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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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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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Japan, 〒511-1135 Mie Prefecture, Kuwana, 長島町浦安368
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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Japan, 〒460-0031 Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Naka-ku, Honmaru, 1−1
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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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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Japan, 〒163-8001 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishishinjuku, 2 Chome−8−1
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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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 3 Chome−5−1
The Tokyo International Forum is a stunning architectural masterpiece of glass and steel truss designed as a multipurpose convention and event space by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. It was completed in 1996 on the site of the former Tokyo...
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Japan, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 箱根町二ノ平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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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, 〒130-0015 Tōkyō-to, Sumida-ku, Yokoami, 1 Chome−12−1
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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Japan, 〒106-6108 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 6 Chome−11−1
Watching the sunset from Roppongi Hills was my favorite Tokyo experience. We bought tickets to the Mori Art Museum, which included entrance to the observation deck on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower. We payed 1500 yen ($17) for the museum and...
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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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Japan, 〒603-8361 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Kita-ku, Kinkakujichō, 1
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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Japan, 〒107-0052 Tokyo, 港区赤坂6丁目10−12
Entering Hikawa shrine requires a purification ritual that begins with washing your hands, right then left, and rinsing your mouth (with your left hand). Next is the burning fire with smoke to waft over your head to burn off impurities and perhaps...
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6 Chome-11-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
In recent years the construction of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and Tokyo Midtown has made Roppongi a high end shopping destination. Tokyo Midtown and Mori Tower combine art and fashion. Tokyo Midtown tauts stores like Pleats Please Issey Miyake,...
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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−1−9-1
Eating at Mutsumiya is like taking a trip to Hokkaido, an island in northern Japan. The place serves the classic Hokkaido miso-based ramen, created with water brought over from Hokkaido. The shop is located on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection...
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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
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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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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−1 東京駅一番街地下1階東京ラーメンストリート
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The soup at Ikaruga is so thick and creamy that you might believe it contains milk or butter. In reality, the wonderful texture of the tonkotsu broth is the result of pork bones simmered for hours upon hours. Among the restaurants on the Tokyo...
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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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This restaurant is part of the Setagaya group, which has locations worldwide. They serve a light, briny shio, or salt broth, made from dried sardines and scallops. Although the original spot is lunchtime only, the location at the Tokyo Ramen...
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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...
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Japan, 〒105-0011 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Shibakōen, 4 Chome−4−2-8
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The orange and white Eiffel Tower replica stands nine meters taller than its Parisian counterpart and has been the central focus of Tokyo's skyline since 1958. A visit to the tower is a bit underwhelming, but my favorite ways to take in the tower...
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Japan, 〒135-0064 Tokyo, 江東区青海1丁目1−10
Everyone knows Japan is famous for certain things—sushi, geisha, Mt. Fuji, samurai and ninja, Godzilla, and of course giant robots. And in Tokyo, even the latter is real—at least, life-sized mockups of them are. A great place to see one is Odaiba,...
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Japan, 〒102-8246 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kudankita, 3 Chome−1−1
Much maligned in the Western press as being the place that right-wing Japanese politicians visit to pay their respects to dead war criminals, Yasukuni Shrine’s main objective is actually to enshrine anyone, military or civilian, killed in the...
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1-1 Hamarikyūteien, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0046, Japan
Hamarikyu Gardens is a 250,165-square-meter landscaped garden built on the site of a 17th-century game reserve owned by the Tokugawa family and located adjacent to Tokyo Bay. The garden features a variety of native flora and fauna, including...
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Japan, 〒110-0001 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Yanaka, 7 Chome−14−8
Tenouji temple is a lovely little temple located next to Yanaka Cemetery near Nippori. About a 15-minute walk from Ueno Park, it is located in a residential neighborhood dotted with traditional Japanese-style houses and architecture as well as...
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Japan, 〒401-0511 山梨県南都留郡忍野村忍草
About a 10-minute drive from the shores of Lake Yamanaka lies a cluster of eight deepwater pools designated as a National Treasure by the Japanese government and known as Oshino-hakkai. Filled with meltwater from the snow capping Mt. Fuji for most...
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Japan, 〒105-0012 Tokyo, 港区Shibadaimon, 2 Chome−1−1
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Craving a bowl of killer ramen but put off by the prospect of waiting in line for hours to do so? Well, look no further than Fukki, a brilliant noodle shop in between Shiba Park and Hamamatsucho Station specializing in Hakata-style tonkotsu (pig...
