Market @ Marienplatz, Munich

Last Update: February 10, 2011

Season’s Greetings from Sapporo Odori Park

In the cold snowy air, protecting your ears with ear muffs, carefully walking on the slippy roads of the central Sapporo city, and then you can have this fantastic view, even after Christmas.

Last Update: February 10, 2011

For Rice Lovers…

*More story on toppage…

Last Update: February 15, 2011

Kakunodate Matsuri, with 350 yrs tradition, the whole town is full of young enthusiasm !

According to the local girls I asked, in Kakunodate here, this Matsuri (festival) is so important that elementary and junior high schools give day offs from 7th to 9th (The festival is from 6th to 8th, but the climax is the night of 8th). Beside schools, companies give holidays to employees.

Also impressing is lots of young people and children are so excited to join this Matsuri. This is the youngest festival I’ve ever seen ! So I told it to the girls, this is very good, and also that I am impressed that women look happy to be allowed to join Matsuri. And they said, ‘This Matsuri belongs to everybody  and we love it. We live everyday, the whole year, looking forward to this Matsuri !. They showed me their Happi uniform, and proudly told me how they arranged it to make it more fashionable.

With 350 years of history, the Matsuri (Festival) is held annually in Kakunodate city, the traditional castle town famous for beautiful cherry blossoms, in Akita. From Tokyo you can travel by Shinkansen Bullet Train directly to Kakunodate. From Kakunodate train station to the place festival is taking place, you can comfortably walk, enjoying the beautifully reserved historical town. The Matsuri (festival) is held for three days. In 2010 this year, from Sep 6-8.

Last Update: September 9, 2010

Oyado Tamaki, a relaxing ryokan inn @ Ikaho Onsen Hot Spring Town on the hill, north of Tokyo

Taking a Shinkansen Bullet Train from Tokyo (or Ueno), transfer to local train at Takasaki to Shibukawa, in 1.5 hour you are arriving at a good old onsen (hot spring) town, Ikaho. It’s located north of Tokyo, Gunma Prefecture, on the hill. Air is cleaner and cooler than Tokyo, which offers you a relaxing mini break, with nature power. Preferably staying at least one night, then you can enjoy town walking (360 stone steps!!), outdoor sports, getting energy from nature. Also check their originally made lovely sweets ‘.

*Official Website of Oyado Tamaki (English)

*My post at Japan Hopper

Last Update: September 5, 2010

Ikaho, good old authentic onsen town with steps, steps steps… ! 90mnts from Tokyo

The famous 360 stone steps characterizing Ikaho Onsen Town, make the whole town look dynamic and add the mood of ‘hideaway’.

Last Update: February 16, 2011

Early summer evening @ Roppongi Hills

Last Update: June 26, 2010

Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen and Kyoto downtown

Last Update: June 18, 2010

Tokyo neighbourhood on Sunday

Last Update: June 14, 2010

Zakuro, the funniest and friendliest Iranian Restaurant in Yanaka Ginza downtown

Zakuro is the most exciting restaurant I’ve ever visited. It brings me to completely another world. Located in the entrance of Yanaka Downtown street, the restaurant is designed in Persian style, having fully exotic mood. We sit on the floor, that makes us feel very casual and relaxed. The owner Ali-san talks to us, puts us dressed in a special costume  (there’s so many varieties!) . Here we become friends and take photos with each other. They perform berry dance show almost every night, too. The price is incredibly budget friendly !

Zakuro’s official Website :

Last Update: May 8, 2010

Raccoons in Morinji Temple, Azalea in full bloom !

During the Goldern Week  (a week holiday including national holidays, from Apr.29 to May 5th), I had a wonderful minibreak at Azalea Hill Park (Tsutsujigaoka Koen), and Morinji Temple where raccoons are lovely!,   in Gunma Prefecture. After long cold days, summer has come !

Last Update: May 5, 2010

Tokyo Tower

Last Update: April 26, 2010

Ninja still alive?! Visit Ninja Warriors in Kabukicho, East Shinjuku of Tokyo

In the central part of Shinjuku Tokyo, you can meet Ninja warriors and join authentic lessons to learn how to throw Shuriken and how to fight. The room is dark and quiet, for Ninja warriors are not supposed to be noticed by enemies, and their performance (martial art) is sophisticated and careful in every part. For detail including the map, please check Musashi Clan’s website; . If you need the arrangement to bring you there while your stay in Tokyo, please contact .

Last Update: April 19, 2010

Odaiba NightScape; Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, and Replica of the Statue of Liberty

From Shinbashi station (JR Yamanote / Keihin-Tohoku line), you can take `Yurikamome’ line,  a new charming monorail train, and enjoy traveling to Odaiba area. Beside the unique Fuji TV building, you can enjoy casual dining (inluding sake bars), Purikura photo booths, shopping, ferris wheel, and the lovely nightscape.

Last Update: April 18, 2010

Shinabashi, businessmen’s heaven with uncountable casual Sake Bars !

If you’re traveling in Tsukiji (where the world largest fish market is, and well known for its exciting tuna auction in the early morning), or Ginza, and looking for a local nice place to dine out at night, beside Asakusa, I do recommend Shinbashi. It’s actually called `Salaryman (employed business people)’s Heaven’, for having lots of casual sake bars, most are budget friendly. You can enjoy not only casual Japanese dishes (there’re many Kaiten Sushi Restaurants, belt conveying sushi as well), but also blending in with Japanese business people. To here, you can either get off at Shinbashi Station and walk from Karasumori Exit, or walk from Ginza, Tsukiji or from Shiodome busimess district.

Last Update: April 11, 2010

Protected: Kyubey, the finest sushi restaurant in Ginza, with heartful hospitality

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Last Update: April 11, 2010

Magurobito, popular Kaiten Sushi restaurant (conveyor belt sushi) in Asakusa, near Kaminarimon Gate

It’s near Kaminarimon Gate, Asakusa. The otherside of Starbucks. From Asakusa station, go to Kaminarimon Gate, pass it, and turn right at the first crossing.

Official website:  

Last Update: April 11, 2010