Collected by Spencer Bellman
32-1 Tanaka Kamiyanagicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8205, Japan
Kyoto's Kamo River and its banks are alive with activity when the weather is nice. Even though there are plenty of bridges with pedestrian access to get from one side to the other, take a more exciting route by hopping across river stones shaped...
2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032, Japan
Both Tokyo's largest and oldest Buddhist temple, Senso-ji is one of the city's must see sights. The streets leading to Senso-ji are filled with souvenir shops where you can find tapestries, kimonos, kitschy key chains, and finger foods....
9 Chome-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0052, Japan
Hashi Choh showcases traditional artisanal Japanese goods. The shop’s dark wood interior and red accents give it a regal ambience, with a central focus on the wall of hashi (chopsticks). The chopsticks range from moderately priced wares perfect...
1 Chome-1-１ Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8558, Japan
“What a strange thing/to be alive/under cherry blossoms,” wrote the 18th-century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa. When the thousands of cherry trees in Japan burst into bloom each spring, it can feel like much of the country is covered in a pink...
Japan, 〒604-0982 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Matsumotochō (Gokomachidōri), 御幸町通夷川上る松本町５７７
The cozy Kaboku Tearoom at the Ippodo Tea Company's main store in Kyoto is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy Japanese green tea served with a confection. Friendly servers show guests how to cool boiling water to the proper temperature for...
1074番地 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1111, Japan
This was a great day trip that allowed us to temporarily leave behind the amazing urban part of Kyoto. We took the train to Kibune (the second to last stop on the Eiden Eizan main line). Then there's about a 20-30m walk uphill, with no shortage of...
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan
Fushimi Inari Taisha on Inariyama mountain is dedicated to the Shinto gods of rice and sake, but Inari is also the god of merchants and that brings a lot of businesspeople to worship here. Everyone else stops by to see the thousands...
2 Chome-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-8588, Japan
Along with the Great Buddha (Kamakura Daibutsu), the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū Shinto shrine attracts hundreds of visitors each day in Kamakura (Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan). The rituals for seeking good fortune are many. These ema—wooden votive...
１７４１ Yawatano, Itō-shi, Shizuoka-ken 413-0232, Japan
THE CRISP COTTON YUKATA ROBErubs gently against my skin as I walk out of the ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, into the brisk evening air. I cross a tiny bridge, a gentle wind tousling the peach trees and swaying the golden lanterns that light...
１０７２ Amatsu, Kamogawa-shi, Chiba-ken 299-5503, Japan
The Torii Arch reaches skyward on a small islet off the Pacific coast of Amatsu-kominato in the Boso Peninsula of Chiba. I came across this after walking around the breakwater of the fishing port located in front of Tanjoji Temple, birthplace of...
Japan, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 二ノ平１１２１
This is the view inside the Symphonic Sculpture by Gabriel Loire at the Hakone Open Air Museum (彫刻の森 in Japanese) in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan. The spectacular grounds,...
2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
From Shinjuku’s bar scene to Roppongi’s polished cigar bars and Shibuya’s all night karaoke, Tokyo nightlife offers something for everyone. Dogenzaka’s Love Hotel Hill is sprinkled with small Love Hotels, Japan’s kitschy themed rent by the hour...
Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Tokyo has a diverse collection of theme parks, large and small, from educational to purely entertaining. Crammed with charm and carnival rides Hanayashiki, Japan’s oldest amusement park, was built in 1853 originally as a public flower garden....
589 Ohara, 大原 いすみ市 千葉県 298-0004, Japan
Don’t get me wrong—I love Tokyo and wouldn’t trade it for any other city in world. But sometimes you’ve just got to get out and decompress by dropping the pace several notches with an overnight stay somewhere beyond the borders of the urban...
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