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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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...