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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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2 Chome Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Ishi no Hana in Shibuya is one of the most progressive bars in the city. The mixologist, Shinobu Ishigaki, creates forward-thinking, modern concoctions from rare seasonal ingredients such as saffron syrup and lavender brought over from Hokkaido. —...
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4 Chome-313-番地 Hanasatomachi, Takayama-shi, Gifu-ken 506-0026, Japan
The Fujii Art Gallery is but one magnificent example of the stunning beauty in the Old Town district of Takayama. Some of the buildings and dwellings date back to the Edo Period, and seem to evoke a timeless intimacy... almost as if the entire...
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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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Setouchi, Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Les Archives du Coeur is a collection of recorded heartbeats housed in a small building on Teshima island in Japan’s Inland Sea. I got there by a 10 minute walk, through woods, past crumbling old houses, faded shop signs, moored fishing boats, and...
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1 Ujitachichō, Ise-shi, Mie-ken 516-0023, Japan
A visit to the Ise Grand Shrine begins in the nearby old town of Ise where for centuries pilgrims have come to pay respect to one of Japan's most holy Shinto shrines. You can purchase small gifts of offering in the quaint shops and enjoy a...
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Japan, 〒401-0511 山梨県南都留郡忍野村忍草
About a 10-minute drive from the shores of Lake Yamanaka lies a cluster of eight deepwater pools designated as a National Treasure by the Japanese government and known as Oshino-hakkai. Filled with meltwater from the snow capping Mt. Fuji for most...
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1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
Even in the middle of winter, the Imperial Palace Gardens are well worth a stroll. There are plants from all the prefectures of Japan, and the bamboo is lush year-round. The palace is about a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station, and it's a...
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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...
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Japan, 〒444-0022 Aichi-ken, Okazaki-shi, Asahichō, 3 Chome−1 岡崎市役所東庁舎2F
It's officially springtime in Japan and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Okazaki Castle was a quintessential spot for viewing the blossoms against traditional Japanese architecture and gardens. The Castle was originally built in the late...
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1-2 Nakajimachō, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0811, Japan
A super talented barista in Caffe Ponte near Hiroshima Peace Park inscribed a message of peace and love on my morning latte. For the last 67 years the city of Hiroshima has devoted itself to the causes of peace and nuclear non-proliferation.
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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, 〒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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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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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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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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80-1 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 250-0522, Japan
Just a stone’s throw from Lake Ashi at the foot of Mt. Fuji lies Hakone Jinja, a wonderfully old Shinto shrine nestled among the forests that dot the surrounding hinterlands. The tree-lined approach by foot through the red torii gate lends a...
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Japan, 〒384-2307 Nagano-ken, Kitasaku-gun, Tateshina-machi, Yamabe, 長野県北佐久郡立科町大字山部279
fresh spring water and bamboo ladles to wash your hands & face before entering the Buddhist temple at the top of this hill
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Nagawa, Chiisagata District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Japan brings to life the beauty and simplicity of order. This rock garden was one example of thoughtfulness in aesthetic. While traveling this lovely country, keep your eye out for deliberate design in unexpected places, and a deep respect and...
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Nagawa, Chiisagata District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
In a rural rice farm, these guys showed us a good time with this slip-n-slide for noodles. With fresh, cold water from a local stream, we grabbed at the slippery noodles floating on the bamboo slide and dunked them in cups of delicious soy and...
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Nagawa, Chiisagata District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Staying with monks & nuns at a mountaintop Buddhist Shala, we copied some of the chants and sutras onto rice paper. This was the lefty table!
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Koyasan, Kōya, Ito District, Wakayama Prefecture 648-0211, Japan
Garden in the center of the Buddhist Shala where we stayed with monks and nuns. The garden was pristine and carefully maintained with the gentle love of these gentle souls. Buddhism in Japan is a fascinating study. The thoughtful and respectful...
