David's Advice List

David image David Germany 10 years in Japan

I love to explore places and try local foods

Wisteria: Fuji - Spring Flowers in Japan images

Wisteria: Fuji - Spring Flowers in Japan

Tokyo changes all the time, but there are a few places left that feel unchanged. Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a place like this. I was there today for the wisteria flower festival and it was like walking through the old print from "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" by Utagawa Hiroshige. Wisteria flo…(154 words)

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David

Spring Flower Kameido Jinjya (Shrine) Japanese festivals Ukiyoe April
Enoden Train from Kamakura to Enoshima Island images

Enoden Train from Kamakura to Enoshima Island

Enoden is short for Enoshima Electric Railway. It is an old line that runs between Kamakura and Fujisawa along the coast passing Enoshima Island. Locals and visitors just love it. The line even has a fan shop with everything in the Enoden train theme from cookies to socks.Riding this small trai…(243 words)

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David

Enoshima Island Kamakura Enoden Train Mount Fuji Plarail Day trip from Tokyo
April 8 Flower Festival Celebrating Buddha's Birthday images

April 8 Flower Festival Celebrating Buddha's Birthday

April 8 is not a national holiday in Japan, but there are festivals at temples everywhere in the country. This day is the celebration of Buddha's birthday, often called Flower Festival (花まつり) or Kanbutsu-e (潅仏会). In Japan the date for Buddha's Birthday is April 8, but some temples start …(243 words)

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David

Japanese festivals Asakusa Senso-ji Temple April Buddha Tera (Temple) Flower
Senso-ji Temple's Secret Japanese Garden in Asakusa images

Senso-ji Temple's Secret Japanese Garden in Asakusa

Senso-ji in Asakusa Tokyo is famous for its tall pagoda, red gates, and huge lanterns, but the temple also has a fantastic Japanese garden. It lies hidden, closed to the public together with Dembou-in, the residency of the temple's head priest. In the spring, the garden is open to visitors. M…(291 words)

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David

Japanese garden Asakusa Senso-ji Temple Garden Cherry blossom Spring Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing)
Yozakura - cherry blossoms at night images

Yozakura - cherry blossoms at night

Sakura (桜) is Japanese for cherry blossom. Yozakura (夜桜) is written with the characters for night and sakura and means viewing cherry blossoms at night. Sakura looks beautiful in the evening with the right lighting. Try both, a cherry blossom picnic during the day and an evening visit to fully e…(335 words)

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David

Cherry blossom Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Tokyo Imperial Palace Asakusa Nakameguro Sumida river Spring Evening Tokyo Tower
Japanese Vending Machines: Food Tickets images

Japanese Vending Machines: Food Tickets

Many shops and restaurants have ticket vending machines at the entrance or outside. Ramen, soba, or udon noodle stores often have them. Some gyudon restaurants like Matsuya also use the ticket machines.To pay and order put in money and then select what you want to eat or drink. If you want to o…(156 words)

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David

Vending Machines Ticket machine Restaurant Ramen noodles Soba noodles Udon noodles Gyudon (Beef bowl) Ticket
Walk & Play at Sumida Park in Asakusa images

Walk & Play at Sumida Park in Asakusa

When you visit Asakusa, don't only go to Senso-ji temple. Also go to Sumida River and take a walk in Sumida Park. The park has great views of Tokyo Skytree and a big playground for children. There are also two small cafes here overlooking the river. To reach Sumida Park go towards the river from As…(143 words)

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David

Asakusa Playground Tokyo Skytree Park Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Sumida river Tokyo Cherry blossom Children
Japanese Vending Machines: Next Generation images

Japanese Vending Machines: Next Generation

Have you seen the new generation of vending machines in Japan? The new touchscreen ones are smart and connected. They watch people and target them by showing commercials, news, recommendations, and special offers.You can identify these new machines easily, they have a huge touchscreen and a cam…(156 words)

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David

Vending Machines Drink Train Train station Camera touchscreen Earthquake advertisement
Let a Lion Bite Your Head (for Good Luck) images

Let a Lion Bite Your Head (for Good Luck)

If you could use a little more good luck, let a lion help you. Lions protect many shrines and temples in Japan. The dance of the lion dispels evil and calls in good luck. For an extra dose of good luck put your head in the lion's mouth and let it bite you.This is the lion dance, shishi-mai, at Kame…(250 words)

