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Japan, 〒381-0401 長野県下高井郡山ノ内町平穏6845
I left tropical Southeast Asia for Japan in the dead of winter for one reason - to see snow monkeys. I'd always seen pictures like the one above, of zen macaques in steaming hot springs surrounded by snow, and had no idea how accessible they were...
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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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Most people, including myself, hear the word Gion and immediately think of Memoirs of a Geisha. While Gion is definitely known for the elusive Geiko's and Maiko's that roam the streets after dark, there is a lot more to this neighborhood that...
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Japan, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1
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, 〒130-0015 Tōkyō-to, Sumida-ku, Yokoami, 1 Chome−3, 横網1丁目3番28号
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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Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
We stumbled on this massive bamboo forest in Arashiyama, Kyoto. This exact road had been my desktop wallpaper for years, and then I was standing in it. Incredible.
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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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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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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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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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375 Hanaseharachichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1102, Japan
Owner Hisato Nakahigashi combs the forests surrounding his ryokan each morning for the fresh herbs found in his tsumigusa (foraged) cuisine. Watch him prepare carp sashimi and salt-baked bamboo on a rectangular chestnut counter that surrounds...
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Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Less than an hour south of Tokyo, Kamakura is a popular coastal town and home to the Great Buddha. This bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple, has a height of 13.35 meters. It is the second tallest bronze...
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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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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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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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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, 〒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....
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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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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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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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Japan, 〒248-0016 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Hase, 4 Chome−2−28
Most of our guests rank Kamakura's Great Buddha (Daibatsu) statue as one of their top ten highlights, if not their favorite. I can't blame them. Even on crowded days, one can't resist the feeling of serenity that envelops the grounds. From...
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Mie Prefecture, Japan
Meoto Iwa, also known as the wedded rocks, are located in Ise Bay near Japan's Grand Ise Shrine. Ise is a great day trip. Home to one of Japan's three great shrines, the streets of Ise are packed with old wooden houses, Japanese sweet shops, and...
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Japan, 〒920-0936 Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa, Kenrokumachi, 1
Kenroku-en has ranked among the top three gardens to visit in Japan, quite an achievement in a country that is justifiably proud of its gardens. I took the early morning train to Kanazawa from Kyoto, to spend an entire day in Kenroku-en and see...
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Japan, 〒648-0294 和歌山県伊都郡高野町高野山132
Okunoin, Mount Koya's most sacred site, contains a cemetery that is home to the remains of warlords, celebrities, samurai, shoguns, high priests, businessmen and artists. I cross the Ichinohashi Bridge and am transported to a weird, wonderful...
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Japan, 〒920-0936 Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa, Kenrokumachi, 1
The Japanese -- you may have heard -- take their gardens seriously. Kenrokuen Garden is billed as one of Japan's three most beautiful landscape gardens. Waterfalls, ponds, streams, trees, bridges, pagodas, tree houses, stone lanterns -- it's a...
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17 Sagatoriimoto Adashinochō, Ukyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 616-8436, Japan
Adashino Nenbutsu-Ji is a walk from Kyoto's Arashiyama train station. With greater than 8,000 Buddhist statues memorializing the souls of the dead, Adashino Nenbutsu-Ji stands apart from the other places of worship. Beyond this stone-faced crowd...
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Japan, 〒812-0054 Fukuoka-ken, Fukuoka-shi, Higashi-ku, Maidashi, 5 Chome−12, 福岡県福岡市東区馬出5丁目12−6
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Still have lots of handcraft In Japan nowadays. This old man is 80 years old