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Japan, 〒107-6290 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, 9丁目7−6 東京ミッドタウン・ガーデン内
Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake created this experimental design museum, and star Japanese architect Tadao Ando constructed the building. The museum always has great installations by artists such as the industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. —...
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Japan, 〒292-0009 Chiba-ken, Kisarazu-shi, Kanedahigashi, 3 Chome−1−1
I enjoy mountain climbing, especially at Kintoki Mountain in Hakone. When I need gear, I head to Montbell. People who climb, camp, cycle, or fish all rely on equipment from the Japanese outdoor brand. —Kashiwa Sato 1-8-12 Q Plaza, Ebisu,...
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29-3 Sarugakuchō, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0033, Japan
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My wife’s favorite coffee shop in Daikanyama has an open terrace that’s perfect for people-watching. The space was inspired by 18th-century Italian cafés. —Kashiwa Sato 29-3 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, 81/(0) 3-3770-9517. This appeared in the...
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Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama, 7 Chome−13−12 南青山森ビル 2F
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Owner Nobiyuki Nakamura’s whiskey obsession is on display at his scotch bar. He has a full collection of traditional Irish whiskeys and Scottish single malts. The whole place is obsessive, right down to the hand-carved ice cubes that go into the...
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Japan, 〒150-0033 Tokyo, 渋谷区Sarugakucho, 17−5
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A short walk from Daikanyama Station is one of the metropolis's iconic bookstores, Tsutaya at T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the Tsutaya bookstore is celebrated not only for the beauty of its three buildings but also for the...
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Famous musicians come here when they want privacy. Order the fried octopus if it’s available. The mama-san [female manager] used to be a theater actress. —Kashiwa Sato 3-21-14 Kakuhari Biru 1F, Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, 81/(0) 3-5411-2906. This...
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Japan, 〒106-0031 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Nishiazabu, 4 Chome−22, 港区西麻布4丁目22−10 プレステージ西麻布1F
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The chefs put a French twist on classic Japanese-style iron griddle cooking, which makes Ahill a totally unique teppanyaki restaurant. I like that they always give you curry and rice at the end of your meal. —Kashiwa Sato 4-22-10 Nishi-Azabu,...
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Japan, 〒150-0011 Tokyo, 渋谷区Higashi, 3丁目16−10 アリティマ 1F
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I go here when I want a really good burger or steak. They dry-age their meat, and steaks are charcoal grilled. —Kashiwa Sato 3-16-10 J Park, Ebisu Biru, Higashi, Shibuya-ku, 81/(0) 3-5447-0536. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue....
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Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama, 6 Chome−5, 港区南青山6丁目5−1
Just down the street from fashionable Omotesando is the Nezu Museum, with an exquisite Japanese garden. Architect Kengo Kuma's touches include a warm welcome with a bamboo wall at the entrance and rooms with picturesque views of the garden. The...
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28-17 Sarugakuchō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0033, Japan
Imagine a whole flea market crammed into one small space. That’s Hollywood Ranch, where I’ve shopped since college for jeans, T-shirts, and even incense. —Kashiwa Sato 81/(0) 3-3463-5668. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue. Read more...
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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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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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2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
If Manhattan’s famous music club CBGB were reimagined by a Japanese food fiend, the result would be Tatemichiya. The izakaya, or Japanese-style tapas bar, in Tokyo’s Daikanyama neighborhood, is the brainchild of punk-music fanatic Yoshiyuki Okada....
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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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6 Chome-1-23 Yanaka, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0001, Japan
An art gallery in a former public bathhouse, Scai presents rotating exhibits of international and Japanese artists, including Anish Kapoor and Shinko Okuhara. —Marie Doezema Kashiwayu-Ato, 6-1-23 Yanaka, Taito-ku, scaithebathhouse.com/en. This...
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3-7-1-2, 3丁目-7 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist property spreads across the upper floors of the three connecting granite, steel, and glass columns of Shinjuku Park Tower. The 770-foot building rises in a succession of...
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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 3 Chome−5−1
The Tokyo International Forum is a stunning architectural masterpiece of glass and steel truss designed as a multipurpose convention and event space by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. It was completed in 1996 on the site of the former Tokyo...
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Shibuya Station outside of Tokyo makes Times Square in New York look small in comparison. Great Sushi, Sake and People Watching! Take the Narita Express from Narita Airport to Shibuya for a day of great food, drinks and shopping!