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Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
“Nature” may not be a word generally associated with Tokyo, but the Kanto Plain on which the city sits abounds with forests, rivers, and mountains. In many cases, though, you may only find one or two out of the three available in any one location,...
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Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Mossy landscapes and ancient, indigenous cedar trees make for fairytale hiking heaven here, and moisture is plentiful at this elevation – Yakushima is the highest mountain in southern Japan. The exquisite scenery of this island, its mountains and...
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Glorious, solitary, active volcano Fujisan (known the world over as Mount Fuji) is the highest peak in Japan, and can be seen from Tokyo on a clear day. Symbol to many as birth and rebirth, Fujisan has been a pilgrimage place for artists and poets...
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Japan, 〒111-0032 Tokyo, Taitō, Asakusa, 2 Chome−3−1
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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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, 〒135-0091 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Daiba, 2丁目4−8
Tokyo’s modern design and architecture embraces originality. Odaiba houses many of Tokyo’s ultramodern structures most notably Fuji TV Building, resembling an erector set with its steel geometric design and Tokyo Big Sight, reminiscent of an alien...
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Japan, Tokyo, Chiyoda, Sotokanda, 1 Chome
Expect to be overwhelmed. In Tokyo's neon-bright Electronic Town, what began as a post World War II black market for radio parts has become a mecca for geeks. Fondly known as Akiba, the area features hundreds of thousands of retail space dedicated...
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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...
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While all the neighborhoods of Tokyo are equally safe, some are more family oriented than others. Sensoji Temple, souvenir shops and easy transportation in Asakusa make it a great family destination. The free Asakusa Ueno Panda Bus shuttles...
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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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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, 〒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...
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Japan, 〒169-0072 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Ōkubo, 1 Chome−16−29 ハヤシビル
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There’s a special word in the Korean language for “heaven”. More specifically, an edible embodiment of heaven consisting of an incredibly chewy wheat flour pancake stuffed with a molten medley of brown sugar, cinnamon, honey and peanuts that...
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2 Chome-14-3 Nagatachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0014, Japan
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If you’re like me, you love spicy food. And by “love”, I mean,“addicted to”. Thai Isan-style jungle curry, Texas five-alarm chili—you name it, the more capiscum in the dish, the better. However, it’s equally important to ensure that whatever meal...
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Japan, 〒105-0000 Tokyo, Minato
The Tokyo skyline from Rainbow Bridge is a must see while visiting Tokyo. The trip across the bridge can take a few hours by foot or just have your camera ready to take some beautiful shots while driving across this beautiful bridge.
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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....
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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...
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Japan, 〒605-0862 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Kiyomizu 1-chōme, 294

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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Japan, 〒101-0028 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Hanaokachō, 千代田区神田花岡町1−1
In the Akihabara neighborhood, giant anime billboards, towering Sega arcades, and electronics shops dominate the streets. The area’s denkiya, or electric appliance stores, boast an unparalleled selection of gadgets for gear geeks. The giant among...
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1丁目-1-1 Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8558, Japan
“What a strange thing/to be alive/under cherry blossoms,” wrote the 18th-century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa. When the thousands of cherry trees in Japan burst into bloom each spring, it can feel like much of the country is covered in a pink...
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589 Ohara, 大原 いすみ市 千葉県 298-0004, Japan
Don’t get me wrong—I love Tokyo and wouldn’t trade it for any other city in world. But sometimes you’ve just got to get out and decompress by dropping the pace several notches with an overnight stay somewhere beyond the borders of the urban...
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Japan, 〒250-0042 Kanagawa Prefecture, Odawara, Ogikubo, 300
Fast, efficient, and punctual are just some of the words used to describe Japan’s bullet train commuter rail line—in Japanese, the shinkansen. The train can reach speeds of more than 200 miles an hour and some have likened traveling on this feat...
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Japan, 〒160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishishinjuku, 1丁目2
Omoide Yokocho (which means memory lane in Japanese) features old-school townhouses that specializes in yakitori (grilled chicken meat), served in izakaya houses. Think of izakaya houses as a “tapas” style cuisine, with many small plate dishes...
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〒150-0047 1F, 17-1 神山町 渋谷区 東京都 150-0047, Japan
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My traveling companion is a huge fan of Okonomiyaki, and insisted that we find a place that serves this dish that hails from Hiroshima in Tokyo. We found it in the Shibuya area, in a place called Okonomiman. Okonomiman is located in a small red...
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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. —...