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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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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−22−10 プレステージ西麻布
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, 〒150-0033 Tokyo, Shibuya, Sarugakucho, 17−5 DAIKANYAMA T-SITE蔦屋書店 1号館、3号館、2号館1階
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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Kinashicho Kinashi, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture 761-8026, Japan
Okayama Prefecture is famous in Japan as being the birthplace of one of their national heroes: "momotaro", or the Peach boy. This hero was sent to earth by the gods to defend his loving parents and save his village from evil demons. Since...
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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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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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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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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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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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2549−5 Yumoto, Nikkō-shi, Tochigi-ken 321-1662, Japan
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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1 Chome-4-16 Chūō, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken 710-0046, Japan
I love the novelty of Japanese tourist towns; how they take an idea such as Old Edo, a forgotten trade or a local dish and make it the theme in the entire village. The Town of Kurashiki is no different – these perfectly maintained buildings from...
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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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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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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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A 60-year-old tree shows off its beauty.
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10 Motomachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0011, Japan
Two young boys examine a glut of sakura petals which have washed into a little canal near Hiroshima Castle. The delicate blossoms only last for a week to ten days before a passing breeze or rain shower sends them fluttering to the ground in a...
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One of the highlights of visiting Japan was seeing Mt. Fuji on a road trip from Tokyo.
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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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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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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, 〒448-0026 Aichi-ken, Kariya-shi, Nakayamachō, 2 Chome−10−2 アーバンライフ中山 1F
Riding the rails in Japan (I have a two week Japan Rail pass and am making full use of it) one must have appropriate snacks. This one is a bit salty from the little fish and spicy from the chilli crackers. A nice combination.
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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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Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 3 Chome−5−8 銀座らん月BF1
I was with friends who wanted to learn about sake. Our biggest challenge was finding someplace open for lunch. Sake no Ana in Ginza was not only a great find, the variety and selection of sake was amazing. The sake sommelier here, Sakamoto-san (no...
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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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368 Nagashimacho Urayasu, Kuwana, Mie Prefecture 511-1135, Japan
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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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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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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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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Shimomaruyacho (Kawaramachidori), Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8006, Japan
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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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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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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1 Chome-3-3番28号 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 130-0015, Japan
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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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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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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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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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, 〒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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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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Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 6 Chome−4−15 トニービル
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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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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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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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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2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 163-8001, Japan
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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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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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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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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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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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, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 二ノ平1121
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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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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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...