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10-3 Miyajimachō, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken 739-0588, Japan
Absolutely breathtaking at night - the entrance gates are lit up in orange and red, and visitors to the island can walk out into the ocean when tide goes down. At high-tide, we'd be up to our necks in the pacific ocean! It's a short ferry ride to...
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45-26 宇治東内 Uji, Kyoto Prefecture 611-0021, Japan
A beautiful museum that recounts the Tale of Genji through ancient sculpture, painting, and poetry.
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Japan, 〒900-0034 沖縄県那覇市Higashimachi, 4, 東町4−6 東壱番館B1
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Okinawan folk music is called Ryukyu minyo. The archipelago’s top minyo joint, Shimaumui, is owned by the islands’ most famous traditional singer, Misako Oshiro, who regales mostly elderly patrons in her basement bar. Her music often features...
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Japan, 〒900-0004 Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Mekaru, 2 Chome−4−35
Awamori—liquor fermented from long-grain Thai rice rather than the short-grain rice used in Japanese shochu—is the firewater of Okinawa. Salon de Awamori, a bar perched on a sleek wooden rooftop, features hundreds of bottles, including Sennen no...
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6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Kapital is a really cool clothing chain known for its denim. They have two shops in Roppongi Hills—Kapital Duffle and Kapital Legs. I always pick up tabi, these handmade split-toe socks. They are split between the big toe and other toes and are...
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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
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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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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...
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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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Akihabara, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0006, Japan
Through a maze of off-street spaces and narrow steps, this is where you can find special nerdy places that offer a variety of electronic gadgets, games and anime figures, among many other things. This is where Japanese pop culture lives and...
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1 Narita, Chiba Prefecture 286-0023, Japan
Having never traveled to Japan or Asia in general, I found Narita to be a good introduction to the country's unique culture. We arrived around nine in the morning and the temple grounds were not yet crowded with tourists. After visiting the...
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2丁目-24-3 Torocho, Kita, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture 331-0804, Japan
Until actually visiting the The Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama (a neighboring town to Tokyo), I didn't realize how much hard work goes into creating the varying designs. Different materials and techniques are used to achieve a certain look and this...
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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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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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4 Chome-4-13 Shibakōen, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0011, Japan
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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...
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1 Chome-9-1 Higashishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-7337, Japan
This was my experience staying at a Conrad hotel and I can honestly say that it was amazing. The location is very convenient for tourists and it's within walking distance of the fish market and even Ginza depending on your stamina. My room was...
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Not too far from the Bonsai Museum is the Railroad Museum. Located in Saitama, the museum naturally attracts both historians and children and it's a quick trip from central Tokyo. While I'm neither of those demographics, I genuinely enjoyed my...
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2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Touring Tokyo via Rickshaw is something I never thought I would do. For whatever reason it always seemed wrong to have a man standing where a horse would be in other cultures. But then again, every country is different and I soon learned that this...
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14 Chidori, Urayasu-shi, Chiba-ken 279-0032, Japan
Having just experienced my first helicopter ride in Maui a few months ago, I was thrilled to get a bird's eye view of Tokyo. Excel Helicopter Cruising offers both day and evening rides and while I would have preferred an evening outing, I found...
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Japan, 〒602-8216 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Kamigyō-ku, Tatemonzenchō, 堀川通今出川南入西側
In the heart of the Nishijin textile district, the colorful textile center is worth taking a peek before continuing your stroll around beautiful Kyoto. Located in a modern building in Imadegawa, they offer tons of displays of completed fabrics and...
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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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Most people, including myself, hear the word Gion and immediately think of Memoirs of a Geisha. While Gion is definitely known for the elusive Geiko's and Maiko's that roam the streets after dark, there is a lot more to this neighborhood that...
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Japan, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 二ノ平1121
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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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Ohara, Isumi, Chiba Prefecture 298-0004, Japan
Ohara is a small town known for its fishing port (in fact, roughly 60 percent of all of the ise-ebi, or Japanese spiny lobster, caught in Japan comes from Ohara Port). It is about a 1 1/2 hour train ride from Tokyo Station on the Wakashio express....
