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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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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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6 Chome-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
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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Japan, 〒160-0004 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, 新宿区Yotsuya, 1 Chome−1−11 陽臨堂ビル 1F
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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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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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, 〒110-0005 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Ueno, 4 Chome−7−8 アメ横センタービル3F
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
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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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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1 Chome-1-10 Aomi, Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to 135-0064, Japan
Even if you only have a few days in Tokyo, I recommend taking the boat to Odaiba. The boat itself looks like a futuristic James Bond space vessel. Catch the boat from Asakusa (the area famous for Senso-ji, Tokyo's large Buddhist temple) and take...
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2-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0052, Japan
Last November my wife and I had an 11-hour layover at Narita Airport, and so we took the Narita Express and then the Yamanote line into Shibuya. After Shibuya, we walked to Yoyogi Park. It was a Sunday morning, and the dry cold air made us feel...
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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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4-9-14 Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan
Absolutely must-visit market - super super packed with tons of local and tourist a like. Still charming with all the crowds. This scene is of an 'auction' of sorts - what I gather is that the price is fixed and you 'bid' for a bagful of goodies....
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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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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
What's not to love in a covered arcade, jam-packed with stalls selling pickle, roast fish, toasty rice crackers, fresh fish, grilled meat, every fruit and vegetable, roasted chestnuts, freshly grilled mochi, sashimi on a stick, kushikatsu, green...
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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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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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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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Japan, 〒606-8435 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, 南禅寺福地町
A Japanese friend recommended the tofu restaurant at the Nanzenji temple in Kyoto. It took us an hour to find the place, which is tucked away in a quiet corner of the beautiful complex. We enjoyed an exceptionally delicious yodofu meal!
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1074番地 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1111, Japan
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, 〒604-0923 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Kamikorikichō, 木屋町通御池上る
The nested jubacko boxes were unfolded and opened like Russian matryoska dolls on the granite countertop: sushi grade sashimi and tamago, steamed vegetables in all shades of nature’s color-wheel, crispy ethereal tempura vegetables, miso soup: this...
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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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103-2 Hashimotocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8011, Japan
At Chojiro, in central Kyoto, you don't have to worry about not knowing a word of Japanese when ordering your lunch. It's done on an iPad! Just tap the food that looks most delicious. Despite all the talk about Japan being expensive, the sushi...
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Japan, 〒602-8216 京都府Kyōto-shi, Kamigyō-ku, Tatemonzenchō, 京都市上京区 堀川通今出川南入竪門前町414
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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Japan, 〒605-0074 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Gionmachi Minamigawa, 祇園町南側529
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, 〒618-0071 Kyōto-fu, Otokuni-gun, Ōyamazaki-chō, Ōyamazaki, Ryūkō, 字大山崎小字竜光53−2
Mo-an is one of the great cafe experiences of the world--located up a hill, behind a temple, with views that look out over the surrounding area. It is perfect and serene.
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Yoshi-Sushi is located in Osaka's Tsuruhashi neighborhood, adjacent to the wholesale fish market. It opens for business at 6am and caters mostly to fish buyers and sellers, who eat here before, during, or after work. Unlike Tokyo's Tsukiji, there...
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Nanba, Chuo Ward, 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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Japan, 〒556-0002 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa Ward, 惠美須東3-5-3
Kushikatsu, deep-fried skewers, are an Osaka specialty. The dipping sauce is communal and so the need arises for signs that can convey the most essential kushikatsu commandmant: No Double Dipping.