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Japan, 〒106-6108 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 6 Chome−11−1
Watching the sunset from Roppongi Hills was my favorite Tokyo experience. We bought tickets to the Mori Art Museum, which included entrance to the observation deck on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower. We payed 1500 yen ($17) for the museum and...
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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Becoming a maiko - young apprentice geisha - is one part elegance and three parts hard labor. Available in many studios sprinkled throughout Kyoto, this rich experience lets you live the life of a maiko, if only for one ethereal night. Your visit...
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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Lovely ladies in kimonos brave the rain in Kyoto. This was taken in front of Chion-in Temple near Gion earlier this week. Even in the pouring rain the Sakura, which are in full bloom, were lovely to behold and holding up nicely.
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In back-to-front Japanese books and especially magazines, the placement of text on the page, and the way it’s connected with visual images, resets the entire graphic structure. This produces a slight disorientation (at least to my Western eyes),...
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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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Mount Nokogiri, Kanaya, Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture 299-1861, Japan
Trademark notch at the top of Nokogiriyama ("Saw Mountain") near Futtsu in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The mountain features a distinctive sawtoothed profile of a Japanese saw, due in part to the mountain's history as a stone quarry during the Edo...
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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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Narita, Chiba Prefecture, 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...
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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, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1
The Tsukiji Market is the world's largest seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. There are two parts to the operation: the inner market, or jonai, accessible after 10 a.m., and the outer market, or jogai,...
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Japan, 〒111-0031 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Senzoku, 3 Chome−20−2 吉原神社
My wife and I were in Japan for her first visit, and we had resolved to stay in Japanese-style ryokans instead of Western-style hotels to save money as well as for the new experiences. Needless to say, before GPS, this resolution made it...
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9 Chome-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0052, Japan
Here I captured reflections of surrounding buildings off of a plate-glass ceiling of the basement of the Tokyo Midtown shopping and office complex in Roppongi, Tokyo. At 6.1 million square feet, the complex was completed in March 2007. It includes...
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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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Japan, 〒105-0012 Tokyo, 港区Shibadaimon, 2 Chome−1−1
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Craving a bowl of killer ramen but put off by the prospect of waiting in line for hours to do so? Well, look no further than Fukki, a brilliant noodle shop in between Shiba Park and Hamamatsucho Station specializing in Hakata-style tonkotsu (pig...
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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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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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The “Contemporary Art of Japan” tour with Artisans of Leisure takes visitors to six centers of modern Japanese art and architecture. The trip includes a personal guide, who arranges meetings with curators and gallery owners, and with...
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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...
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Japan, 〒922-0242 Ishikawa-ken, Kaga-shiYamashiroonsen, 55, 55 1 3 YAMASHIRO ONSEN
The public areas of this beautiful ryokan [inn] are modern, but many of the rooms are purely traditional, with nature right outside the window. It’s very peaceful. And the people who run it are so nice. They kept insisting we use their Wi-Fi. ...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
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A 60-year-old tree shows off its beauty.
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4 Chome-13 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
When I stumbled upon a pristine vintage Airstream trailer in a tiny lot in one of Tokyo's most expensive neighborhoods, I had no idea what would be inside. I was amazed to find a gem of a café, ironically called Uchu (Space) Café. With no more...
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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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1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tōkyō-to 181-0013, Japan
A great trip with the kids or adult fans of Miyazaki's films. We bought tickets at our local JTB office in NYC as it's necessary to reserve in advance. Only a 40 minute train ride from Shinjuku, the museum is located in Inokashira Park which is...
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Japan, 〒299-2100 千葉県Awa-gun, Kyonan-machi, Motona, 安房郡鋸南町鋸山
After riding the ropeway cable car up the mountain from the fishing port of Kanaya, and taking in the view of Tokyo Bay, a short hike up the forested mountainside leads to this five-story Kannon (aka Avalokitesvara and Guanyin) carved into the...
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Japan, 〒247-0247 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Yamanouchi, 409
This is a stone statue of Buddha (jizou in Japanese) positioned in front of a withered tree on the grounds of Engakuji Temple in Kita-kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The large temple complex comprises 18 temples and was founded in 1282 by a...
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Japan, 〒511-1135 Mie Prefecture, Kuwana, 長島町浦安368
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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Japan, 〒107-0052 Tokyo, 港区赤坂6丁目10−12
Entering Hikawa shrine requires a purification ritual that begins with washing your hands, right then left, and rinsing your mouth (with your left hand). Next is the burning fire with smoke to waft over your head to burn off impurities and perhaps...