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Japan, 〒247-0062 神奈川県鎌倉市山ノ内189
A circular doorway leading into Meigetsu-in temple in Kita-kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, is part of a temple founded in 1383 and belonging to the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. On the grounds there is a gorgeous Japanese rock garden with lines and...
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Higashiyama, Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture 412-0024, Japan
This Golden Buddha statue sits inside the main structure of Nipponzan-Myōhōji temple on the grounds of Gotenba Peace Park in Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture. Mt. Fuji is visible in the background. The Peace Park is an interesting blend of different...
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1 Chome-12-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 130-0015, Japan
A stone lantern and stepping stones on the grounds of Kyu-yasuda Teien (former Yasuda Gardens) in Ryogoku, Tokyo. This is a small Japanese garden located behind the Kokugikan (sumo hall) in Ryogoku that was once owned by Zenjiro Yasuda, founder of...
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77300 Fontainebleau, France
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries. The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square...
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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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Japan, 〒163-8001 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishishinjuku, 2 Chome−8−1
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.
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Japan, 〒130-0015 Tōkyō-to, Sumida-ku, Yokoami, 1 Chome−3, 横網1丁目3番28号
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 were...
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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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The Japanese have a proverb: "He who climbs Mount Fuji once is a wise man, he who climbs it twice is a fool." And after doing so I understand why; and it's something you must do in your life. Standing on the top of Mt. Fuji makes you realize how...
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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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1 Chome-8-20 Ōmachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-0007, Japan
During a visit to Kamakura (about 50 km south of Tokyo, about an hour by rail), we spent an hour or so at the Miyamoto Kimono Shop (1-8-20 O-machi, Kamakura City). In one of the back rooms, this young man was being taught chado ("the way of tea")....
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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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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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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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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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Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
No, those two scoops aren't vanilla ice cream. They're butter. This fish lying on a bed of vegetables was served on a sizzling hot plate. It was topped with two scoops of butter. What you had to do was spread the butter over the fish and then stir...
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Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
During our visit to Kamakura City in Kanagawa Prefecture, we stopped in at the Miyamoto Kimono Shop (1-8-20 O-machi). Before we were treated to chado ("the way of tea" or tea ceremony), we watched as Karen Iwade, the reigning Miss Kamakura, was...
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Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
“Nature” may not be a word generally associated with Tokyo, but the Kanto Plain on which the city sits abounds with forests, rivers, and mountains. In many cases, though, you may only find one or two out of the three available in any one location,...
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Japan, 〒730-0811 Hiroshima-ken, Hiroshima-shi, Naka-ku, Nakajimachō, 1, 広島市中区中島町1丁目1
Though it is hard not to view the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum without a heavy heart, the signs of peace everywhere, from the kind docents at the museum to the prominently displayed paper cranes, bring an incredible sense of hope and...
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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, 京都市 東山区祇園町南側529
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We walked through the narrow alleyways of Gion looking for a place to rest our feet during the pre-dinner hours, after visiting Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), then walking the sakura-lined Philosopher’s Path. We...
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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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If you’re looking for some good ramen in Kyoto, head to Hakata Nagahama Ramen Miyoshi in Kawaramachi (Kyoto). Hakata ramen is a specific style of Kyushu ramen (Hakata being a ward in Kyushu), with a rich and creamy pork broth and firm, straight...
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52 Tokiwagicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-0915, Japan
What a treat! Knowledgeable staff, tea-tasting samples, plenty of time, earthenware urns, peaceful atmosphere and some of the best tea in Japan!
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3 Chome-3-21 Ikenohata, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0008, Japan
At the Suigetsu Hotel Ohgaisou—located on the site of Meiji-era novelist Mori Ogai’s home—details include Japanese-style rooms with tatami floors, cypress and marble tubs, and a gardenrestaurant. —Marie Doezema This appeared in the...
