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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−1−9−1 東京駅一番街 東京ラーメンストリート内 B1
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Rokurinsha’s original shop was in the suburbs of Tokyo, a considerable hike from the nearest train station, and still patrons waited for over three hours for a bowl of soup. Neighbors complained, and when the store was given a chance to open up on...
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Japan, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 箱根町二ノ平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,...
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Emukai, Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture 758-0041, Japan
Artisans of Leisure’s privately guided, 17-day ceramics tour visits potters in 11 towns, including Imbe (known for its rustic Bizen-yaki ceramics) and Hagi (famous for its glazed tea accesories). Hands-on, clay-to-fire sessions can be arranged on...
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Miniloc Island, Bayan ng El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines
Imagine hundreds of tiny islands, coral reefs, limestone cliffs, turquoise water, white sand beaches, and hidden lagoons. Basically imagine a tropical paradise and you have the Bacuit Archipelago surrounding El Nido on the island of Palawan in the...
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Japan, 〒605-0825 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Shimokawarachō, 下河原通八坂鳥居前下る下河原町477
Kyoto is known for its ryokans, or traditional Japanese inns. Ryokans are definitely a splurge, but the more you spend, the more you get. We splurged for one night at Tamahan in Kyoto, and it was more than worth it. Upon arrival at the ryokan, you...
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Japan, 〒604-0902 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Hokodenchō, 543
One of the most enchanting things about Kyoto is the way the seasons change. From a sea of cherry blossoms in the spring to a riot of color in the fall, the trees of Kyoto make for an especially magical, romantic setting. Stroll along the...
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Japan, 〒603-8361 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Kita-ku, Kinkakujichō, 1
Built in the 14th century as a villa for a powerful shogun, Kinkaku-ji temple, commonly referred to as the Golden Pavilion, is an easy bus ride from the main bus terminal in Kyoto. The temple is one of the most popular buildings in...
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Japan, 〒605-0071 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Maruyamacho
Nature is embedded in every aspect of Japanese culture, and holidays often have flower or plant symbols. Children's Day (Kodomo no Hi) on May 5 has many symbols, the most obvious being the koinobori carp flags that families fly outside their...
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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...

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Japan, 〒616-0007 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Ukyō-ku, Arashiyama Genrokuzancho
The Arashiyama Bamboo Groves was a location at the top of my bucket list as a photographer. Arashiyama is a big park area that sits on the outskirts of Kyoto. To be honest, the bamboo garden has only a couple of halls and though I was astonished...
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Tetsugaku-no-michi, Jōdoji Ishibashichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8406, Japan
When we arrived in Kyoto in mid-April, most of the cherry blossoms were no longer coloring the trees but sprinkled on the ground. We got lucky, though, spotting a few along the Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no michi) still afluff with pink...
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Japan, 〒605-0074 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Gionmachi Minamigawa, 京都市東山区祇園町南側570‐2
It’s rare to spot a real geisha, even in Kyoto. Walk around the Gion district at dusk, and you may be lucky enough to see one walking briskly to her appointment for the night, but to stop her for a photo would be uncouth. We lucked out, arriving...
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Japan, 〒605-0862 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Kiyomizu 1-chōme, 294

Kiyomizu-dera on Mount Otowa is one of the most famous temples in Japan, a place that appears in every sequence of Japanese travel photos. The landscape is all cherry trees and forest; it is among Kyoto's loveliest spots. The current structure...

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Japan, 〒604-0902 JP-26Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Hokodenchō, Nakagyo-ku Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori Kyoto
Known for the beautiful temples and shrines concentrated in and around it, Kyoto is also a really great place to explore on foot at night. Especially the area close to the Takase River, which runs parallel for several blocks with Kiyamachi-dori...
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375 Hanaseharachichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1102, Japan
Owner Hisato Nakahigashi combs the forests surrounding his ryokan each morning for the fresh herbs found in his tsumigusa (foraged) cuisine. Watch him prepare carp sashimi and salt-baked bamboo on a rectangular chestnut counter that surrounds...