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Get to know your Prefectures: Yamagata (Pt. 1 of 2 ) images

Get to know your Prefectures: Yamagata (Pt. 1 of 2 )

"Get the latest updates here on Deep Japan as we collaborate with Tokyo Broadcasting System(TBS) Television, JNN(Japan News Network/TBS nation wide affiliates)'s seven-station network across Japan and Vietnam's VTV station to bring the people in Vietnam informative and fun reports from the fantasti…(697 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

An Elegant Lunch - Chinese Fine Dining at Ginza Aster images

An Elegant Lunch - Chinese Fine Dining at Ginza Aster

I recently had the pleasure of having lunch at Ginza Aster, a very well-known Chinese restaurant with a long history in the heart of downtown Ginza. The restaurant is famous for very good reasons. They offer some of the finest Chinese food available in the country, food that comes with excellent se…(388 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

The Roof of Japan: where sakura bloom in Golden Week within 3 hours of Tokyo! images

The Roof of Japan: where sakura bloom in Golden Week within 3 hours of Tokyo!

One of the top things that visitors from overseas want to see when they come to Japan is, of course, the sakura (cherry) blossoms. Timing as they say, is everything and this very much applies to sakura (cherry) blossoms. Sakura blossoms are ephemeral things: the blossoms only last a week and when …(542 words)

Phil image

Phil

Conversation with Ginza Aster Grand Chef images

Conversation with Ginza Aster Grand Chef

The other day I had the pleasure to interview Minakawa san, the Grand Chef of Ginza Aster. He is a genuinely all round nice guy and it was a great insight to speak to someone in his position. We spoke about various aspects of his time at Aster Ginza, their concept and what he does specifically. H…(273 words)

Adstev73 image

Adstev73

My favorite trips to the old towns in JAPAN images

My favorite trips to the old towns in JAPAN

SugitoTtown(杉戸町), which located in Saitama Prefecture is one of the post-station towns developed along the Nikko Highway(日光街道) in Edo period.The Highway starts from Nihombashi(日本橋) in Tokyo and reach Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture.This town is one of the 21 post towns along the Hig…(566 words)

Erika1228 image

Erika1228

Observe a 97 meter waterfall up close and in person images

Observe a 97 meter waterfall up close and in person

Nikko is only about two hours away from Tokyo by train, but the contrast couldn’t be me stark. Tokyo is crowded with buildings, but Nikko is abundant with nature. There is also a sacred atmosphere in Nikko as it is home to many temples and shrines, including the well known Nikko Toshogu shrine.…(285 words)

DeepJapan Editor image

DeepJapan Editor

The legacy of the Samurai is alive and well in Fukushima images

The legacy of the Samurai is alive and well in Fukushima

One of the most renowned samurai regions, Fukushima has captivating history and culture to share with visitors. With full days of castles, training grounds, arts, lodging, food and drinks, the fun and educational trip to Shirakawa, Aizu, and Nihonmatsu gave us all a clear picture of what it meant…(1012 words)

DeepJapan Editor image

DeepJapan Editor

Washi: Japanese traditional paper in Yamanashi images

Washi: Japanese traditional paper in Yamanashi

Yamanashi prefecture is a beautiful area boasting three of the highest mountains of Japan. The most famous is, of course, Mt. Fuji. Yamanashi can be easily accessed from Tokyo, the largest city in Japan. From Tokyo, it takes only 2 hours to Yamanashi. The Kofu valley is at the center of the prefe…(1474 words)

DeepJapan Editor image

DeepJapan Editor

Senmo Trip "White Winter Fantasy" images

Senmo Trip "White Winter Fantasy"

“Winter is a season of recovery and rest,” wrote Paul Theroux, travel writer and novelist. But for Hokkaido, it is only just waking up. Once the snow has covered its vastness, the drift ice arrives, bringing along with it wildlife guests and natural marvels you will rarely glimpse elsewhere. As for…(747 words)

DeepJapan Editor image

DeepJapan Editor

Main idea first images

Main idea first

Using English with non-native speakers has its own general rules to follow, but I have found some decent techniques when needing to be understood in English in Japan. Japanese is a subject-initial language like English, but in many cases, the object of English could very easily be the subject in Ja…(146 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

An honest thank you! images

An honest thank you!

In Japan, it may not be quite as common for strangers to help each other for no reason, but as a traveler, you will find that people in general are willing to help you with this or that, particularly if you express to them that you need help with something. Just asking someone for directions may le…(173 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

The imperial palace gardens; well worth trying! images

The imperial palace gardens; well worth trying!

