Romance Car Bento

The Odakyu line Romance car from Tokyo to Hakone is memorialized in a souvenir bento box lunch that you can enjoy on your journey.

Yakatabune boats

These boats offer scenic dinner cruises on the Sumida river in Tokyo.

Blast from the Past

Elevator attendents have gone the way of the buggy whip and dial phone in the US, but in Japan, the major department stores still have a staff of lovely young ladies who bow to guests and push the floor buttons in their main bank of elevators. See one in action HERE.

Reflecting Fish

The vibrant red, green and yellow ceiling lights of Nishiki market are reflected in the cellophane wrapping of these dried fish on display.

Nakamise Dori Banners

The Nakamise Dori street entrance to Senso-ji Temple is lined with tourist shops and often displays seasonal or topical decorations, from cherry blossoms to autumn leaves and banners

Hakone Warning

The Hakone area, and Owakudani Hot Springs are an active volcanic area (and sometimes close down when there is significant activity). Visitors to the area see this warning sign when arriving in the area.

Takashimaya Directions

The Takashimaya department store is such a landmark that it merits it’s own mention on the direction signs in a subway train station several blocks away.

Hello Kitty Pressed Penny

If you are a pressed penny collector, here’s one of the most unique we’ve found – the Hello Kitty pressing; offered near Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto.

Old Tokaido Road

The Tokaido Road goes through Hakone and the Odawara area. While the best known portion is in Hakone, other parts of the original road can be found with a little sleuthing.


Takashimaya Elevator Girl

Major Japanese department stores in Tokyo still have a full complement of staff running main bank of elevators for their patrons. Careful training in arm blocking, button pushing and bowing are a prerequesite for the job.

Fushimi Filter

Just for fun, we decided to see take a photo of the Fushimi entrance through our sunglasses. Compare this with the true color and you can get a sense of the distortion you experience when you where sunglasses all the time.

Geisha Vending Machine

No, you can’t get a geisha from one of Japan’s famous and ubiquitous vending machines, but the city of Kyoto encourages vendors to make use of their iconic image for some street decoration. This one was in a parking lot.

Tokyo at Night

The lights of Tokyo extend far into the distance on a beautiful, clear night.

Nishiki Shrine

Right in the heart of Nishiki Market, with all its crowds and food vendors, you can find a moment respite in the local shrine.

Plaid Shoes

OK, so we have a bit of a shoe fetish in Japan. There are just SO MANY unusual offerings. We spotted this pair of plaid shoes on an escalator in Tokyo.

Pet Clothing Galore

The shops on Nakamise dori offer a wide range of unusual items. This one specializes in pet clothing, for the well-dressed pet. There’s everything from sparkly collars to full ensembles for the well-turned out dog.

Where Does the Money Go?

Japan is known for it’s vending machines, which offer just about everything at all hours of the day and night. This one has an non-Japanese speaker puzzled though – where DO you put the money?