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Japan 2014

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1 Chome-1-1 Tenjin, Chūō-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0001, Japan
I had always heard good things about Fukuoka, Japan even though it gets far less hype than Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. It is actually Japan's 7th largest city surpassing Kyoto, and it is the largest city on the island of Kyushu. There are few cities...
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Watanabe Dori, Watanabedōri, Chūō-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0004, Japan
This is one of the temple in Fukuoka in Japan. When I visited this city, all sakura were blooming. That scenary took my breath away.
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Japan, 〒556-0011 Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Naniwa-ku, Nanbanaka, 2 Chome−10, 難波中 2 10 70 なんばパークス 6F
Namba Parks is a sprawling shopping mall and office complex designed by American Jon Jerde. It's a unique design that feels less claustrophobic and contained than most ordinary shopping malls. You can see the garden spaces that jut our of the...
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Yoshi-Sushi is located in Osaka's Tsuruhashi neighborhood, adjacent to the wholesale fish market. It opens for business at 6am and caters mostly to fish buyers and sellers, who eat here before, during, or after work. Unlike Tokyo's Tsukiji, there...
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Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0076, Japan
A must go for foodie - the delicious Jiyuken Curry in Osaka. They even made rice crackers out of Jiyuken Curry flavor! Words can't describe the flavor... See all of our ideas for where to go in 2015.
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Japan, 〒556-0002 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa Ward, 惠美須東3-5-3
Kushikatsu, deep-fried skewers, are an Osaka specialty. The dipping sauce is communal and so the need arises for signs that can convey the most essential kushikatsu commandmant: No Double Dipping.
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Japan, 〒542-0081 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Minamisenba, 2丁目 長堀地下街2-8
Indian Curry offers only one dish--Japanese style beef curry, which comes very hot by Japanese standards. There are two sizes and one optional add-on: a raw egg to be mixed into the hot curry. It's a tiny counter-service place that's both cheap...
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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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Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
In western Kyoto, there is a very large forest of bamboo. As you can see in the photo, the shoots grow very tall, making those who stroll by look quite small. I'm sure there are times when this road is crowded, but when we were there, people were...
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1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8361, Japan
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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294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0862, Japan
This is one of my favorite places in Japan, and in the world. It is one of the most beautiful temples. It's very nice to come here when it's not crowded. I often try to come here during the rain, as odd as that sounds (that's when it is least...
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Japan, 〒604-8054 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Higashiuoyachō, 富小路通四条上る西大文字町609番地
What's not to love in a covered arcade, jam-packed with stalls selling pickle, roast fish, toasty rice crackers, fresh fish, grilled meat, every fruit and vegetable, roasted chestnuts, freshly grilled mochi, sashimi on a stick, kushikatsu, green...
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294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0862, Japan

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, 〒616-8384 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Ukyō-ku, 嵯峨天竜寺車道町 11番地1
Please, I beg of you! Try the Matcha Ice Cream (and the Chestnut Ice Cream)! Oishi!
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Japan, 〒604-0923 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Kamikorikichō, 木屋町通御池上る
The nested jubacko boxes were unfolded and opened like Russian matryoska dolls on the granite countertop: sushi grade sashimi and tamago, steamed vegetables in all shades of nature’s color-wheel, crispy ethereal tempura vegetables, miso soup: this...
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Japan, Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 三条大橋東詰
In Japan, the food is served so beautifully, you even see the Japanese taking photos of the food. For more Japanese food info go to Japanese food http://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/
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Katsuramisono, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 615-8014, Japan
Bamboo groves emanate the soothing whisper of wind, a refreshing scent and the song of a bird-chorus . . .
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Japan, 〒604-8054 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Higashiuoyachō, 富小路通四条上る西大文字町609番地
I’m starting to believe in the weight loss properties of matcha. Something about how it triggers thermogenesis; perhaps it’s the restorative antioxidants. It’s the only way I can explain how I was able to eat my daily half of a FU Baum, a matcha...
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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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Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881, Japan
On a small side street, near the Palace Side Hotel, a small traditional house hides a gastronomical gem - sukiyaki! Shuck your shoes, step up onto the tatami map, sit on a cushion around a low, circular table and point to the sukiyaki of your...
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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...
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5 Chome-2 Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Fresh anago eel battered and deep-fried until crispy. The tempura anago is then dipped into a savory soy broth and placed over a steaming bowl of rice. Tenfusa Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #6
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Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
It didn't seem to bode well that nearly a dozen buses were idling in the huge parking lot outside the giant modern building that overlooks Tokyo Bay from Kanaya Harbor. But the "tourists" that piled out of the buses were all Japanese, most from...
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2 Chome-29-1 Dōgenzaka, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0043, Japan
It was a hot day in Tokyo and what better thing to enjoy than a nice ice cream cone? I saw these giant (I think plastic) ice cream cones that looked very life like and tempting. So I said to myself, "Mike, why don't you get one of those delicious...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

I knew I was going to have great noodles in Japan, but these were amazing! I couldn't believe just how much better the noodles I had at a completely random restaurant in a mall were.