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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Given its location right next to Nishiki Market, it's no wonder this historic ryokan is famous for its food. The kaiseki dinners here include a parade of perfectly crafted dishes, marked by local, seasonal ingredients and an obsessive attention to...
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Mount Nokogiri, Kanaya, Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture 299-1861, Japan
Just below the peak viewing area atop the mountain, Japanese hikers break for lunch in shadows cast by bare trees in midwinter. Nokogiri-yama is one of many places worth exploring in Chiba Prefecture on the Kanto Plain outside Tokyo. We didn't see...
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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, 東京都新宿区新宿3丁目
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...
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Nanba, Chuo, 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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4 Chome-6 Shirokanedai, Minato, Tokyo 108-0071, Japan
For the best yakitori I go to Toritama in Ebisu. They specialize in rarely served, unique parts of the chicken. There’s one dish in particular, a premature egg that’s still connected to ovaries, which they grill. —David Myers This appeared in the...
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1 Chome-3-18 Chūōchō, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 152-0001, Japan
I stay at the Claska in the Meguro neighborhood or the tokyo-park/index.jsp?null"Park Hyatt Tokyo. The Claska is a cool boutique hotel, which is rare in Toyko. I get a kick out of staying at the Park Hyatt for the views and because of Lost in...
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7 Chome-14-18 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
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Honmura An in Roppongi is famous for its housemade soba (chewy buckwheat noodles). Owner Koichi Kobari uses a sobabocho (soba knife) to cut the noodles each day. I always get the soba with tororo, which is grated mountain yam, and a cold beer. —...
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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, 〒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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1741 Yawatano, Itō-shi, Shizuoka-ken 413-0232, Japan
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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...
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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, 〒299-5503 Chiba-ken, Kamogawa-shi, Amatsu, 1072
The Torii Arch reaches skyward on a small islet off the Pacific coast of Amatsu-kominato in the Boso Peninsula of Chiba. I came across this after walking around the breakwater of the fishing port located in front of Tanjoji Temple, birthplace of...
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566 Kōyasan, Kōya-chō, Ito-gun, Wakayama-ken 648-0211, Japan
By staying overnight at a Buddhist monastery in Koyasan (Mount Koya), I fulfilled a long held dream. It was quite a unique experience, and a peek behind the curtain to see how monks in a monastery actually live. It was quite something to see them,...
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Japan, 〒990-8540 Yamagata-ken, Yamagata-shi, Hatagomachi, 2 Chome−3, 旅篭町2丁目3−25
Tempura prawn soba noodles in winter.
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Japan, 〒059-0551 Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, 登別温泉町224
I was truly amazed at the human-like behavior of supposedly untamed brown bears cajoling and waving at me. With a zoom lens, the Noboribetsu Bear Park in Hokkaido, Japan is a great place for taking close-up photos of bears without having to go...
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Travel up to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji to find an alpine village, complete with shrine. It's a fun way to experience the area.
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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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1 Chome-1 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
A sunset view of Rainbow Bridge and downtown Tokyo from near the Statue of Liberty replica on the man-made island of Odaiba. One of the most panoramic views you can get of Tokyo.
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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, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, 中央区Ginza, 6 Chome−6−4−15 トニービル 2階
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Whenever I'm in Tokyo I go to this tiny sake bar Kuri, in the Ginza district. A very stoic but mellow place to go at the end of the night, and they specialize in local sakes.
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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, 〒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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Japan, 〒100-0006 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Yūrakuchō, 2 Chome−10−1
Koji, a volunteer for Tokyo Free Guide, knew only that I wanted to experience something in the city related to food. Instead of taking me to the Tsukiji fish market, he led me to a shopping mall in the Ginza neighborhood. We descended into the...