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Japan, 〒601-1111 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Sakyō-ku, Kuramahonmachi, 1074番地
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...
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Japan, 〒604-8006 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Shimomaruyacho (Kawaramachidori)
9 hours was one of the coolest capsule hotels I have seen. My Japanese friend recommended it to me while I was in Kyoto and it was awesome. Felt a little space-agey but I had so much room to move and didn't feel claustrophobic one bit. Saw a...
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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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The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel (首都圏外郭放水路), also known as the G-Cans Project, is an underground water infrastructure project in Kasukabe, Saitama. It is the world's largest underground floodwater diversion facility, built...
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Zoshicho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8211, Japan
Deer roam the park freely!! It totally took me by surprise, but the park is one of many beautiful examples of how humankind can co-exist peacefully and gently with nature. Central park in Nara across from the Todai-ji temple. There was also an...
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Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Mossy landscapes and ancient, indigenous cedar trees make for fairytale hiking heaven here, and moisture is plentiful at this elevation – Yakushima is the highest mountain in southern Japan. The exquisite scenery of this island, its mountains and...
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Naoshima, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture 761-3110, Japan
Nao-shima is a small island in Shikoku, Japan, that is most easily reached by ferry from Takamatsu, the capital of the region, which is famous for its Udon noodles (rightfully so by the way). Nao-shima was part of a huge re-beautification project...
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Japan, 〒248-0006 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, 小町Komachi, 1 Chome−1
I toured this 500-year-old temple in Kamakura with my oldest son in 2012. A very humbling and spiritual visit!
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Yoshino District, Nara Prefecture, Japan
My friends and I roamed the streets of Osaka until we found just the right place to try one of the city's best-known food specialties, okonomiyaki. Delicious!
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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,...
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Japan, Tokyo, Chiyoda, Marunouchi, 1 Chome
Japan has some of the fastest, most reliable trains in the world. One measure of how much locals appreciate them is the glee in kids' faces when a Shinkansen glides past their commuter train. Or they line up in front of the sloped nose of a parked...
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625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0073, Japan
I have been getting a burst of energy every night around 10 here in Kyoto and decided it would be a great opportunity to tour a different shrine and photograph it in the dark. Here is an image I took on my way out from Yasaka Shrine last night....
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Tokyo, Japan
Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita. All across Japan you'll find machines selling all sorts of items—coffee in cans (hot or cold), sushi, umbrellas, alcohol, pornography, trinkets, noodles, books, eggs, and so much more....
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2495-3 大字荻町 Shirakawa-mura, Ōno-gun, Gifu-ken 501-5627, Japan
Shirakawago is a historic mountain village located in the Gifu prefecture of central Japan. The village is well-known for its thatched-roof houses and traditional mountain lifestyle. Stay in one of the many traditional Japanese guesthouses...
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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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Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 601-1111, Japan
At Kurama, there are two "power spots". Stand on one of them and if your mind is clear enough, you can receive the power of the universe.
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Japan, 〒604-0846 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Kinpukichō, 京都市中京区 烏丸通御池上ル (元龍池小学校)
What is Manga? I asked myself that same question. I saw a flood of Japanese teenagers outside this museum dressed up as these crazy anime characters. They were outside the Kyoto International Manga Museum. It's three floors of lined wall to wall...
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Japan, 〒602-8381 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, 上京区今出川通七本松西入真盛町726-40
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Takoyaki is a traditional Japanese street food particularly popular in Osaka and Kyoto. These little dough balls are filled with octopus and pan fried, then topped with a special sauce, bonito flakes, and seaweed. They’re the perfect snack with a...
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Japan, 〒605-0074 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Gionmachi Minamigawa, 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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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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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
I’ve always considered the life of a Geisha as a fascinating existence. Shrouded in mystery to the majority of outsiders, the ancient profession is an art form that many say is impossible to master. When I was lucky enough to travel in Japan I...
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Japan, 〒103-0023 Tokyo, Chūō, 日本橋本町4-1-3
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Belly up to the bar at Tenmo, the 107-year-old new kid on the block. Chef Shusuke Okuda will tell the story of tempura—introduced by portuguese seafarers in the 16th century—as he batters local specialties, including prawns and persimmon leaves. ...
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1 Chome-9 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
This shop on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a set of ramen shops in the basement of Tokyo Station, is one of the best in the stretch, and the short lines outside make it a great stop before you catch a train. Shichisai serves a clean delicious shoyu, or...