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My First Trip to Japan

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During my first trip ever to Japan, I explored both Tokyo and Kyoto in addition to Chiba and Saitama prefectures just outside of Tokyo.
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1 Narita, Chiba Prefecture 286-0023, Japan
Having never traveled to Japan or Asia in general, I found Narita to be a good introduction to the country's unique culture. We arrived around nine in the morning and the temple grounds were not yet crowded with tourists. After visiting the...
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2丁目-24-3 Torocho, Kita, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture 331-0804, Japan
Until actually visiting the The Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama (a neighboring town to Tokyo), I didn't realize how much hard work goes into creating the varying designs. Different materials and techniques are used to achieve a certain look and this...
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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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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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4 Chome-4-13 Shibakōen, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0011, Japan
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Tokyo Tower may not be exactly the Eiffel Tower, but at night it is pretty damn close! Sitting near the base of this enormous TV tower is an amazing restaurant that offers fine tofu cuisine in a traditional Japanese garden setting and dojo-style...
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1 Chome-9-1 Higashishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-7337, Japan
This was my experience staying at a Conrad hotel and I can honestly say that it was amazing. The location is very convenient for tourists and it's within walking distance of the fish market and even Ginza depending on your stamina. My room was...
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Not too far from the Bonsai Museum is the Railroad Museum. Located in Saitama, the museum naturally attracts both historians and children and it's a quick trip from central Tokyo. While I'm neither of those demographics, I genuinely enjoyed my...
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2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
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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14 Chidori, Urayasu-shi, Chiba-ken 279-0032, Japan
Having just experienced my first helicopter ride in Maui a few months ago, I was thrilled to get a bird's eye view of Tokyo. Excel Helicopter Cruising offers both day and evening rides and while I would have preferred an evening outing, I found...
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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...
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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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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...