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Deborah Scarpa′s Wishlist
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12 Dejimamachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture 850-0862, Japan
Coming from the Philadelphia area, there's one thing I know and that's Italian food. Always on the lookout, I found this gem in Nagasaki, Japan. The food was so good, so authentic, it brought tears to my eyes. The chef/owner told me he has never...
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1741 Yawatano, Itō-shi, Shizuoka-ken 413-0232, Japan
THE CRISP COTTON YUKATA ROBErubs gently against my skin as I walk out of the ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, into the brisk evening air. I cross a tiny bridge, a gentle wind tousling the peach trees and swaying the golden lanterns that light...
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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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Shirakawa, Ono District, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
We visited the Unesco heritage site of Shirakawa-go when we went to Takayama. This little village is set deep in the northern alps of Japan. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, due to the traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses,...
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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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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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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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300 Ogikubo, Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0042, Japan
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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While planning my recent trip to Kyoto, Japan, I came across the New York Times article "36 Hours in Kyoto" and was mildly intrigued by the recommended deep-fried skewer restaurant on a dead-end lane. Expecting an hole-in-the-wall izakaya cranking...
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Naoshima, Kagawa District, Kagawa Prefecture 761-3110, Japan
On the island of Naoshima, you can explore traditional houses transformed into art installations or sleep on the beach in a Mongolian yurt overlooking Yayoi Kusama's iconic pumpkin sculpture. It's a burgeoning mecca for contemporary art, but as...
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Japan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 6 Chome−10−1 六本木ヒルズ ヒルサイド 2F
This two-Michelin-starred restaurant by Joel Robuchon is a replica of the L'Atelier in Paris and Las Vegas. Here they reinterpret French dishes with a bit of a Japanese influence. Counter seating makes any meal an event as you watch the chefs at...
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Yoshinoya, Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture 959-1106, Japan
Take a rickshaw with Danger Boy (who ran the entire trip hauling both of us!!) to see Cherry Blossoms. Danger Boy was not only in rocking' shape but, had lots of information about the pagodas and monuments in the park. His warning was "do not...
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10 Milk St, Boston, MA 02108, USA
I usually think of tea when it comes to Japan, but one visit to Ogawa changed my mind. Aside from the gorgeous latte art they are known for, this artisan coffee house from Kyoto is committed to the perfection of the beverage through sourcing,...
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570 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
On Market Street - that main thoroughfare of downtown San Francisco - there's a Japanese store that has everything for your traveler needs. Cheap. Most of the items sell for less than 5 bucks, but don't let that dissuade you. It's pastel colors,...
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2-16-1 Konan, 26-32/F Shinagawa East One Tower, 2丁目-16 港南 Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8282, Japan
Shin Hinomoto is a noisy, boisterous izakaya squeezed under the JR tracks by Yurakucho Station. A family business for more than 60 years, the current owner is a Brit, Andy Lunt, who has been working at the restaurant and buying fish from Tsukiji...
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Nagatoro, Chichibu District, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
During a whirlwind exploration of the prefectures surrounding Tokyo on Japan's Kanto plain, one extended moment of relaxation came in a boat ride down a stretch of the Arakawa River—running along the edge of Nagatoro town in the Chichibu district...
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Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
During our visit to Kamakura City in Kanagawa Prefecture, we stopped in at the Miyamoto Kimono Shop (1-8-20 O-machi). Before we were treated to chado ("the way of tea" or tea ceremony), we watched as Karen Iwade, the reigning Miss Kamakura, was...
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1 Chome-8-20 Ōmachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-0007, Japan
During a visit to Kamakura (about 50 km south of Tokyo, about an hour by rail), we spent an hour or so at the Miyamoto Kimono Shop (1-8-20 O-machi, Kamakura City). In one of the back rooms, this young man was being taught chado ("the way of tea")....
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Japan, 〒059-0551 Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, 登別温泉町224
I was truly amazed at the human-like behavior of supposedly untamed brown bears cajoling and waving at me. With a zoom lens, the Noboribetsu Bear Park in Hokkaido, Japan is a great place for taking close-up photos of bears without having to go...
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104-0061, Japan
The Ginza district is home to Tokyo's oldest and most prestigious shopping department stores and high-high end luxury retailers. Chuo-Dori, the main artery in the tony shopping district of Ginza, is worth a walk-down if you're drawn to streets...
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浅草 新仲見世商店街 Asakusa Shin-Nakamise, 1 Chome-26 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032, Japan
Stray from the path to some more modern and atmospheric shopping. Here bolts of silk are displayed for sale at one of the many kimono shops lining the Shin-nakamise covered shopping pavilion in front of the iconic Senjoji Temple. If you're...
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Ainokura, Nanto, Toyama Prefecture 939-1915, Japan
Ainokura Village, located outside Toyama, is a unique cultural experience. Designated a World Heritage site in 1995, it is home to over 80 residents. Because families still live and farm on the land visitors are asked to be respectful. The village...
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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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Japan, 〒604-0915 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Tokiwagichō, Teramachi Dori, 二条上ル常盤木町52
What a treat! Knowledgeable staff, tea-tasting samples, plenty of time, earthenware urns, peaceful atmosphere and some of the best tea in Japan!
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Josefstrasse 36, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
Design-minded locals in this design-minded city know this is the place to go for gifts and home goods, whether it’s iconic items like Kristian Vedel’s handcrafted birds to the one-of-a-kind such as terry-cloth towels made on an old-fashioned loom...