If you look for ones in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, I'd recommend you should go visit Koukyo if you haven't tried it yet; the imperial palace gardens park in the right front of the Tokyo Station. In spite of its location, there are good amount of nature preserved, and lots of "space" available in …(185 words)

Masa image

Masa

Turning in lost items images

Turning in lost items

If you find a lost item in a train or train station, turn the item in to a station employee or at the lost-and-found / information counter.If you find an item worth any kind of value (monetary or otherwise) on the street, you should take the item to the nearest police station. The officer in c…(216 words)

Andrea Miyata image

Andrea Miyata

Business Hotels images

Business Hotels

Business hotels are much cheaper than regular hotels. They tend to be located near stations, convention centers, and facilties where meetings and events are held. The rooms tend to be much smaller and less "plush" than regular hotels. For example, there may be a refrigerator in the room for your…(133 words)

Andrea Miyata image

Andrea Miyata

Leave the dog images

Leave the dog

The most popular meeting place in Shibuya is, by far, at the Hachiko statue, the famous dog. But not only is the place crowded, but the odor of tobacco is extremely difficult to bear for a non-smoker. The best place near Hachiko is inside the green train car located in the plaza area. However, t…(71 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Taking the bus in Tokyo images

Taking the bus in Tokyo

With so many buses and bus stations, how can anyone get around Tokyo by bus? Although you can get fairly near anywhere by trains, sometimes the bus is the best way to get around. Sometimes a bus takes a much more direct route between two spots. One clue is if you think two places are pretty clos…(142 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Hakone about 1.5 hours from Shinjuku station images

Hakone about 1.5 hours from Shinjuku station

I recommend that you go to Hakone that has been known for hot springs since the beginning of the Edo period. You can also enjoy lots of kinds of Japanese traditional hotels and restaurants.How to get to Hakone?1.5 hours from shinjuku station by train (Odakyu line)Here is the link about Hako…(57 words)

makiko715 image

makiko715

Go to Daiso for low-cost solutions! images

Go to Daiso for low-cost solutions!

The most common and popular 100yen store in Japan is Daiso. They are usually placed close to a train station or in malls and therefore are easily accessible. Although I go to Daiso for stationery goods such as notebooks, binders, folders and erasers, there is so much more available, from food to gl…(100 words)

RieS image

RieS

A store for things you may need on the train images

A store for things you may need on the train

The kiosk is usually a small stall in the middle of the train platform, which sells goods that you may need on a train ride. Common things are drinks, snacks (candy, cookies, gum, etc.), magazines and newspapers. They also sell other small commodities such as masks, tissues and band-aids.(49 words)

RieS image

RieS

Telepathy or just lost in translation? images

Telepathy or just lost in translation?

Any major city in Japan you'll notice how crowed it can get.People don't yell or fuss.When you want to get through the people in the train.You simply put your hand out in front of the person you want to get by and people will know you want to go through.Amazing!!(54 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

What can you tell me about the Yokosuka Line? images

What can you tell me about the Yokosuka Line?

The Yokosuka Line is one of the most widely used train networks for traveling directly south of Tokyo -- it stops at both Yokohama and Kamakura, which are two popular destinations for foreign tourists and Japanese alike. For people living in Tokyo, the Yokosuka line is also very convenient, for it …(61 words)

mark image

mark

Can't make the scene if you don't have the green. images

Can't make the scene if you don't have the green.

The green car is like business class for the bullet train.Personally any seat on the bullet train is fancy enough for me.If you like the feel of VIP I recommend the green car seats.To ride the green for free.If you can collect points if you have a JR credit card every time you buy a Shink…(77 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

Smoking is bad for your health, but if you must do it. images

Smoking is bad for your health, but if you must do it.

There are designated smoking areas near most train stations and over locations where people gather. These can be very congested and a bit dirty.But it is where you should smoke. Here is the link to the Japan Tabaco site and they have a series of posters to promote proper smoking mannersLink…(104 words)

DjMarvin image

DjMarvin

Check out governmental facilities! images

Check out governmental facilities!

There are cooking classes offered at governmental facilities in Tokyo and Yokohama. These governmental facilities are called "chiku center (地区センター) and hold events to train sports clubs to hold cooking lessons. Although the majority of these classes will be in Japanese, it is worth giving a t…(156 words)

RieS image

RieS

Travel Slowly images

Travel Slowly

Shindai Ressha are sleeper trains, which used to be common all over Japan. Now, because most people want to travel quickly and there are so many airports throughout Japan, there are only 6 such trains left. One of the most popular is the JR East train Cassiopeia.Cassiopeia runs from Ueno Stat…(108 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Always check your sound images

Always check your sound

Personally, when I use headphones in a crowded train, I triple check that the sound is not audible outside the headphones. Noise leakage from people's headphones can be a real pain in the morning on a crowded train, and for some reason, people are just oblivious to their own noise (and no one will …(97 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Leaving it alone may be best images

Leaving it alone may be best

Finding a lost item is an intersting situation. It all depends on where you "found" it. Seeing a phone, bag, laptop, or other valuable item placed ina train station with the owner clearly absent does not necessarily constitute a lost item in Japan. Although it may be difficult to leave alone, the …(131 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Mt Takao images

