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2 Chome-10-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0006, Japan
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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5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045, Japan
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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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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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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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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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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Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, 渋谷区神宮前6−2−4
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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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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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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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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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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Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881, Japan
On a small side street, near the Palace Side Hotel, a small traditional house hides a gastronomical gem - sukiyaki! Shuck your shoes, step up onto the tatami map, sit on a cushion around a low, circular table and point to the sukiyaki of your...
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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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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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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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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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1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8361, Japan
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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1072 Amatsu, Kamogawa-shi, Chiba-ken 299-5503, Japan
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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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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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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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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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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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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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
My favorite thing to do everytime I am in Kyoto is to get up at 4:00 am go on a walk/run. It's great. No one is out on the street except the street cleaners. You get to see the people you rarely ever see---the ones who spend their lives...
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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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浅草 新仲見世商店街 Asakusa Shin-Nakamise, 1 Chome-26 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032, Japan
Stray from the path to some more modern and atmospheric shopping. Here bolts of silk are displayed for sale at one of the many kimono shops lining the Shin-nakamise covered shopping pavilion in front of the iconic Senjoji Temple. If you're...
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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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10-1 Izumimitakene, Akita-shi, Akita-ken 010-0812, Japan
A quiet shrine in a quiet park, ring the bell... clap clap... bow and hope the gods hear my prayer...
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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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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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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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Higashiuchi-45−26 Uji, Uji-shi, Kyōto-fu 611-0021, Japan
A beautiful museum that recounts the Tale of Genji through ancient sculpture, painting, and poetry.
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1 Narita, Narita-shi, Chiba-ken 286-0023, Japan
Metal detail on the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple grounds. I believe this is the character for fish, more or less signifying abundance. This large complex is a 30-40 minute ride away from Tokyo's Narita International Airport and is worth a trip...
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Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
It was Sakura ( cherry blossom) season when I arrived in Tokyo. The city was alive with the beginnings of Hanami parties. I stayed with my Japanese friends a while, drinking sake and indulging in far to much sushi under the trees. A few days later...
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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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1-1 Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken 460-0031, Japan
Taken from the north side of Nagoya Castle. The castle was sadly destroyed during WW2 bombing but the replica sits on the original foundations. Only a 15 minute walk from the shopping area of Sakae.
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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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“We mustn't allow the characteristic Japanese aesthetic to die out. Aesthetics also include things like a sense of responsibility and a sense of justice. They also incorporate a respect for other people and for nature, an appreciation of the gift...
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1074番地 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1111, Japan
There are whole graveyards in Japan full of small Buddha statues with bibs tied on and toys placed lovingly about - they commemorate those lost to abortion and miscarriage. "Liquid Life" by William LaFleur provides an engaging study.
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91-2 Okazaki Enshōjichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8344, Japan
Kyudo: Japanese archery. Located northeast of the Heian Shrine is a martial arts center quietly bustling with martial arts activity. We stumbled upon a kyudo class. The archers were unbelievably concentrated on their art/sport that it brought real...
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8 Chome-8-2-5 Nishishinjuku, 新宿区 Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0023, Japan
Learning the revered art of sushi usually takes years of apprenticeship, but Tokyo Sushi Academy’s eight-week course offers a deep first dive. Instructors lead a tour of the famous Tsukiji fish market, then students learn the precise way to cut...
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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−1−9−1 東京駅一番街 東京ラーメンストリート内 B1
Rokurinsha’s original shop was in the suburbs of Tokyo, a considerable hike from the nearest train station, and still patrons waited for over three hours for a bowl of soup. Neighbors complained, and when the store was given a chance to open up on...
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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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6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan
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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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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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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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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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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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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1-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-8557, Japan
Meiji Jingu, Ise Jingu, and Atsuta Jingu are the three great Shinto shrines of Japan. Meiji Jingu is located in central Tokyo northwest of Harajuku station. It was built in 1920 in honor of Emperor Meiji, who was largely responsible for Japan's...