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Narita, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
During a nine-hour layover, I took the train one stop to lovely downtown Narita and ate my way around town. I happened to be there on the Sunday before New Year's, when everyone came to the temple to make wishes for the upcoming year. The streets...
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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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2-11 Kaminoborichō, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014, Japan
The Kimono Paparazzi (yours truly) was working overtime today. So many couples were out taking advantage of the sunshine to pose for wedding photos in beautiful Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima. The garden itself, with its charming bridges, blooming...
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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...
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Japan, 〒106-0045 Tokyo, 港区麻布十番1丁目4−6
In addition to the works of Takashi Murakami, this gallery exhibits a lot of manga-inspired art. I go here to see the up-and-coming artists of the Tokyo scene. —Alondra De La Parra This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue.
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Shirakawa, Ono District, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Celebrated my birthday at the Matsuri in the old town of Takayama. It is the annual festival of the Hie Shrine in the southern half of Takayama. This is an image I took at the ryokan we were staying at during our stay there. The people from the...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

You can spend a lot of money on food in Tokyo. Or you can spend a little. And get food shaped like a fish and filled with delicious sweet bean paste.Andthesmiling woman who'swhipping up those tasty little fish, called taiyaki,might even give your...

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Yanaka, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0001, Japan
On the east side of Tokyo, travelers can experience the city’s frenetic spirit. In the Ameyayokocho neighborhood, you’ll find seedy-looking love hotels, pachinko parlors, and chatty street vendors. When the chaos becomes too intense, escapeto...
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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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6-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
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This restaurant was recommended by the "Tokyo Guide" iPhone app I was using. It looked great, and I love dumplings. When we walked in, we were a bit worried because everything was in Japanese, even the menu. Donna, who knows Chinese, was trying to...
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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, 〒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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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, 〒390-0873 Nagano-ken, Matsumoto-shi, Marunouchi, 4, 松本市丸の内4番1号
Hidden floors.
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3f, アメ横センタービル 4 Chome-7-8 Ueno, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0005, Japan
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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1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
A fairy-tale castle, Japanese-style. The grounds are massive, the tourist groups ever-present, the grounds inaccessible more often than not—but it's still worth the visit.
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Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
About 30 minutes from Tokyo by train, Kawagoe Town, in Saitama Prefecture, is worth a day trip just for the peaceful stroll into another era; peaceful, unless you experience a sugar rush from all the sweet potato–based treats available along...
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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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2 Chome-2-1 Miyama, Funabashi-shi, Chiba-ken 274-0072, Japan
The night before we went to our Ninja Class in Tokyo, I asked my kids what they most wanted to do. They shouted, "Throw ninja stars!" I laughed and tried to prep them, saying, "I'm sure that they would never let tourists do something that could...
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Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
I love Japanese folklore, with its stories of Samurai, demons, and spirits. One of my favorite characters from Japanese lore is the Tengu, a mountain nymph of sorts, who likes to tempt Buddhist priests to break their vows, and to teach devoted...
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Midoricho-1613 Tsuruga, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 380-8512, Japan
Shiga kogen national park near the town of yudanaka in nagano.
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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Something about visiting a temple that evokes feeling of serenity and inner peace. Perhaps, it's because I was introduced to Buddhism as a child, or because the soothing rhythm of the repeated chants is like beautiful music to my ears. During my...
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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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Saiwaicho, Narita, Chiba Prefecture 286-0028, Japan
I had an eight-hour layover in Tokyo (Narita). After doing a lot of research, I realized that I wouldn't have enough time to go into Tokyo without feeling incredibly rushed to get back to the airport to catch my connection home. Instead, I decided...
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4 Chome-2-18 Sendagi, Bunkyō-ku, Tōkyō-to 113-0022, Japan
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Ameyayokocho The open-air stalls underneath the train tracks were once a haven for criminal transactions. Today they’re a paradise for bargain-hunters looking for such essentials as green tea and dried fish. Don’t miss the labyrinthine underground...