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JR Kyoto Station - Futuristic architecture masterpiece images

JR Kyoto Station - Futuristic architecture masterpiece

If you only pass through the platforms of Kyoto Station, you miss out to explore this impressive building, the third largest train station in Japan (Ref: 1st: Tokyo, 2nd: Umeda). The whole building was constructed on the 1200th anniversary of the capital's foundation in Kyoto.If you come by tra…(267 words)

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Japan destinations steeped in history images

Japan destinations steeped in history

The Nisshinkan Samurai School“I always wanted to explore Fukushima so I headed north from Tokyo station for a short ride on the Tohoku Shinkansen Toward Koriyama station… I boarded our chartered bus on the way to Nisshinkan Samurai school located in Aizu. It was the most prestigious institution…(572 words)

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Exploring Western Architecture in Kitano images

Exploring Western Architecture in Kitano

For a recent meeting, I had the privilege of heading out to Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture and spending the day in Kitano. Kitano is a city known for its historic Western-style homes, many of which were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the Port of Kobe opened up the region to greater …(226 words)

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100 steps to heaven in the metropolis images

100 steps to heaven in the metropolis

There are some great Japanese gardens in central Tokyo.Imperial Palace, Shinjuku Gyoen, Rikugien, Hamarikyu, Koishikawa....These are located within central Tokyo, surrounded by skyscrapers and highways, so they also serve as 'oasis' in the metropolis, for the business people to breathe fresh a…(310 words)

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Shibuya Subway Station, by Tadao Ando images

Shibuya Subway Station, by Tadao Ando

The Shibuya Subway Station is famous for a number of reasons. It was designed by world renowned Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. It's design, in not surprising Tokyo cool, is egg shaped and intentionally designed to look like a spaceship. There are locations in the station where the design can se…(469 words)

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Visit the "Castles" of Past Daimyo, Feudal Lords in Japan images

Visit the "Castles" of Past Daimyo, Feudal Lords in Japan

If you are interested in learning about the Edo Period, I recommend visiting one of the many daimyo yashiki (feudal lord mansions) that can still be found in many parts of Tokyo. During the Edo Period, every feudal lord was forced by the Tokugawa Shogunate (the central government) to build and main…(221 words)

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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)

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Huis ten Bosch images

Huis ten Bosch

Ever have a hankering to visit the Netherlands? Well, if you live in Asia, you don't have to fly all the way to Europe. You can come to Sasebo and visit Huis ten Bosch theme park. It is a complete resort with hotels and numerous attractions.Your entire family will enjoy a visit to Huis ten B…(145 words)

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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)

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Driving to Kusatsu images

Driving to Kusatsu

It’s sometimes easy to forget that Japan, with all its grinding work hours, high tech wizardry and futuristic architecture, can also offer spectacular vistas and natural phenomena. To witness this transformation when urban, turns to suburban and then downright country, we drove from the sea in Shon…(291 words)

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Kyoto travel tips - spend a day exploring Japan’s old capital images

Kyoto travel tips - spend a day exploring Japan’s old capital

Kiyomizu-dera & Jishu Shrine“Kiyomizu-dera 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... Make sure to walk around the different buildings and g…(399 words)

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The Beast and the Beauty! images

The Beast and the Beauty!

Japanese modern urban architecture is not always a success. Buildings of the 1980’s are not «just getting old». They are old, and crumpy and you can see that they are aching. And, yes, they are quite ugly. You can pick them out quite easily: very squared, monotone, and covered either with colored …(431 words)

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PechaKucha Night images

PechaKucha Night

If you're looking for a chance to meet interesting Tokyoites, I recommend you to head on down to PechaKucha Night.PechaKucha Nights are fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts or just about anything in the “PechaKucha 20x20 format.” Speakers show…(208 words)

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Odawara Castle images

Odawara Castle

Nobility, castles, vast open farm lands, Shōguns, and warring samurai mounted on horseback are what you would have seen if you were to travel to Edo, or Tokyo, back in the fifteenth century. If you have come to Japan to try and get a little glimpse or feel for that era in time, or if you just have…(336 words)

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Town of Shibamata a blast from the past images

Town of Shibamata a blast from the past

Shibamata, Tokyo is a throwback to the Showa Era, enjoy the architecture and taste the rare traditional treats. Shibamata gained fame as the main setting for the movie series "Otoko wa Tsurai Yo" (It's Tough Being a Man). The lead character, Tora-san, embodies many traditional values, such as frien…(110 words)

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