David's Advice List

David image David Germany 10 years in Japan

I love to explore places and try local foods

Ashiyu - Onsen For Your Feet images

Ashiyu - Onsen For Your Feet

Have you tried onsen in Japan? There are many famous hot spring areas in the country and most of them offer both full baths and ashiyu. Ashiyu (足湯)is an onsen foot bath. Try it. A warm foot bath is the perfect way to rest, especially after a long walk. Kinugawa Onsen near NikkoIn many o…(524 words)

David image

David

Onsen Bath Foot bath Kyoto Nikko Enoshima Island Yugawara Kanagawa Day trip from Tokyo
Rikugien Japanese Garden in Tokyo images

Rikugien Japanese Garden in Tokyo

There are a number of old Japanese gardens in Tokyo that have survived fast city development and natural disasters. Rikugien is one of them and an especially nice park in Tokyo.See the autumn leaves at nightThis is the Japanese Garden Rikugien at night. I visited it for the first time last …(358 words)

David image

David

Japanese garden Autumn Color Cherry blossom Park Tokyo illumination Light-up Walk
Tokyo Skytree Winter Illumination & Events images

Tokyo Skytree Winter Illumination & Events

Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Solamachi are illuminated beautifully in the winter. Tall Skytree itself shines every evening of the year in changing colors and now the big Solamachi shopping mall at its base is also sparkling with lights and decorations.I took a walk around Solamachi to see the Tokyo …(450 words)

David image

David

Tokyo Skytree illumination Winter Projection Mapping Christmas Souvenir
Catch a Yokai Watch Ghost at the Supermarket images

Catch a Yokai Watch Ghost at the Supermarket

Watch out for Jibanyan in Japan. Enter any Japanese supermarket and you will realize that Japanese food packaging has turned into a cute crazy art form populated by the most famous anime, manga, game, and Disney characters.The all-time favorites with Japanese kids like Anpanman, Doraemon, Micke…(213 words)

David image

David

Food Anime Yokai Watch supermarket Japanese food
Origami Shop & Exhibition at Narita Airport images

Origami Shop & Exhibition at Narita Airport

Flying is not always fun, but this origami paper and book store can help make waiting at Narita a little better. When you fly out of Tokyo´s Narita airport, go to Nippon Origami Museum. It has books about origami, origami papers, and a selection of paper art on display. Check out the origami p…(204 words)

David image

David

Origami Narita International Airport Stationery Souvenir books Play Art
Kaisendon - Sashimi Pub Lunch at a Seafood Izakaya images

Kaisendon - Sashimi Pub Lunch at a Seafood Izakaya

How is your sushi vocabulary and experience? If you have tried a few sets of sushi and sashimi, try kaisendon. Kaisendon is sashimi on rice. Don 丼 is short for donburi, food served on top of a bowl full of rice. Magurodon for example is tuna on rice, kaisendon is mixed seafood on rice. It coul…(283 words)

David image

David

Izakaya Sashimi (Raw fish) Lunch Fish Sushi Seafood Tokyo Asakusa
Tokyo Izakaya for Sashimi and Seafood images

Tokyo Izakaya for Sashimi and Seafood

Izakaya are Japanese style pubs, great places to meet and have drinks. Many izakaya also serve excellent food. Try having a few drinks while you sample some popular izakaya foods. If you like fish and seafood, you should try one of the Isomaru Suisan 磯丸水産 izakaya. Isomaru is a seafood speci…(287 words)

David image

David

Izakaya Seafood Sashimi (Raw fish) Sushi Fish Asakusa Food Japanese
Sweet Tokyo Skytree Souvenirs from Solamachi Mall images

Sweet Tokyo Skytree Souvenirs from Solamachi Mall

Solamachi "Sky City" Mall at Tokyo Skytree is one of the best places to go shopping for Tokyo souvenirs. This is a very big nice shopping mall with over 300 stores. There are many restaurants and cafes here as well. You could spend a rainy day inside.Solamachi is also very easy to find. It sits…(237 words)

David image

David

Tokyo Skytree Shopping Souvenir Tokyo Rainy Day Depachika Food
Tenugui - Printed Textiles with Japanese Patterns images

Tenugui - Printed Textiles with Japanese Patterns

Tenugui are small pieces of cloth for everyday use. They make perfect gifts and souvenirs. Now many Japanese carry small towels in their bags, but before the more fluffy towels became popular tenugui was widely used.A tenugui is a thin piece of cloth made from cotton. It dries very quickly, is …(334 words)

David image

David

Souvenir Tenugui (Japanese towel) craftmanship Art Asakusa
Delicious Sushi Adventure in Shibuya images