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7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-8558, Japan
The glass waves on the exterior of The National Art Center of Tokyo are a hint of the towering, clean glass and concrete interior architecture. The museum has a welcoming interior filled with natural light, lounge chairs, and cafes. The building...
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2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
The colorful Asakusa district is a laid-back, fun, colorful neighborhood where you can buy crappy kitsch and kitschy crap (there are a lot of kitchenware shops, for some reason). Asakusa is also home to Tokyo's most well-known temples and 45...
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One of the highlights of visiting Japan was seeing Mt. Fuji on a road trip from Tokyo.
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Japan, 〒110-0005 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Ueno, 4 Chome−7−8 アメ横センタービル3F
Here is tako (octopus) for sale at one of the many merchant stalls dotting the Ame-yoko shopping street in Ueno, Tokyo. Ameyoko (アメ横) is a busy market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations. The name "Ameyoko"...
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Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, 東京都 渋谷区宇田川町4−3
Noticeable by a bright yellow sign with a pig eating Ramen, Hakata Tenjin offers the best affordable Ramen in Shibuya. Perfect for the day after a late night out in one of the many bars in Shibuya. Address: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 1-5-4
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104-0061, Japan
The Ginza district is home to Tokyo's oldest and most prestigious shopping department stores and high-high end luxury retailers. Chuo-Dori, the main artery in the tony shopping district of Ginza, is worth a walk-down if you're drawn to streets...
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Japan, 〒160-0004 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, 新宿区Yotsuya, 1 Chome−1−11 陽臨堂ビル 1F
When I took my beautiful wife to Tokyo to celebrate her birthday in March, because we only had three days in town we had to very carefully curate our dining choices. While we did visit an old favourite, most of the restaurants we visited were new...
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Japan, 〒321-1662 Tochigi-ken, Nikkō-shi, Yumoto, 2549−5 栃木県日光市
These little wooden structures house pumps that send piping-hot water from sulphur hot springs to the many inns and B&Bs dotting the area around Oku-nikko, a picturesque resort town located in the mountains of Nikko. It's a fantastic overnight...
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Lake Chūzenji, Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
The Chuzenji Temple in Oku-nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was originally founded in 784 by a Buddhist monk known as Shodo-shonin and is located on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, which is approximately 1,300 meters above sea level. In the middle of the...
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1458 Iwanouecho, Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture 859-5121, Japan
Perched above Hirado Bay, the five-story Hirado Castle is surrounded on three sides by water. Once occupied by the Matsura Samurai clan, the castle’s exhibits showcase items from Japan’s feudal period including, documents, drawings, armor, and...
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Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan
When traveling in Japan I like to stay in ryokans, a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period. Breakfast and dinner are usually included in the ryokan price so even though it may seem expensive it actually is a deal. You...
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Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Less than an hour south of Tokyo, Kamakura is a popular coastal town and home to the Great Buddha. This bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple, has a height of 13.35 meters. It is the second tallest bronze...
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Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Ten United States military bases dominate the real estate on this historic island in the East China Sea. Although best known for its strategic location beginning in World War II, Okinawa is very rich with cultural reasons to visit this fascinating...
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Nakijin, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Once used to house and protect the King and his family, Nakijin Castle still stands firm against typhoon alley and is a frequently visited UNESCO World Heritage site. In the spring, many people flock to see its magnificent cherry blossom trees.
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Japan, 〒900-0014 Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Matsuo, 2 Chome−5−1 2F
Japanese generally don't like very spicy food, except for the Okinawans. Koregusu is the hot sauce of this island chain, made with vinegar and very hot peppers, and poured on top of everything from stewed pork to Okinawan soba noodles.
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Japan, 〒901-0225 Okinawa Prefecture, Tomigusuku, 豊崎5−1
if you go on a weekday when the beach first opens to the public in the spring, the parking lots are empty, the volleyball nets are occupied by uniformed middle-school students, and there are only a few residents and tourists scattered about. it's...
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424 Ishikawa, Motobu-chō, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 905-0206, Japan
Okinawa Aquarium contains the largest fish tank in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. For more info go things I Have Learned in Okinawa and Hiroshima http://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com
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368 Nagashimacho Urayasu, Kuwana, Mie Prefecture 511-1135, Japan
It's a wonderful amusement park south of Nagoya, Japan with ten dollar coasters, a water park and an outlet mall. The Steel Dragon 2000 is the longest coaster in the world.
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Kitaishizaka Hirojicho, Showa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 466-0834, Japan
We decided to explore Yagoto, a neighborhood in Nagoya we'd yet to experience. We wandered through some unassuming gates and we were completely surprised to see Koshoji Temple. It's hidden in the middle of the city. It has a five story pagoda (our...
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1-1 Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken 460-0031, Japan
Taken from the north side of Nagoya Castle. The castle was sadly destroyed during WW2 bombing but the replica sits on the original foundations. Only a 15 minute walk from the shopping area of Sakae.