The Fox is the the animal associated with Fushimi Inari shrine (10,000 torii gates). Lots of souvenirs with the fox theme are available.
While American women are no longer wearing hats regularly, the Japanese women are. So the department stores all have large millinery departments.
More guardians at the gate – this is found in the tourist areas of Asakusa, Tokyo
With both trains moving at over 150 miles per hour, it’s only by accident that you can get a picture of the Shinkansen train that is passing you – notice the slanted windows?
Looking for a unique gifts – try an umbrella with a traditional Japanese katana handle. You won’t find these at home!
The ceiling of the train station in Arashiyama reflects the most famous local landmark, the Bamboo Forest.
The neon lit signs of Shinjuku on any evening are an iconic representation of Tokyo.
The town of Miyajima is famous for the wooden rice servers that bear their names. You can pick up souvenir ones on a visit or invest in some of the beautiful hand-carved ones in higher end shops on the island.
Strawberries delights! The Japanese love seasonal foods, so the offerings outside of tourist areas like Fushimi Inari reflect seasonal foods.
You think of sushi and you think of Japan – these bento sushi boxes offer fresh, delicious sushi and are widely available throughout Japan, especially in train stations.
Kanazawa is located along the sea and is known for some of the best seafood and variety in Japan. Omicho Market has many fresh fish stands such as this one.
The Europeans have gargoyles guarding their important buildings, this lion guards the streets of Asakusa
These ladies have dressed up in the locally available tourist kimonos for some photo ops along the Kamogawa River in Kyoto.
Sugidama – these balls of fresh cedar branches are on display outside of sake establishments. Usually you find them in shades of brown, but when they are freshly made they are a vibrant green. They are hung fresh when the sake is pressed and when brown, the sake is ready to drink. Find these in the sake town of Saijo near Hiroshima.
One of the most fascinating parts of Japanese shopping is the incredible range of customized products available. In the department stores’ kimono floors you can find custom geta with a wide range of styles, colors and fabrics.
This decorative wall of multi-colored ivy can be found on the second floor of Tokyo Station (Yeasu side, near Daimaru). It’s a little bit of nature in the midst of the city.
While current volcanic activity does not permit visitors on the ground, you can get a good view of the Owakudani hot springs on the gondola ride over the springs in Hakone.
Strawberries in Japan are amazing! And these were some of the best we’ve ever had. We didn’t even get out of the airport – we bought these at a fruit and vegetable stand right inside Terminal 2 at Narita and ate them on the way into the city.
O-mikuji are fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. These were photographed at Kyoto’s famous Fushimi Inari. You can even find them festooned over nearby trees.
Whenever you travel around Japan you’ll run into groups of school children traveling on the trains on school field trips. These backpacks are stationed in the waiting area waiting for the kids to return from their food foraging to claim them.