Delicious Sushi Adventure in Shibuya

This week I went to the small sushi izakaya Tamagawa in Shibuya for the first time. I had the opportunity to speak with the sushi chef. This is the chef's advice for really enjoying sushi:- Eat each piece of sushi in one bite.- Use your hands to eat sushi instead of chopsticks if you want.- T…(411 words)

David image

David

Sushi Sashimi (Raw fish) Sake (Rice wine) Shibuya Tokyo Fish Seafood
Chrysanthemum Exhibitions - Enjoy Japanese Flowers in Autumn images

Chrysanthemum Exhibitions - Enjoy Japanese Flowers in Autumn

Chrysanthemums are an important flower in Japan. They are at their best in the autumn and are celebrated with an exhibition in Tokyo's Shinjuku Park every year in the beginning of November.You can see the flowers also displayed at some shrines and temples. I have seen them in Tokyo at Senso-ji …(267 words)

David image

David

Autumn Chrysanthemum Flower Tera (Temple) Senso-ji Temple Garden Meiji Shrine Shinjuku Park
Hanayashiki - Asakusa's Beloved Tiny Amusement Park images

Hanayashiki - Asakusa's Beloved Tiny Amusement Park

Asakusa is an old part of Tokyo. In a city that changes quickly and often, it is not surprising to read about the many changes that have happened in this area. Asakusa was a major entertainment district filled with theaters and restaurants. While many of the theaters disappeared, the small amusemen…(571 words)

David image

David

Asakusa Children Hanayashiki Amusement Park Amusement park Senso-ji Temple Tokyo
Take the Pandabus in Asakusa or at Tokyo Skytree images

Take the Pandabus in Asakusa or at Tokyo Skytree

If you do not want to walk from Asakusa to Tokyo Skytree, you can choose between train, taxi, ricksha, and panda. There is a boy panda bus and a girl panda bus with faces, ears, and paws. All the passenger seats inside have their own small ears. And the bus is free.Take the Asakusa line route to vi…(325 words)

David image

David

Asakusa Bus Pandabus Panda Tokyo Skytree free Visit
Street Performers, Arts & Entertainment in Asakusa - Local Tokyo images

Street Performers, Arts & Entertainment in Asakusa - Local Tokyo

Senso-ji temple is the most famous spot in Tokyo's Asakusa district, but there is more to see. Performers and performing arts are also part of Asakusa’s heritage. So when you come to Senso-ji and look at the temple’s buildings, statues, and big gates don’t stop there. Please take a walk around …(623 words)

David image

David

Asakusa Art Japanese style shopping arcade Tokyo Walk Senso-ji Temple Theater
Tokyo Skytree Changing the City's Landscape images

Tokyo Skytree Changing the City's Landscape

Tokyo Skytree has changed the landscape of Tokyo. The tall tower is overlooking everything else in Tokyo. From the park along Sumida river in Asakusa you have a good view of Skytree and it is a popular spot for visitors to take pictures. Another spot for Skytree pictures is the Tourist Center in As…(299 words)

David image

David

Tokyo Tokyo Skytree Photography Light-up Building
Good Travel in Japan Includes Good Lunch images

Good Travel in Japan Includes Good Lunch

Make lunch one highlight of your days in Japan, because food is an important and celebrated part of travel in Japan. Japanese guidebooks introduce foods, cafes, restaurants, bentos, and food souvenirs to buy for your families, friends, and colleagues. Model day trips usually consist of visiting…(542 words)

David image

David

Lunch Japanese cuisine Teishoku Bento (box meal) Restaurant Japanese food tabehodai all you can eat
Gotokuji - Tokyo's Manekineko Lucky Cat Temple images

Gotokuji - Tokyo's Manekineko Lucky Cat Temple

Gotokuji is a lovely old neighbourhood in Tokyo's Setagaya ward. Gotokuji temple is the home of the Japanese good luck cats called "manekineko". One is waiting for you in front of Gotokuji station.Go from the station towards Gotokuji temple and you pass through a Japanese style "shotengai" stre…(353 words)

David image

David

Gotokuji manekineko Tera (Temple) Japanese style shopping arcade Setagayaku good luck Tokyo Train Japanese
Japanese Style Depachika Food Courts images

Japanese Style Depachika Food Courts

Japan has the most elegant restaurants as well as vending machines and convenient stores selling snacks and beverages on seemingly every corner. Somewhere in the middle on the gourmet scale are the food courts of the big department stores. Usually they are located in the department store basement a…(295 words)

David image

David

Food Depachika Department store
The Fastest of Japanese Fast Foods: Kaitenzushi, Gyudon & Curry Rice images

