The Real Story at Fushimi Inari

Fushimi Inari and its 10,000 bright vermilion torii gates are one of the most famous tourist places in Japan. Despite the beautiful pictures you see of it when there is no one there, this video is more representative of the crowds. And this was during the slowest tourist season!

Stating the Obvious – Riding Escalators

The Japanese seem to want to be absolutely sure you have instructions in all situations. So in case you are unclear on the concept of riding an escalator, this banner found in a Tokyo subway clarifies it for you. We’re just not certain if you are required to gender separate as shown on the illustration.

Kimono Forest

This unusual display of Japanese textiles can be found in the Arashiyama station in western Kyoto. Originally a temporary display, it is now permanent and includes hundreds of different patterns displayed in clear, plexiglass housing. Designed to reflect the nearby bamboo forest, these fabrics are lit from within in the evening to create a beautiful path of color.

Classic Cookies

The Japanese bring local food as gifts when traveling (the practice is called omiyage), so you will see shops and stands with individually wrapped food throughout Japan. This stand offers some pancake-like cookies in a variety of sizes and box configuration, all beautifully packaged for gift giving.

Today’s Tokaido Road

The Tokaido Road was one one of the primary routes between Kyoto and Tokyo during the years when daimyo were required to travel to old Edo (Tokyo) bi-annually to pay obeisance to the Emperor. Today, one of the remaining sections of the old road is found in Hakone. While part of the road is paved, the towering cypress trees still stand to guide the path of the modern traveler.

Open in Hakone

The tunnel entrance to the Hakone Open Air Museum gives a glimpse of the art awaiting you in the expansive museum filled with contemporary installation art and sculpture. It features both Japanese and western artists and is often a highlight of a trip to Hakone.

Gion at Dusk

The lights for tea houses and restaurants softly illuminate the classic wooden buildings on a Gion, geisha district, side street.