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Travels In Japan

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Haruto Uzumaki
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Life in Japan
As you might know, kabukicho can be a little different compared to the rest of Tokyo and most of Japan. In a way, I decided to use that to my advantage and spent quite some time there (not buying any special services there though 🤨). Because of my frequency around the area, I can recall various...
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Haruto Uzumaki
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Life in Japan
Once upon a time I was recording some talented folk. Street performers in Nanba, creating an amazing performance. To do this, I always make sure to record audio with my phone, which I put on a surface aimed at the street performers, in this case, on the edge of the bench close to them. The...
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thomas
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Initially, a few islets in Tokyo Bay that housed artillery batteries to defend Edo, Odaiba (お台場) is an artificial island shared by the Tōkyō wards of Kōtō, Minato, and Shinagawa. It was expanded in the 1990s and was devised as a seaport district with industrial facilities, residential and...
Akishima is one of the bedroom towns of western Tōkyō you pass when moving along the Tama River. It's astounding to discover how some inconspicuous places you have rolled by dozens of times are so fraught with history—either dating back millions of years or touching upon tragic events that took...
thomas
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Local sights and landmarks: Sakunobe Castle. Sakunobe Castle (作延城 Sakunobe-jō) was a flat mountain castle (平山城 hirayamajō) in present-day Shimosakunobe, Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki, allegedly constructed by Inage Saburō Shigenari (稲毛三郎重成), a member of the Oyamada clan in the early Kamakura period...
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thomas
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Travel & Nature
Local sights and landmarks: Kuji Entōbunsui (久地円筒分水, "Kuji Cylindrical Water Diversion") The Kuji Entōbunsui is located in Takatsu Ward, Kawasaki. It is a diversion trough constructed to divide the water of Nigaryō Canal (二ヶ領用水) to several formerly agricultural areas further downstream. It is...
thomas
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Travel & Nature
The City of Hino (日野市) in western Tōkyō is famous for two things: the ancient Takahata Fudō temple and for being the birthplace of Hijikata Toshizō, the vice-commander of the infamous Shinsengumi brigade. It also houses the headquarters of Hino Motors and Orient Watch. To learn more about...
thomas
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Travel & Nature
Two weeks ago, Asahi Shinbun ran an article in their "Retro Japan" series featuring the Mito Water Tower (水戸市水道低区配水塔 Mitoshi Suidōteiku Haisuitō), or lit. "Mito City Water Supply Low District Water Tower," a structure I remember from previous visits to the town. I found the unusual architecture...
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Kure, known for its port, shipbuilding industry, and naval base, is particularly famous for its association with Japan's mightiest battleship, the Yamato. Located in southwestern Hiroshima Prefecture, the city has an excellent natural harbour serving as Japan's second-largest naval port to this...
thomas
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Travel & Nature
Again, veering off bicycle tracks taken dozens of times made me discover this gem of a temple on the steep slopes of the Akigawa valley. It was well worth the climb! Kōtokuji (広徳寺), formally known as Ryūkakuzan Kōtokuji (龍角山l広徳寺), is located in Akiruno, Tōkyō, is a Buddhist temple that belongs...
Petaris
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Hello, In this post I plan to go over some of the requirements for travel and also my thoughts and impressions of them. Visa: I was traveling with my family to visit my wife's mother. Normally US citizens can take advantage of the Visa Waiver agreement between the US and Japan for visiting...
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thomas
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Travel & Nature
Exploring the right banks of the Tama River upstream of Hamura, I happened to pass Entakuzan Hōkōji, a temple of the Sōtō School of Buddhism dating to the 15th century, famous for one of Japan's recent Great Buddha statues, that of Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏), an 18-metre tall bronze cast in Yamagata...
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thomas
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Travel & Nature
Kanazawa Hakkei (金沢八景) is an area in Kanazawa-ku (southern Yokohama) that attained fame through its woodblock print depictions by Hiroshige and other ukiyo-e artists. Kanazawa Hakkei refers to a series of eight scenic views that immortalise the breathtaking landscape and picturesque coast around...
thomas
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Travel & Nature
Uehara-san's fascinating article on Yamanaka Castle (山中城) reminded me of sorting through the photos I had taken there years ago. It also reminded me how much material still awaits publication here on JREF. 😅 And while practically no castle structures other than moats remain, it is a prime...
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thomas
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Travel & Nature
Ippoin Temple is another gem I found while cycling around Hamura. It was founded in 1424 by Mita Utanosuke Taira no Masasada (三田雅楽之助平将定等), whose grave lies nearby, in the vicinity of Aso Bicycle Shrine. Ippoin Temple (一峰院), officially known as Ryūshuzan Ippoin (龍珠山一峰院), belongs to the...
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Inspired by Uehara-san's excellent article on Tsukui Castle, we decided to explore Tsukuiko Shiroyama Park (津久井湖城山公園) in Sagamihara. The hill on which the scarce remnants of Tsukui Castle rest lies in a scenic valley bordering Tsukuiko (津久井湖), an artificial lake created by Shiroyama Dam on the...
tokyopaul
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Art Aquarium Nihonbashi Gold Fish and Koi Exhibit Japanese look forward to the Art Aquarium's spectacular goldfish show every summer, an experience that has attracted more than 10 million people since it first took place in 2007. Today, at the end of August, Art Aquarium is launching its first...
thomas
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Travel & Nature
Aso Shrine (阿蘇神社 Aso-jinja), also known as the Bicycle Shrine, is located a few hundred metres north of Hamura Weir, in Hamura (羽村), western Tōkyō. As old as the venerable Aso Shrine is (founded over 1,400 years ago), it is also well-hidden and difficult to access. Unless you came on your...
tokyopaul
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Travel & Nature
Harajuku (原宿) in a 360 video Harajuku (原宿), with funky retro clothing stores and cosplay shops along Takeshita Street, and conventional, upmarket boutiques on leafy Omotesando Avenue, is renowned for vibrant street art and youth fashion. The surrounding lanes are packed with small, trendy...
tokyopaul
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Travel & Nature
A local favourite of the trendy kids in the area, Shimokitazawa (下北沢), Tokyo (Setagaya Area) is a comfortable activity hub just 5 minutes by train from Shibuya. Formerly an agricultural field, it became a refuge for people seeking to leave the city after the great Kanto earthquake of 1921 and...

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