Collected by Frances Pickering
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. —...
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...
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...
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
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...
Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
On the way out the door to the Tsukiji Fish market, I tossed a CLIF bar in my bag. I had read somewhere that sushi is breakfast food in Japan and I had also read about the excellent places to pick up fresh sushi near the fish market (imagine such...
Japan, 〒106-8558 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 7 Chome−22−2
The glass waves on the exterior of The National Art Center of Tokyo are a hint of the towering, clean glass and concrete interior architecture. The museum has a welcoming interior filled with natural light, lounge chairs, and cafes. The building...
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...
Japan, 〒111-0032 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Asakusa, 2 Chome−3−1
Both Tokyo's largest and oldest Buddhist temple, Senso-ji is one of the city's must see sights. The streets leading to Senso-ji are filled with souvenir shops where you can find tapestries, kimonos, kitschy key chains, and finger foods....
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...
Japan, 〒739-0588 Hiroshima Prefecture, 廿日市市宮島町１−１
“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world” Saduko Sasaki (young girl who developed leukemia from Hiroshima bombing) The floating torii is the "gate" to Itsukushima Shrine on Miajima island off the coast of Hiroshima....
Japan, 〒101-0025 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Sakumachō, 1 Chome−1−６−５ アキバ・トリム 3Ｆ
Muji reigns supreme in clean Japanese design. Muji sells clothes, home goods, and furniture and has a deliberately simple approach to the way they design their products. The clean and pure design of Muji products has made it a beloved brand both...
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...
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...
While visiting Tokyo, I was really happy to attend a traditional Kabuki performance at the Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre. I bought my tickets online before my arrival in Japan (at the box office, you must present the credit card that you purchased the...
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...
2495-3 大字荻町 Shirakawa-mura, Ōno-gun, Gifu-ken 501-5627, Japan
Shirakawago is a historic mountain village located in the Gifu prefecture of central Japan. The village is well-known for its thatched-roof houses and traditional mountain lifestyle. Stay in one of the many traditional Japanese guesthouses...
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...
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...
Japan, 〒248-8588 Kanagawa-ken, Kamakura-shi, Yukinoshita, 2 Chome−1−31
Kamakura, Japan's medieval capital, is full of ancient sites and only a 40-minute train ride from Tokyo. It's full of temples, shrines, sailing, surfing, and souvenir shops. Make sure to see the Daibutsu, the over 750 year old and 40 ft tall...
Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Jizo Bodhisattva is the guardian spirit of Buddhism tasked with protecting children and rescuing souls from hell. The hats and bibs are hand sewn by faithful visitors who want a chance to interact with Jizo in hopes of gaining his protection. I...
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...
Akita, Akita Prefecture, Japan
One very valuable lesson I learned about Japan is that every town has tourist potential; so should I have been surprised when my host in Akita suggested going on a toilet adventure? To be honest though, Japan's oldest toilet was very cool. Leave...
Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Hakone is about an hour train ride from central Tokyo, but it feels a world away. This scenic mountainous region is a lovely place to spend a weekend away from the city. There's plenty to see and do to keep the entire family satisfied. The Hakone...
Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0006, Japan
When I first moved to Japan, I met many fellow foreigners who collected everything – paintings, dolls, kimonos, obies, chopsticks, to name just a few. To avoid amassing knickknacks destined to be dust-bunny magnets, a friend and I devised a...
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