The Fastest of Japanese Fast Foods: Kaitenzushi, Gyudon & Curry Rice

How do you define fast food? Let’s not think in categories such as burgers and fries, but consider what the fastest foods are you can order in a restaurant.Sushi is prepared very quickly and kaitenzushi is already waiting for you to take from the conveyor belt and eat. So as the fastest Japanes…(434 words)

David image

David

Curry rice Gyudon (Beef bowl) Fast food Sushi Kaitenzushi (Conveyor belt sushi)
Fresh Coffee at Japanese Convenience Stores images

Fresh Coffee at Japanese Convenience Stores

Japan has many coffee shops, chains like Starbucks or Doutor and old Japanese style cafes called kissaten. Coffee is also available from vending machines everywhere, both hot and cold canned coffee. The many convenience stores offer a variety of coffee products, now also including freshly brewed co…(256 words)

David image

David

Convenience store Coffee Cafe Vending Machines Coffee shop Drink
Agemanju - Sweet Deep-fried Cakes in Asakusa images

Agemanju - Sweet Deep-fried Cakes in Asakusa

There are many good reasons for a visit to Asakusa: Senso-ji temple’s gates and pagoda, tiny Hanayashiki amusement park, Japanese kabuki theaters, old restaurants, and shops selling kimonos and festival clothing. And then there is the area around the temple’s Nakamise street where you can buy souve…(253 words)

David image

David

Manjuu Sweets Senso-ji Temple Cake Asakusa Visit Food Tera (Temple)
Popular Yatai Foods: Yakisoba images

Popular Yatai Foods: Yakisoba

Yatai food stalls at festivals always include a yakisoba vendor. Yakisoba noodles are Japanese fried noodles, but they have nothing to do with soba. The noodles used here are more like the ones for ramen. The noodles are quickly cooked on a hotplate with vegetables, meat, or seafood and seasone…(215 words)

David image

David

Yaki soba noodles yatai Izakaya Japanese festivals Ramen noodles
Popular Yatai Foods: Takoyaki images

Popular Yatai Foods: Takoyaki

Takoyaki is among the most popular savoury foods from yatai food stalls. When there is a festival at a temple or shrine you will always find yatai there. Vendors sometimes also set up near train stations. Watch the food being prepared. The pieces are turned quickly to give them their round shap…(200 words)

David image

David

Takoyaki (Octopus ball) yatai Japanese festivals Summer
Japanese Breads: Sweet Superheroes From Anpanman images

Japanese Breads: Sweet Superheroes From Anpanman

Anpanman is a character that every Japanese child knows. And at every bakery and convenience store you will find anpan, a soft bread filled with sweet red bean paste. When you come to Japan, you will see Anpanman toys, clothes, notebooks, bento boxes, books, bicycles, and pretty much any kind of br…(398 words)

David image

David

Bread Sweets Anpanman Melon roll Anime
Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto and Local Inari Shrines images

Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto and Local Inari Shrines

The famous Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto really is a fantastic place to visit. There are the colorful main buildings to see and even more impressive is the walk through the shrine's land. In the case of Fushimi Inari, this means taking a long walk up and around the hill that belongs to the s…(316 words)

David image

David

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Kyoto Jinjya (Shrine) Asakusa Walk
Japanese Breads: Yakisobapan and Karepan are Superheroes images

Japanese Breads: Yakisobapan and Karepan are Superheroes

Japanese people obviously love bread. It seems that next to every train station there is a bakery and every convenience store has a bread corner. Many of these breads look like something you might find in Europe, but the Japanese breads are often a little different, they have evolved into their own…(335 words)

David image

David

Bread Curry Yaki soba noodles Anpan (Japanese sweet roll) Anpanman Anime
Fierce Protectors of Temples - Nio Statues 仁王 images

Fierce Protectors of Temples - Nio Statues 仁王

When I come to a temple in Japan, I always stop to take a look at the Nio statues standing guard at the gates. Nio 仁王 means Benevolent Kings. These are fierce-looking protectors, looking like demons or warrior-gods. Sometimes they are life-size and sometimes they are impossibly tall and stron…(193 words)

David image

David

Tera (Temple) Senso-ji Temple Art Asakusa Statue
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

Mount Fuji World Heritage Site view Art
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…(331 words)

David image

David

Kyoto Kiyomizudera Temple Tera (Temple) Light-up Cherry blossom Autumn Color Garden love
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

Asakusa Senso-ji Temple Japanese festivals Flower Market Tera (Temple) good luck July
Kissaten: Lovely Retro Coffee Shops images

Kissaten: Lovely Retro Coffee Shops

Kissaten 喫茶店 is one of the words that appear in the early chapters of Japanese text books. Kissaten are coffee shops, but not of the chain variety. Most of these coffee shops are delightfully retro, unique, and atmospheric. A kissaten is the perfect place for taking a break from everyday busy ti…(298 words)

