Collected by I-Li Chen
Futtsu, Chiba, 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...
1741ｰ42 Yawatano, Itō, Shizuoka 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...
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...
Japan, 〒381-0401 長野県下高井郡山ノ内町平穏６８４５
I left tropical Southeast Asia for Japan in the dead of winter for one reason - to see snow monkeys. I'd always seen pictures like the one above, of zen macaques in steaming hot springs surrounded by snow, and had no idea how accessible they were...
Kamakura, Kanagawa, 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...
1-chōme-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tōkyō-to 130-0015, Japan
I have found that one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a foreign culture is to attend a local sporting event. My husband & I happened to be in Tokyo during the annual sumo wrestling tournament. So we bought the cheapest tickets that...
4-chōme-4-13 Shibakōen, Minato City, Tōkyō-to 105-0011, Japan
Tokyo Tower may not be exactly the Eiffel Tower, but at night it is pretty damn close! Sitting near the base of this enormous TV tower is an amazing restaurant that offers fine tofu cuisine in a traditional Japanese garden setting and dojo-style...
Yurakucho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0006, Japan
Under the tracks of the Yamanote line train, running from Tokyo to Shinbashi stations, you'll find hidden, unique dining experiences. Down here locals serve everything from specialty Japanese cuisines to unique international tastes—Thai, French,...
3-chōme-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tōkyō-to 160-0022, Japan
I had one free night in Tokyo—only one chance to connect with a Japanese acquaintance from a dive trip on Midway Atoll 10 years earlier. Our mutual friend, Shintaido master Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito, suggested we meet at the Shinjuku rail station and...
2-chōme-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tōkyō-to 163-8001, Japan
View of Tokyo at dusk as seen from the 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-shinjuku. Admission to the observatory is free and well worth it for a fantastic, sweeping view of the Tokyo skyline.
2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, 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...
Narita, Chiba, Japan
What do you do with a nine-hour layover in Japan? Take the train one stop to downtown Narita, and eat your way around town. I was surprised by how lovely this city was, especially for being so close to the airport. The little cobblestone streets...