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David

good luck Lion Jinjya (Shrine) Japanese festivals yushima dance Kameido Tokyo
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)

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David

Spring Cherry blossom Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Flower Asakusa Japanese Culture Japan Travel
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)

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David

Tera (Temple) Jinjya (Shrine) Japanese style shopping arcade Enoshima Island Kanagawa Trip Asakusa Senso-ji Temple Nakamise-dori
Onsen and Mount Fuji - Enoshima Island images

Onsen and Mount Fuji - Enoshima Island

Enoshima island is one of my favourite places for a day trip from Tokyo. I love the ocean air, the view of Kamakura and Mt Fuji, and the shrines and small shops around the island. This Sunday I took a day off from the busy city to visit the onsen at Enoshima Island Spa. It turned out to be even bet…(193 words)

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David

Onsen Enoshima Island Day trip from Tokyo Mount Fuji Kanagawa Kamakura Bath
Ramen with Chashu Topping images

Ramen with Chashu Topping

Ramen are very popular in Japan. There are magazines and books about ramen and TV shows where people do nothing but walk around from shop to shop eating. Ramen come in several flavours, depending on the broth cooked by the shop master. The broth is mixed to make shoyu or miso taste. Whatever ta…(138 words)

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David

Ramen noodles Chashu Kanagawa Fujisawa
Asakusa's Secret Kabuki Gallery - Shotengai Streets images

Asakusa's Secret Kabuki Gallery - Shotengai Streets

Asakusa has many small shopping streets with old-fashioned cafes and restaurants. Okuyama Omairimachi Shotengai is one of these streets, but it is special. The shutters of the shops here are painted with famous scenes from Kabuki plays. This gallery only reveals itself when shops are closed.Asa…(168 words)

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David

Asakusa Kabuki Japanese style shopping arcade Art Visit Senso-ji Temple painting Shop
Kameido Tenjin's birds for good fortune images

Kameido Tenjin's birds for good fortune

Kameido Tenjin Shrine (亀戸天神社) is known as a shrine for people who wish for success in their studies, like passing exams. On January 24 and 25, the shrine has a special event, the usokae-shinji (鷽替神事). Similar festivals are held at a few shrines in Japan, in Tokyo also at Yushima Tenjin, Ja…(241 words)

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David

Kameido Jinjya (Shrine) good luck Event Japanese festivals January Omamori Tokyo
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)

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David

Asakusa Senso-ji Temple Japanese style shopping arcade Tera (Temple) Evening Art painting illumination
Kaminari-okoshi: Asakusa Thunder Crackers images

Kaminari-okoshi: Asakusa Thunder Crackers

Kaminari-okoshi (雷おこし) are traditional Japanese sweets. Crispy rice is mixed with sugar and syrup, pressed down into a flat shape and cut into squares. Often there are some peanuts mixed into it, but there are also many other flavors such as macha green tea and sesame. The added ingredients giv…(286 words)

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David

Asakusa Senso-ji Temple Wagashi Sweets Souvenir Tera (Temple) Nakamise-dori Tokyo
Ningyo-yaki: Little Baked Doll Cakes images

Ningyo-yaki: Little Baked Doll Cakes

Ningyo-yaki (人形焼) is very popular in Tokyo Asakusa where you can watch them being baked. This is one of my favorite Japanese sweets and a very good omiyage gift. Ningyo is the Japanese word for doll, so the name of this sweet reads "baked dolls". Ningo-yaki are small cakes baked in small m…(192 words)

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David

Asakusa Ningyo-yaki Wagashi Sweets Nakamise-dori Souvenir Tera (Temple) Cake Senso-ji Temple Tokyo
Asakusa viewpoint & information images

Asakusa viewpoint & information

The Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is located in front of Kaminari-mon at the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. Take the elevator to the top for some of the best views in Asakusa. On the 8th floor the Center has a small cafe and a terrace. You can have a coffee, a beer, or some Japanese sw…(159 words)

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David

Asakusa Senso-ji Temple view Tokyo Skytree Nakamise-dori rickshaw Sumida river Taito
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)

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David

New year Hatsumode Tokyo Asakusa Tera (Temple) Senso-ji Temple Jinjya (Shrine) festival