Japan Journals

Two Months in Japan

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2004 trip to Japan by gwenamon

Tsukiji Fish Market Photo, Tokyo, Japan More Photos
Quote: An amazing country that somehow manages to combine quiet shrines and majestic beauty with ultra-trendy, dynamic pop culture. Wonderful!

Three Sisters' Inn

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Three Sisters' Inn in Kyoto"

Quote:
The Three Sisters' Inn is located in a quaint residential area, right near Heian-jingu and the Kyoto Municipal Art Museum. Also close by is the Kyoto Handicraft Centre - perfect for souvenir shopping. And the famous Path of Philosophy is also within (a little longer) walking distance. A short walk from the inn is a bus stop that can take you anywhere in Kyoto, given that the bus system is so efficient and easy to follow. (It's better to take the bus rather than the subway to the inn.)This inn is a ryokan, complete with tatami-matted rooms and futon beds. It's lovely, with a more traditional Japanese feel, and spotless. The service is very friendly and helpful. One example - they watched ou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 24, 2005

Three Sisters' Inn
Kurodani-mae, Okazaki
Kyoto, Japan
075/761-6336

Tsukiji Fish Market

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Very Beginning of Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market"

Tsukiji Fish Market Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Trying to hurry to arrive at the market early on a Saturday morning was a challenge for the two of us. But the pace was even more hectic at the market, which we got to around 7am (a Saturday-morning miracle!). What a mad, frantic, vivid place!For every main sloshy aisle we crossed, we had to look both ways. Teeming throngs of fish mongers were pulling or pushing carts, or driving these tiny motorized trucks called ta-rays, all of them laden with fish of some sort. Dozens of times we were almost run over. We got beeped at and physically moved between shoulder-high stacks of seafood...some of it still flailing.But amongst all of the chaos of needing to prepare for the wholesalers...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 22, 2005

Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Station Stop (subway)
Tokyo, Japan

Nikko World Heritage Site

Attraction | "Shiny, Happy Shrines at Nikko World Heritage Site"

Nikko World Heritage Site Photo, Nikko, Japan
Quote:
Our first shinkansen (high-speed train) whizzed us up north of Tokyo on a two-hour trip, dropping us in the picturesque mountain-side town of Nikko. It’s a World Heritage Site due to its impressive line-up of one temple and three shrines.All are mind-bogglingly beautiful in their own unique way. It definitely doesn’t hurt that they are watched over by massive red-barked pines, bordered by gurgling streams, and surrounded by thick moss and fern carpets.The centerpiece is the ostentatious Tosho-gu shrine. At first glance, I was blinded from all of the gold glinting in the sunlight. Looking closer I found the sheer number of carvings crammed on every building almost un...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 22, 2005

Nikko World Heritage Site

Nikko, Japan

Templed Out in Kyoto

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Enryaku-ji's Moss-Covered Grandeur Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Kyoto has piles of temples and shrines, making it really difficult to decide where to start. We went to four. Two of them ended up being my favourites.Sanjusangen-do was incredible. We had to round a couple of corners of the enormously long, dark, dusty, 700-year-old temple hall before we got our first peek at them – 1001 somewhat tarnished, yet shimmering golden statues of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. There they were, with the heavy beams above, the wide floorboards below, and the thick, musty, incensed air all around.The statues looked like they were emitting their own light rather than reflecting it from the paper-screened windows running down one entire side...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 24, 2005

Vintage Tokyo

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Yanaka Market at Twilight Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
I got dreadfully lost when I went to Yanaka - the only area of Tokyo that is made up of old buildings from before WWII and even the earthquake of the 1920s. Wandering in circles isn’t so bad because there’s always something interesting to see, but I still blame the guide-book maps. They usually list only one major street for a five-block radius, making it impossible to gauge which direction is which. URG! Anyway, after asking a few people and finding a few street-corner maps, I found the big, bronze Buddha.Buddha watches over the garden of the Tenno-ji temple, which is found in the very large Yanaka cemetery. People were wandering along its main roads, and some were tending the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 30, 2005