Tokyo and Vicinity

Ajisai & The Rainy Season

Jun 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Parks, Gardens & Nature, Tokyo and Vicinity

You may have though it was all bad news when you heard that Japan’s rainy season officially started this week but it’s doesn’t rain everyday and the weather is still relatively cool and pleasant – in fact it’s great sightseeing weather!    One of the best things to do this time of year is to take […]

Yomeiri-Fune – Wedding Ships Set Sail in Japan

Jun 10th, 2009 | By | Category: Events, Tokyo and Vicinity

June is for brides – it’s a common saying in the west that is also applicable in Japan but not in the way you might think.  Every June with the blooming of the irises the tradition of Yomeiri-Fune, also know as marriage boats or wedding ships, take to the waters in Japan. It is a […]

Kobo Daishi

Jun 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

Kobo Daishi is the posthumous name of a Buddhist monk known as Kukai who established the Shignon sect of Buddhism with the creation of a seminary community and an Esoteric Buddhism School over 1,200 years ago on Mt. Koya in Wakayama Prefecture. Today, statues and images of Kobo Daishi abound in Japan and many believe […]

Summer Music Festivals in Japan

Jun 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Festivals, Osaka, Tokyo and Vicinity

Whether your taste in music tends towards traditional rock & roll, soul, alternative or contemporary Japanese you are sure to find one of your favorite artists or discover a new favorite when you attend a summer music festivals in Japan.   The line up of artists from the gamut at these three great music events. Fuji […]

Nippori Shopping Street – A Shotengai Worth a Visit

Jun 1st, 2009 | By | Category: Shopping, Tokyo and Vicinity, Travel

Along the street marking the border between Yanaka and Nishi-Nippori lies a quaint shopping street (shotengai) that is home to a number of food vendors, restaurants and shops.  It’s not a typical destination for most Tokyo tourists but bustles with activity nonetheless and the area is worth a visit for not only the shopping street […]

Edo Open Air Museum

May 28th, 2009 | By | Category: Museums, Outdoor Activities & Sporting Events, Tokyo and Vicinity

Located near Tachikawa, The Edo Open-air Architectural Museum is home to a recreation of a Japanese street scene with buildings from the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912) as well as a number of important historic buildings and cultural assets that have been moved here from different parts of the country and restored. One of the […]

Meiji Jingu Iris Garden

May 22nd, 2009 | By | Category: Events, Parks, Gardens & Nature, Tokyo and Vicinity

Meandering rows of irises, known as ayame or shoubu in Japanese, bloom each June in the garden located with the precincts of Meiji Jingu Shrine.  The vibrant purple and white of the flowers are set off beautifully by the the verdant green of the grass and trees along a creek that seems to go on […]

Kameido Tenjin Cure?

May 5th, 2009 | By | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

A trip to the Kameido Wisteria Festival found all of the usual attractions of a matsuri (festival) in Japan; abundant food stalls, good weather and  plenty of people but Mother Nature had other ideas when it came to cooperating with the wisteria blooms.  Only a few of the wisteria vines were blooming and I would […]

Tengu on Mt. Takao

Apr 28th, 2009 | By | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

Tengu, the Japanese god of mischief and patron saint of the martial arts, is ever present on Mt. Takao. On a beautiful sunny day this past weekend I made the trip to Takao Quasi-National Park.  After taking the cable car up Mt. Takao I took the 30 minute walk up stairs, down valleys, and up […]

Flaming Incense at a Japanese Temple

Apr 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

At Benzaiten, a temple surrounded by the waters of Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, the flames licked the incense burning in the large bronze koro (incense burner) sitting at the base of the steps to the temple. The lovely island temple in the heart of Tokyo is dedicated to the only goddess among the Seven […]