Japan Journals

Land of the rising sun

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A September 2004 trip to Japan by onesundaymorning

Gion Photo, Kyoto, Japan More Photos
Quote: I've never been to a place like Japan before where modern society is mixed with centries old tradition.

Land of the rising sun

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Overview

Gion Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Arriving by ship to the Port of Kobe, I was lucky enough to wake up to see the sunrise over Japan. The white fog in the background gave way to a giant red ball rising over the horizon, mimicking the country's flag. It was easy to see why Japan is the Land of the Rising Sun. Everything about Japan was exciting and new to me, even everyday items such as vending machines had a Japanese twist to them making somehow different. Like most tourists, I expected to find many people who spoke English, but quickly found that Japan would be the hardest place to overcome the language barrier. Many people in Japan can read English, but the few who did speak it became my saviors. When in a train station, all you...Read More

Uji Genji Museum

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Attraction | "Uji"

Uji Genji Museum Photo,
Quote:
A short train ride out of the fast pace Kyoto on the Keihan train, is the small town of Uji. Uji seems almost untouched by tourists and left behind by the high tech boom seen throughout Japan. In other words Uji is a far cry from Tokyo (I left my camera on a table at a bakery. When I came back 30 minutes later it was still there). Byodo-in is the main attraction that draws tourists to this peaceful town. Head towards the river; the train station is about a 10 minute walk to the temple. The Buddhist temple dates back to 988 during the Heian period. The most famous building is the Phoenix Hall, which is the only original building on the grounds. The Phoenix building is now a museum, which hou...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2007

Uji Genji Museum

Kyoto, Japan

Himeji Castle

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Attraction | "Hemiji Castle"

Himeji Castle Photo,
Quote:
Himeji isn’t hard to find. I took the subway from Kobe to Himeji in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan. Once off the subway I started wandering around trying to find the castle. My strategy was to walk in a straight line and hopefully find it, it’s a freaking castle from medieval time after all surrounded by twenty-first century buildings. My strategy worked because a minute into my walk the castle rose over the horizon. It was beautiful and after entering it’s easy to see why it is considered the first Japanese National Cultural Treasure and the most visited castle in the country. A moat and beautifully manicured grounds surround the castle, which sits on top of a hill. At the base of the castl...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 26, 2007

Himeji Castle
68 Hon-machi
Himeji, Japan

Nijo Castle

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Attraction

Nijo Castle Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Nijo-jo Castle was the only saving grace that I found in Kyoto. After taking the train from Kobe to Kyoto my friend, Andy, and I spent a good two hours circling the Kyoto Station in search of the tourist information center, TIC, which was suppose to be located in a building across from the station…it wasn’t. By complete chance we headed to a mall across of the station out of frustration and accidentally ran across another TIC, however this was for Japanese tourists only. We were told that the international traveler TIC would be found further up a staircase. The stairs lead us past several floors in the mall and ended up in what appeared to be a department store. A sales associate told us to follow ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2007

Nijo Castle
Nishi Nijojo Nijohorikawa Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto, Japan 604-8235
+81 075 841 0096

Kobe, Japan

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Story/Tip

Tower Photo, Kobe, Japan
Quote:
Kobe is the place that I would someday like to call home. I’m a small town girl who loves the city and Kobe has managed to mix and blend the two together. Although it is one of the largest cities in Japan, several of the side streets are cobblestone. In 1995, the city was torn apart by an earthquake. Today, little evidence of it exists except by the harbor where a museum was built in memory of one of the worst natural disasters to date. Several areas are left untouched to show the destruction that happened.There are several things to do in Kobe, and a week isn’t enough to see it all. Even just walking around, you are sure to find wonderful sites. While walking though the city, we walked around a ...Read More

Osaka

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Story/Tip

clothing Photo, Osaka, Japan
Quote:
At the heart of Kansai is Osaka, one of the largest cities in Japan only surpassed by Tokyo. My trip here wasn’t about finding any historical or cultural attractions, but instead to find one of the greatest impacts that Japan has on the world: fashion. When most people think of trendy cities London and Paris are the first to come to most minds, but where do these fashion forward cities look for their inspiration, Japan. Due to time constrictions I wasn’t able to make it to Tokyo; the fashion mecca of the world, but instead I was able to go to Osaka and find view something that I’ve waited a life time to see, Tokyo Street Fashion.In the late nineties a new form of fashion started to...Read More