Most Japanese history buffs know that Kyoto is a must-see, but for those who prefer not to be one in a mob of tourists, it’s essential to find the hidden gems like the Kyū Asakura House. It is one of those rare places where you can experience what it may have felt like to live in another era—and this one is in the middle of Tokyo! Because it is relatively small and not too well known, visiting is a peaceful experience.
- Krista Rogers
Feb 24, 2014
Ah, the joys of international travel. You shell out the majority of your paycheck for a ticket and spend sleepless nights counting down the days to your adventure of a lifetime. Then the day of departure finally comes and you board the plane, arriving hours later at your destination and trembling with anticipation. Camera in hand, you journey to the first famous place on your list that you’ve been dreaming about for weeks on end. Finally there, you take a quick look around, eyes widening in surprise, and blurt out, “…that’s it?!”
One of the best reasons to come to Tokyo is to experience the sheer energy of being in the biggest city in the world. There’s no better way to get an idea of the massive scale of Japan’s capital than with a bird’s eye view from hundreds of feet above its streets.
Unfortunately, the city’s two most famous observation towers, Tokyo Tower and its younger sibling the Tokyo Skytree, both charge hefty admission prices. But if you just spent your last bit of cash because you couldn’t say no to the chance to buy hot coffee in a can, here are eight spots that offer awesome views of Tokyo that won’t cost you a single yen to see.
- Rachel Tackett
Sep 21, 2013
Naotake Odake, former managing director of the Japan Tourist Bureau (JTB) and once director of the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau, spent years of his professional life traveling to cities across the globe in order to promote Tokyo as a worthwhile tourist destination. In his travels, he noticed a trait shared by all the major cities: they each had a unique and well-recognized landmark embodying the history and culture of the land. According to Odake, a structure of this sort is vital to bolstering a spirit of pride in any given population. Unfortunately for Tokyo, he believes that this sort of historical landmark is something that Japan’s capital city severely lacks. What he has against Asakusa Temple, Tokyo Tower, or Tokyo Skytree, I’m really not sure. But, it is for this reason that Odake has taken the lead as the chairman of a non-profit organization which hopes to rebuild the Edo Castle’s innermost tower. “In order to present Tokyo as a proud tourist city, we need something like Edo Castle,” he says. But will the payoff really outweigh the costs?
Who doesn’t want to take a vacation alone with their special someone? Couples’ vacations are quite popular in Japan with both the young and old. In a country that boasts a wealth of hot springs, rustic townships, and even big tourist-centered cities, there is no end to exotic places to visit. Shared vacations can be a great way to learn more about the local areas and spend some time with your Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend.
But what happens after the first couple days of excitement wear off? What do you do when he starts snoring too loudly or she takes too much time picking out an outfit to wear for the evening?
Here are some helpful hints for couples looking to take a trip with their Japanese partner.
With raw, unpainted wood, tatami rooms, and a tranquil atmosphere, traditional Japanese homes can be quite beautiful. Appreciated by many for their historical look and feel, the buildings have recently undergone a bit of a surge in popularity.
Though probably not something the average person can afford to live in (or would even want to live in), the larger houses have found new life in many forms, including as group homes and rural hotels.
Here’s some great examples and photos of traditional homes in use today.
Japan, as I’m sure you know, is a gorgeous country. Whether it’s sand dunes, beaches, forests, mountains, or snowy plains, there’s something for nearly everyone.
But even with so much amazing scenery, some places still manage to stand out, like Toyama Prefecture! Here’s a list of places in Toyama you simply must visit at least once!
Finally, an Udon Museum Where You Can Taste the Difference Between Over 45 Kinds of Udon Noodle Dishes From all Over Japan!
- Karen Bremer Masuda
Dec 18, 2012
This Udon Museum will open on December 22nd from 11:00 in the Gion area of Kyoto. Udon is a thick noodle made from wheat flour. With all the variations out there – over 45, including noodle shape, thickness, soup varieties, ways to be eaten, included ingredients and cooking procedures – it makes perfect sense to have a ‘Udon museum’!
One of the best things about Japan is its vast and comprehensive food culture where a wide variety of culinary dishes can be enjoyed. Japanese people take great pride in their ‘washoku‘ (Japanese food), with multiple varieties of the same dish according to geographical location. Different areas have their own version of country cooking, sweet or savory, which becomes that area’s ‘meibutsu‘ or speciality, often times giving that area a name which they become famous for. So it is with Udon. Read More
- Philip Kendall
Oct 14, 2012
Thanks to the unusually shaped red mark on its head, a koi carp has brought busloads of tourists to its home in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan, as word spreads of the “heart fish” and excited sightseers jostle for position to get a snap of it.
