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Monday Moment: Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

18. March 2013

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Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

Starting at the base of a mountain just south of Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari Taisha (or shrine) snakes up and through the trees providing a serene, contemplative mood. Thousands and thousands of vermillion orange toriis line the pathway making for an astounding and elegant display. Most people keep to the bottom trails but climbing to [...]

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Monday Moment: Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

28. January 2013

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Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

Although we arrived at the Tsukiji Fish Market at 7am we were still far too late to see any of the real hustle and bustle that goes on in the morning. The large tuna auction was over and most of the big fish had already been sectioned and sold off. It was clean up time [...]

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The Grand Sumo Wrestler Tournament

17. January 2013

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Japanese Sumo Wrestlers

We enter the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium early, long before the crowds descend. The lowest ranking rikishi, or sumo wrestlers, are just getting started as we make our way to our seats. We’ve been in Japan for almost a month now; wrangling a language built with characters rather than letters, bumbling our way through culture and traditions [...]

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Should We Have Skipped The JR Rail Pass?

2. January 2013

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JR Rail Pass

Train travel in Japan is a treat. Not only do they leave exactly on time but they are quiet, super clean, and comfortable. The extensive network of train tracks links in nicely with an even more extensive network of subway, bus and ferry routes that make it really easy to get pretty much anywhere in the [...]

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Using The Japanese Railway To Get Around

29. November 2012

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Waiting for the Japanese Railway train

For us the primary mode of transportation while in Japan was the Japanese railway system; a combination of trains and metros (subways). For people who aren’t train geeks, the differences can be subtle; I’ll just refer to them universally as trains going forward. What is more important is the difference between the national Japan Rail (JR) system [...]

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Travel To Japan: What Does It Cost (Part Two)

7. November 2012

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Golden Temple, Kyoto

**Click Here to see Travel To Japan: What Does It Cost (Part One)** There is no doubt that Japan is an expensive country to travel in. Our travel to Japan was, in fact, the most expensive trip we’ve ever done. It was also the best trip we’ve ever had. It changed our lives; it was [...]

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Monday Moment: Japanese Manhole Covers

28. October 2012

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Japanese Manhole Covers

It is the attention to detail, in so many ways, that I love about Japan. Even wandering down the most mundane of streets I was amazed at the beauty that I found underfoot. As with many things, the Japanese take manhole covers to a whole new level. Even the simplest among them had beautiful cast [...]

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Living Like A Local In Tokyo

7. October 2012

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Tokyo-128

“Can’t you just imagine living here?” On this trip, more than any other, this thought kept creeping into our minds and conversations. Not only because we are looking for a new home but also because we used apartments for this trip and so really could feel as though we had moved in. We were especially [...]

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Sake Tasting In Takayama

30. September 2012

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Takayama, Japan

Sunny afternoon to fill? Check. Quaint, riverside, neighbourhood filled with sake breweries? Consider it filled. Tucked amongst the craft makers, souvenir shops, and tea houses in Takayama are numerous sake breweries. In winter, when sake brewing is underway, it is possible to tour the breweries and learn some of the secrets to this ancient craft. [...]

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Ten Types Of Ramen To Try On Your Next Japan Visit

24. September 2012

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Ramen

When visiting a place I never try to find the ‘best of’ food. I don’t need to find the best sushi in all of Tokyo; it’s likely that any sushi I have here will be better than any I have ever tasted. No need to battle the crowds, pay the ‘best of’ prices, or spend [...]

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Peace, Quiet, and Contemplation in Koya-san

17. September 2012

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Koya-san

Bidding the city goodbye at the Hashimoto train station we head into the hills toward Koya-san. Winding its way through the small, but steep, slopes covered with cedar, pine, and bamboo, the train slowly empties at each station until it is just us, one other tourist couple, and a few old men on their way [...]

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