Mt Takao

You may think Tokyo is just a huge city but you can also enjoy nature as well! It takes about an hour by train from Shinjuku station. You find lots of green and some temples on the way to the top of the mountain. Good hiking as a day trip. Best season is Autumn.(54 words)

yukiroryo image

yukiroryo

Surf's up; bring a notebook images

Surf's up; bring a notebook

If you're a surfer, make note of the best breaks you see while riding with a great view of the seaside. Record what stations you found them between and any landmarks you pass along the way.(36 words)

Hudwa image

Hudwa

Stay on the line images

Stay on the line

When in Tokyo, try and stay either on the same train line or at the very least stay on the same train company's lines (Tokyo Metro, Toei, JR, etc.). You will save yourself from the stress of changing trains at crowded stations, and more importantly will be saving money; routes that include transfer…(67 words)

Hudwa image

Hudwa

What can you tell me about the Yokosuka Line? images

What can you tell me about the Yokosuka Line?

If you are planning to go to Yokosuka city from Tokyo or Yokohama, it is not advisable to use the JR Yokosuka Line. Use the Keikyu (Keihin Kyuko line) as it will be cheaper and much faster (about 20 minutes faster).The Yokosuka station for Keikyu is called Yokosuka Chuo 横須賀中央. Be careful …(117 words)

Peter image

Peter

Eating soba noodles- the original Japanese fast food. images

Eating soba noodles- the original Japanese fast food.

There are 3 basic noodle varieties available all year long in Japan: soba, udon or ramen. Also there's a fourth- somen noodles-- thin strands eaten cold with ice in the summer only.Soba are noodles made with buckwheat, slightly healthier than the enriched flour in the other noodles offerings.…(161 words)

slapshot image

slapshot

Suica anywhere everywhere - for transport and shop around cashlessly images

Suica anywhere everywhere - for transport and shop around cashlessly

Get a suica card from any train stations, charged it from the ticket machines. For train ride or to buy anything, in most places, suica is acceptable. Which means, you dont have to carry your cash around, or avoid those unnecessary heavy coins. Minimise time wasted in queue! lesser frustration?!(50 words)

lucaslim image

lucaslim

Hotel New Grand in Yokohama, Yamashita Cho images

Hotel New Grand in Yokohama, Yamashita Cho

You should go to Hotel New Grand. It takes only two minutes from Motomachi-Chukagai Train Station. ( Minatomirai Line, Terminal Station). Or you can walk from Ishikawa Cho Train Station of JA East line. It takes 20 minutes on foot.Why do you have to go? Because you want to have a memorial swe…(189 words)

Suetsumuhana image

Suetsumuhana

HOTEL OKURA TOKYO BOOK STORE images

HOTEL OKURA TOKYO BOOK STORE

There is a nice small book shop in Hotel Okura Tokyo. The nearest train station is Kamiyacho of Hibiya Line Metro. I am sorry they do not have much books for all fields; however, If you would like to know Japan and Japanese culture, they have a lot of beautiful and interesting books. Afete…(74 words)

Suetsumuhana image

Suetsumuhana

Matsumoto Castle images

Matsumoto Castle

Visit Matsumoto Castle in the center on Nagano Prefecture. It`s one of the few original castles left thats is fully constructed from wood. Most of the castles in Major cities are replicas - concrete construction etc Osaka castle even has an elevator inside!Matsumoto is 2 1/2 hours from Tokyo on e…(63 words)

Adstev73 image

Adstev73

The Takarazuka theater is located near Yurakucho station and tickets can be purchased at most convenience stores. images

The Takarazuka theater is located near Yurakucho station and tickets can be purchased at most convenience stores.

Takarazuka is originated in Takarazuka, Hyogo prefecture. You can see shows in Tokyo Takarazuka Theater near Yurakutyo station. It takes five minutes from there.You can buy tickets from online site. However, it does not have English site, so you can simply visit the theater and purchase tickets. …(98 words)

Tsuru image

Tsuru

Multifunction Masks only in Japan images

Multifunction Masks only in Japan

Before coming to Japan, in my hometown Colorado I've never used or seen a mask.After coming to Japan I've seen many people using masks.During the Fall season.It's easy to catch a cold on a over packed train to work.Many use masks to reduce inhaling the breath of the person standing next t…(135 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

Getting a seat on a crowded train & Offering your seat images

Getting a seat on a crowded train & Offering your seat

Generally speaking, Japanese are very oriented on getting a seat on the train, as this is an opportunity to get some much-needed sleep! So, what will more often than not happen is people will generally try to avoid giving up a seat for someone who needs it. Offering a seat although it is done b…(148 words)

Steve image

Steve

Travel Travails & Coupons images

Travel Travails & Coupons

Actually, travel coupons are few are far between in Tokyo. You can see coupons for hotel discounts if you are signed up for Groupon Japan, or Ponpare (like Groupon), but you'll have to be able to read Japanese or use the Google translate function on your browser to get a fair idea of what the coupo…(180 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters