On the Move

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?

Sake Balls

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.

OMG! The BEST Strawberries Ever

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.

More Fast Food

Most places in Japan don’t have street food; but there are a few near famous tourist places. These squid balls can be found near Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto and, frankly, all throughout Japan.

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?

Station and Ivy

The Japanese hide beauty in the most unexpected places. This wall of multi-covered ivy is found in the upper level of the front (Yeasu side) of Tokyo Station, where tourists would rarely go.

Shinjuku Station

This slice of daily life is from Shinjuku station, one of Japan’s largest, during off hours. The underground routes criss-cross each other as people rush to their trains and subways. During rush hours the place is thronged with Japanese going to work or home.

The Sound of Wind

Sound of Wind by Takao Tsuchida is one of the many, many contemporary art pieces beckoning you into a fuller exploration of the Hakone Open Air Museum.

Elevator Girls

Tokyo department stores still have young ladies operating the primary elevators. The studied training they receive and their cheerful approach to their job is reflected in the white-gloved, careful attention they give each visitor’s needs. Japanese formality and responsibility, in all its many manifestations, are epitomized by these beautiful young ladies.

Fireman are always cool

Firemen

Firemen are always cool in any country. These two were nice enough to pose for us one day in Kyoto. We really love their helmets, which were reminiscent of samurai warrior helmets.

Tempura Chef at Tenichi

Tempura chefs in Japan are meticulous in their preparation. The well-known Tenichi Tempura, in Tokyo, has a location in the Takashimaya Department store in Nihonbashi where you can sit at the counter for full tempura meal or just a tendon bowl.

Hurry Up!

Japanese school children take field trips on the trains, just as many people travel in Japan. You can find large groups of kids (some as young as 8 or 9) lined up and sitting on the floor in the station while waiting for their trains. These kids are racing back to join their group before their train leaves.