku. Shikoku is one of the four main islands of Japan, but the one that is often forgotten, because it does not have a major city like Fukuoka or Na…(778 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Hiroshima Landslide - visiting & volunteering images

Hiroshima Landslide - visiting & volunteering

As many of you have heard, there was a horrible landslide triggered by a severe thunderstorm that hit Hiroshima city in the early morning of 8/20/2014. As of 9/10/2014, 72 people were killed and 2 remain missing and over 830 people have lost their homes. The city center did not have any serious…(304 words)

jjwalsh image

jjwalsh

Museums Off the Beaten Track images

Museums Off the Beaten Track

Japan is rife with museums of all shapes and sizes. There's the National Museum in Ueno, MoMAT in Tokyo, and Yokohama's Museum of Art. There's also the Silk and Doll Museum in Yokohama, and Shibuya's Bunkamura. Japan's food manias are even immortalized, like at Shin-Yokohama's Ramen Museum.But …(445 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Enjoy Autumn in Asakusa images

Enjoy Autumn in Asakusa

Asakusa Touroue is held from September 13 through 27. Many Tourou (lanterns) light up the alleys in Sensoji. Visit at night. You can see a dance by Geisha at Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center on Saturdays (see below). The tickets will be available at the Center from 10:00 each day on a fir…(161 words)

Keiko, OTT image

Keiko, OTT

Fall in Japan: Top 5 Things to Do images

Fall in Japan: Top 5 Things to Do

I love fall, it is by far my favorite season! In Japan the profusion of Japanese maples and ginkgos also ensure that it is one of the most dramatic, beautiful seasons to visit.So, here are a few ideas to thoroughly enjoy autumn in Japan:1- Spend Time in NatureSeriously, the foliage is stu…(412 words)

Chiara image

Chiara

Hamamatsu City, Japan: Birthplace of the Big Corporation, Yamaha images

Hamamatsu City, Japan: Birthplace of the Big Corporation, Yamaha

I often wondered about Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture as I watched it slip by during my bullet train rides from Tokyo to Osaka. A very good friend of mine is from Hamamatsu and would tell me about his father’s company. He himself towered over most Japanese men at just under six feet tall and…(873 words)

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Visit the Birthplace of the Big Japanese Company, Suzuki Motors images

Visit the Birthplace of the Big Japanese Company, Suzuki Motors

My Dad built a special structure to house his Suzuki Motorcycle out of the rain and wind on our hillside home overlooking Pearl Harbor and my friends in India know Maruti Suzuki with as much familiarity as any homegrown product. http://www.marutisuzuki.comI went to the Suzuki birthplace, Hama…(732 words)

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The Most Advanced Music Technology Right in Hamamatsu City, Japan images

The Most Advanced Music Technology Right in Hamamatsu City, Japan

Torakusu Yamaha was born just two years before Perry’s Black Ship anchored off the coast of Japan. After learning how to repair European clocks in Nagasaki and a stint doing medical device repair in Osaka, Mr. Yamaha started his Organ Manufacturing Corporation after successful repair of a broken or…(373 words)

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Oktoberfest in Japan: Starting in Odaiba this Friday! images

Oktoberfest in Japan: Starting in Odaiba this Friday!

It's been 12 years already since Japan started the Bavarian beer festival, Oktoberfest in Yokohama for the first time. You can now enjoy the Munich's notorious beer festival throughout Japan such as Tohoku, Nagasaki and Tokyo (Odaiba, Hibiya, Yoyogi and Akihabara, etc.) Today I had a chance to go t…(269 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Shibuya' Traditional Festival - Portable Shrines (Mikoshi) go along Omotesando Street images

Shibuya' Traditional Festival - Portable Shrines (Mikoshi) go along Omotesando Street

Shibuya is one of the most popular places to visit in Tokyo.What are the things to do in Shibuya?TripAdvisor recommends you to do (http://goo.gl/e1hJHq)x Meiji Jingux Yoyogi Parkx Shibuya Center Townx Shibuya Pedestrian Scramblex Omotesandox Ota Memorial Museum of Artx National Ch…(452 words)

Cecilia Reiko image

Cecilia Reiko