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Nanzenji Shimokawaracho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8434, Japan
Just when I thought I had seen enough shrines I stumbled across the Higashitenno-Okazaki Shrine in Kyoto, not far from the much larger famous Heian Shrine. This smaller shrine was completely empty and I was able to roam around in solitude and...
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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
Nishiki is Kyoto's main food market and it is a delight for foodies. I spent a week in Kyoto and visited every day (sometimes more than once)! Inside the market is a temple, and before refrigeration, the temple was the source of cold water....
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The Mandarin Oriental’s new Gourmet Shop is a gallery for international pastry (babka, yuzu macarons). Better yet: chef René Redzepi of Noma—named the world’s best restaurant (again)—will host a pop-up dinner series in the hotel this January. Read...
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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, 千代田区Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−1 JR東日本東京駅 B1
When you set off on a Shinkansen journey, your seat is assigned, your destination awaits and Japan's beautiful countryside flies by out the window for you to enjoy. That leaves two big decisions for you to make beforehand: your bento and your...
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Japan, 〒105-0021 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, 港区Higashishinbashi, 1 Chome−9−2
It was a magical surprise to come upon the NI-TELE Really BIG Clock at the Nippon Television Tower. This huge mechanical clock designed by Hayao Miyazaki (creator of many anime classics) plays musical, animated shows five times daily. It's so...
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Japan, 〒105-0013 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Hamamatsuchō, 2丁目13−12 ライズウェルビル 1F
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While the craft beer revolution was busy sweeping the US, Japan was getting left behind, content with admittedly tasty but decidedly stodgy national brew brands like Asahi and Kirin. Thanks to strict tax laws prohibiting brewers from producing...
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1 Chome-2-11 Ryūsen, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0012, Japan
Located in the residential district known as Hakusan, this restaurant serves vegetarian food of the Zen Buddhist Monks dating back over 300 years. Those monks really ate well! A traditional Japanese room of tatami mats and sliding doors was set...
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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...