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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
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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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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Tokyo, Japan
Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita. All across Japan you'll find machines selling all sorts of items—coffee in cans (hot or cold), sushi, umbrellas, alcohol, pornography, trinkets, noodles, books, eggs, and so much more....
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1 Chome-1-10 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
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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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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4丁目-7-35 Shibakōen, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0011, Japan
Here is one of the many wacky costumes that runners wear during the Tokyo Marathon. Held every year in February, it's hands-down the most entertaining race in the world.
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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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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. —...
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6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Kapital is a really cool clothing chain known for its denim. They have two shops in Roppongi Hills—Kapital Duffle and Kapital Legs. I always pick up tabi, these handmade split-toe socks. They are split between the big toe and other toes and are...
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2 Chome-10-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0006, Japan
Koji, a volunteer for Tokyo Free Guide, knew only that I wanted to experience something in the city related to food. Instead of taking me to the Tsukiji fish market, he led me to a shopping mall in the Ginza neighborhood. We descended into the...
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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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Japan, 〒060-0042 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, 大通西7丁目
One of the highlights we wanted to see in Sapporo was the White Illumination event in Sapporo in the winter. Odori Park, which is a whole12-block stretch of park that serves as a central landmark of Sapporo, is lit up using thousands of light...
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2 Chome-11-36 Miyanosawa 2 Jo, Nishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 063-0052, Japan
I love chocolate factories. When I was a kid, I used to watch musical entitled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I also visited a local chocolate factory as part of a school field trip and I remember warm sweet smell of chocolates and us...
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Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
As we drove past one of the streets of Sapporo, red light flashed, and we stopped at an intersection. I was panning my camera and suddenly stopped when I saw this interesting looking window. I was trying to figure out what they were from afar, but...
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Japan, 〒060-0062 Hokkaidō, Sapporo-shi, Chūō-ku, Minami 2 Jōnishi, 5 Chome, 札幌市中央区南2中黒3条西1丁目
I love going to shopping streets around the world and in Sapporo, they have Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade, which is a ten block stretch of covered pedestrian passageway surrounded by stores, restaurants, clubs, amusement centers and even a capsule...
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2 Chome Kita 5 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0005, Japan
Sapporo JR Station is the central railway station of the city of Sapporo. We stayed in a hotel near this area, so it was really convenient. JR Tower sits at the top of the station, which houses one of the best observation decks to see Sapporo at...
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Bibi, Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0012, Japan
It's quite a surprise to see a working chocolate factory in an airport, and Chitose Airport in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, has one: the Royce' Chocolate World. You can view the process from finish to end along the stretch of the terminal. They have...
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Bibi, Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0012, Japan
Curious at the clear tube of yellow balls that looked like a can of tennis balls, I had to get one of these interesting Hokkaido desserts. I was on my way back home, and was at the Chitose Airport when I saw this in one of the refrigerated...
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1 Chome-2-1 Kashiwadaiminami, Chitose-shi, Hokkaidō 066-8765, Japan
This may look like a typical outlet mall in the US, but this photo of a mini food truck was actually taken in Chitose, near the international airport in Sapporo, Japan. Most of the shops are actually Western brands and thus the look of the US...
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Hokkaido, Japan
Snow, snow, snow! I'm sure folks from places that have snow in the winter will say "What's the big deal?" hahaha! But coming from a tropical country, the highlight of our trip was the soft fluffy snow, not just any snow, but one of the best powder...
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9-19 Wakamatsuchō, 若松町 Hakodate-shi, Hokkaidō 040-0063, Japan
I've been quite adventurous with food in most cases, I eat sashimi (raw), both fish and meat in fact. But for some reason, Uni (Japanese for sea urchin) was one of the things that I never dared to try. Maybe it's the color, maybe it's the texture,...
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1274 Miyanomori, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0958, Japan
Coming from a tropical country, it was interesting for me to explore the unfamiliar world of winter sports in one of the actual Olympic sites. Mt. Okura was one of the venues for the 1972 Olympics and home to ski jumping events. Today, it holds an...
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9丁目-2-10 Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 065-0007, Japan
One of the popular dishes that originated in Hokkaido is the Jingisukan, which is lamb bbq or mutton bbq. Instead of the usual open grill on charcoal used in western barbeques, the Japanese use a non-smoke pan like the one in the photo, sometimes...
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Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
I've often heard about Hokkaido milk being really popular and special. In fact, everything Hokkaido-related like its chocolates, butter, cakes, ice creams, and even bread are extra special. Well, they all use the same raw ingredient: Hokkaido...
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Showashinzan, Sobetsu, Usu District, Hokkaido 052-0102, Japan
Have you ever seen a bear standing up and waving at you? Well, you can definitely see them here in Show-shinzan Bear Ranch. It's a bit funny to see them this way, cause even in a zoo, you don't get to see them like that. I'm sure these are...
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7番地1 Toyakoonsen, Sobetsu, Usu District, Hokkaido 049-5731, Japan
One is met with a very refreshing view of Lake Toya and Ezo Fuji (Mt Yotei) at the far end, when you wake up in the morning as you look out the large picture window of your tatami room. This is a nice place to stay overnight when you're exploring...
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On our way from Sapporo to Lake Toya in Hokkaido, Japan, what emerged from the road ahead was this beautiful snow-capped mountain that looks very much like the famous majestic Mt. Fuji (highest mountain in Japan). And as we jokingly called out Mt....
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Japan, 〒044-0224 Hokkaido, Abuta District, Kimobetsu, 知来別40−1
What a wonderful surprise to have one of our meals in a family-owned cafe out in Chirabetsu, Hokkaido, almost in the middle of nowhere, but with great views of Ezo Mt Fuji (Mt. Yotei) as well as delicious food! Knowing that we wanted to explore...
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Nakayama, Hokuto, Hokkaido 041-1243, Japan
Upon reading up about Hokkaido, one of the popular "must tries" listed by fellow travelers was the age-imo, deep fried potato. Wondering what the fuss was all about, I had to try this. Living in Asia, we are quite familiar with deep fried sweet...
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127 Hanawa, 洞爺湖町 Toyako, Abuta District, Hokkaido 049-5724, Japan
If you are visiting the southwestern part of Hokkaido, be sure to visit Lake Hill Farm to taste the wonderful home made ice cream. They have a wide variety of flavors. We tried the Milk (they also have Double Cream or Cream and Milk), Green Tea,...
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Japan, 〒064-0805 Hokkaidō, Sapporo-shi, Chūō-ku, Minami 5 Jōnishi, 3 Chome, 南5条西3丁目
Enter Ramen Alley near Susukino station and shoulder up to the counter at Aji No Karyu. This small shop seats about 20 and serves up Sapporo-style miso ramen, distinct for the addition of a large slice of butter combined with the thin slices of ...