David image

David

Coffee Coffee shop Sweets Tea Cake Asakusa Cafe
Fresh Handmade Udon and Soba Noodles images

Fresh Handmade Udon and Soba Noodles

The best udon and best soba is from restaurants that make their noodles fresh. This is a sign of a tasty shop, so the noodles will often be prepared near the entrance where you can see them. Watch the dough being rolled out and cut, it is fun.To find the restaurants serving the tastiest food, a…(243 words)

David image

David

Soba noodles Udon noodles Restaurant Tempura Food Shop Asakusa
Tsukemen - ramen noodles dipped in rich sauce images

Tsukemen - ramen noodles dipped in rich sauce

Shops making tasty ramen noodles are everywhere in Japan. Get off the train at just about any station and chances are that you will find a ramen shop nearby. Many ramen shops offer ramen (noodles served in a bowl of soup) and tsukemen (noodles and soup served separately) and some shops actually spe…(262 words)

David image

David

Tsukemen Ramen noodles Asakusa
Taiyaki - Japanese Sweets in Asakusa images

Taiyaki - Japanese Sweets in Asakusa

Taiyaki たい焼き are small Japanese cakes that you can watch being baked. The cakes are shaped like a fish and have a sweet filling. The most common taiyaki have sweet bean paste or cream inside. Try them fresh and still warm. They are very tasty and a simple pleasure like having fresh pancakes or …(281 words)

David image

David

Asakusa Taiyaki (Fish-shaped cake) Wagashi Sweets Hanayashiki Amusement Park Shop chocolate Cake Panda yatai
Omikuji - Take Only Good Luck With You images

Omikuji - Take Only Good Luck With You

Omikuji - おみくじ - are fortune papers from temples and shrines that offer advice for your health, career, and good luck in general. There are positive ones - marked kichi 吉 - and negative ones - marked kyou 凶. The most positive one is the daikichi 大吉, the big fortune.You can find omikuji …(310 words)

David image

David

good luck Jinjya (Shrine) Tera (Temple) Omikuji Senso-ji Temple Kameido Asakusa
Kintsuba - Japanese Sweets in Asakusa images

Kintsuba - Japanese Sweets in Asakusa

Kintsuba きんつば is one of the Japanese sweets that I like because you can watch them being made. This photo is from a small shop in Asakusa located in the Nakamise-dori shopping street at Senso-ji temple. You can try the Kintsuba fresh, still warm. Kintsuba are made from sweet bean paste. The…(255 words)

David image

David

Kintsuba Asakusa Wagashi Sweets Senso-ji Temple Nakamise-dori Japanese style shopping arcade Souvenir Kappabashi
Yatai Foods: Savory Treats on a Stick images

Yatai Foods: Savory Treats on a Stick

Japan has many different festivals - matsuri - throughout the year and no festival is complete without food from yatai food stalls (屋台). Yatai sell sweet and savory foods and a lot of that is food on a stick.Ayu - あゆ: This small fish is very popular in Japan and is served both grilled on a …(232 words)

David image

David

yatai Japanese festivals Fish sausage Tera (Temple) Jinjya (Shrine) Mochi (Rice cake) squid
Yatai Sweets: Baby Castella Mini Cakes images

Yatai Sweets: Baby Castella Mini Cakes

Castella is Japanese sponge cake. It is one of the foods popular as omiyage souvenirs and gifts. Baby Castella don't make fancy gifts, but they are fun. Fresh, hot, and baked in front of you, I think they are one of the best sweet foods from yatai food stalls.Castella is made with simple ingred…(215 words)

David image

David

yatai Sweets Japanese sponge cake Cake Japanese festivals Doraemon Japanese Animation Tokyo Skytree
Yatai - Festival Food Stalls images

Yatai - Festival Food Stalls

There are a lot of matsuri - festivals - all over Japan especially in the summer. At the matsuri you can always find many kinds of yatai - food stalls. Even small local events have yatai, because the food is part of the festival. Yatai offer all sorts of fun yummy foods, both sweet and savoury. Ple…(126 words)

David image

David

yatai Japanese festivals Sweets Food Summer Tera (Temple) Jinjya (Shrine) chocolate banana
Azalea: Tsutsuji - Spring Flowers in Japan images

Azalea: Tsutsuji - Spring Flowers in Japan

Sakura is famous in the spring, but after the cherry blossom time in Japan another flower takes over. In April azaleas colour Tokyo with their bright flowers.When I read Chiara's post "Local Secret: YaNeSen" here I realised that she was describing places that I had just visited. "The stroll fro…(195 words)

David image

David

Spring Flower Park Garden Jinjya (Shrine) April Tokyo Nezu Walk May