The fish, naturally oblivious to the reason for the attention it is suddenly receiving, now spends most of its day treading water near the bridge in Kenroku-en gardens, peering up at excited tourists’ faces, thankfully unable to hear the shrill cries of teenage girls proclaiming how “kawaii!!” it is…
- Master Blaster
Sep 27, 2012
Alright all you photographers, this might be your chance to take a historical, never-before seen shot of Mt. Fuji taken 261km (162mi) away in Kyoto. Although it was calculated to be possible by a geography teacher at Tsukuba University High School, Hiroshi Tashiro, it’s certain to be easier said than done.
In 2012, a Japanese man was allowed to take a supervised tour of the secretive country of North Korea, we’ve reported some of his observations about their fine dining, public transportation, and more. And now we bring you coverage of one of the most unique tourist spots in the world: the only currently captured United States Navy Ship, the USS Pueblo.
Our correspondent’s tour guide and government appointed escort took him to the ship moored in Pyongyang where the guide told him “even today, America continues to beg the ship be returned.”
- Local thugs forced to fight pro Muay Thai fighters as punishment during Thai New Year festival1
- Justin Bieber’s Yasukuni Shrine visit draws scorn from Asian fans2
- Japanese adult video star’s dramatic plastic surgery sets internet abuzz3
- 17 mouthwatering photos from the legendary sushi restaurant where Obama just ate dinner4
- All-in-one bed is perfect for you, you lazy bum (Also, why don’t you get a job?)5
- Does Avril Lavigne’s Tokyo music video really have anything to do with Japan?6
- Whack-a-Kitty: Now with real kittens【Video】7
- What do Japanese people think of when they hear the word “otaku?”8
- Microsoft’s cringeworthy new Surface ad makes Japan squirm in unison9
- CATable promises to get the cat off your laptop and into the desk10
- Local thugs forced to fight pro Muay Thai fighters as punishment during Thai New Year festival1
- We hope you’re not thirsty — Tokyo shuts down its vending machines for U.S. president’s visit2
- Photos of women with and without make-up show that reality is what you make it3
- 10 Japanese expressions that sound delightfully strange and funny when translated4
- 17 mouthwatering photos from the legendary sushi restaurant where Obama just ate dinner5
- Cat greets its returning owner with so much warmth we’d swear it was puppy love6
- Japanese people surprised to find that “popular Japanese store” Meiso doesn’t exist in Japan7
- The baffling reason three men spent 30 minutes in an Akihabara restroom together8
- The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly9
- Japanese high school student becomes Twitter sensation showing difference between time with boyfriend and friends10
- Chinese Photoshop Trolls and the Half-Blood Prisoner of the Deathly Phoenix Goblet (Part 6)1
- Local thugs forced to fight pro Muay Thai fighters as punishment during Thai New Year festival2
- Unfortunate Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos3
- Daughter of Osamu Tezuka, God of Manga, discovers his stash of hand-drawn sexy mouse artwork4
- 【TBT】China’s Photoshop experts will fix your bad photos, but be careful what you wish for5
- The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly6
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour7
- We hope you’re not thirsty — Tokyo shuts down its vending machines for U.S. president’s visit8
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong9
- Take your love of touching imitation breasts out on the go with Puni Puni Case For iPhone10
- Korean high schools allow “anything goes” yearbook photos, with hilarious results1
- Taiwan’s Gravity Max – Quite possibly the scariest roller coaster in the world2
- Don’t call them fat, call them Marshmallow Girls!3
- Japanese netizens put reality on hold for a moment, fall in love with new attorney general of Crimea4
- Beautiful gym babe impresses Chinese netizens with her incredible fitness!【Pics & GIFs】5
- Picture perfect siblings of 18 years apart melt the hearts of Chinese netizens【Photos】6
- Attack on Titan’s studio head talks sequels, keys to the hit anime’s success7
- Chinese Photoshop Trolls and the Half-Blood Prisoner of the Deathly Phoenix Goblet (Part 6)8
- Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans9
- “Those are her GRANDCHILDREN?!” Youthful 42-year-old grandmother astounds Chinese netizens10
- Does Avril Lavigne’s Tokyo music video really have anything to do with Japan?
- Whack-a-Kitty: Now with real kittens【Video】
- What do Japanese people think of when they hear the word “otaku?”
- Microsoft’s cringeworthy new Surface ad makes Japan squirm in unison
- CATable promises to get the cat off your laptop and into the desk
- Japanese people surprised to find that “popular Japanese store” Meiso doesn’t exist in Japan
- With the stuffed characters of the Moomin Café, you’ll never dine alone!
- We hope you’re not thirsty — Tokyo shuts down its vending machines for U.S. president’s visit
- First-of-its-kind towel is totally worth its 5,000 yen price, customers say
- Konsei Matsuri: The giant penis riding festival in Iwate
- Stunning 22-year-old HD footage brings Tokyo of the ‘90s back to life
- Greenpeace tells Obama to make ‘more responsible’ food choices after meal at restaurant that serves endangered sushi