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Preview: Japan Visitor Blog - Tokyo Osaka Nagoya Kyoto

Japan Blog - Tokyo Osaka Nagoya Kyoto

What's happening in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Shimane Japan, updates on sightseeing, museums, temples, shrines and Japan news.Sounds of the real Japan

Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:05:28 PST

Copyright: copyright JapanVisitor Ltd.

Kyooji Temple Yanaka

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:05:06 PST


Kyooji Temple is a small Nichiren temple off the Yanaka Ginza shopping lane in the Yanaka (Yanesen) district of Tokyo.

The temple dates from the Edo Period and contains a statue of Daitokuten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods (shichifukujin). The statue is said to have been carved by Nichiren (1222-1282) himself though this is, probably, unlikely.

The main gate still has bullet holes from the Battle of Ueno in 1868 during the Boshin War when supporters of the Tokugawa shogunate were driven out of Edo by imperial troops.

Kyooji Temple
3-2-6 Nishinippor
Tokyo 116-0013
Tel: 03 3821 5241

Kyooji Temple is a short walk from Nippori Station on the Yamanote Line, Toneri Liner and other lines.


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Kyoto City Bus 1

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 04:24:09 PST

京都市バス#1Kyoto city bus #1 runs from Nishigamo Shako-mae close to Kamigamo Shrine in the north of Kyoto to Demachiyanagi Station and then back.Bus #1 passes Jinkoin, Omiya Somonguchi-cho, Yamanomaecho, Gentaku-shita, Murasakino Sendocho, Asahigaoka, Bukkyo Daigaku-mae, Senbon Kitaoji, Funaokayama, Kenkun Jinja-mae, Daitokuji-mae (for Daitokuji Temple), Kitaoji Horikawa, Kitaoji Shinmachi, (Kitaoji Bus Terminal (Subway Kitaoji Station), Karasuma Kitaoji, Shokubutsuen-mae (Kyoto Botanical Garden), Furitsu Daigaku-mae (Kyoto Prefectural University), Rakuhoku Koko-mae, Ipponmatsu, Shimogamo Jinja-mae (Shimogamo Shrine), Tadasunomori, Shin-Aoibashi, Aoibashi Nishizume, Kawaramachi Imadegawa and Demachiyanagi Station.The Kyoto #1 bus service begins at 5.47am daily from Nishigamo Shako-mae and the last bus is 10.24pm.From Demachiyanagu Station the first bus is at 6.19am daily and the last bus is at 10.56pm. There are 3-6 buses an hour.Find out more about buses in Kyoto. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="500">© JapanVisitor.comLike this blog? Sign up for the JapanVisitor newsletter align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&lc1=3366FF&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="align: left; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">Tokyo ApartmentJapan Job SearchRough Guide To JapanKeywordsJapan BusesKyoto BusesKyoto [...]

Sesoko Island

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 21:35:35 PST

瀬底島Sesoko Island is a small island off the Motubu Peninsula near Nago on the west coast connected by bridge to Okinawa Honto.Sesoko has a few lovely white sand beaches and a number of guest houses and minsuku that attract budget travelers for snorkeling and relaxing throughout the year.The most popular beach is on the west coast, the 800m-long Sesoko Beach, which has parking (1000 yen), life guards, umbrellas and loungers as well as food and drink for sale.There's also a  smaller beach right at the bridge to the main island - Anchi-hama. The water at both beaches can be amazingly clear and the sea a beautiful turquoise color.A number of specialist marine sports shops offer jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling and diving trips in summer.Sesoko Island and Sesoko Bridge in winter #okinawa #beach #沖縄A photo posted by JapanVisitor (@japanvisitor) on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:05am PST© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Japan News This Week 15 January 2017

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:30:03 PST


Caroline Kennedy, an Ambassador Whose Role Transcended the Embassy
New York Times

Emperor Akihito: Japan considers moves to allow 2018 abdication - reports

Almost 75% of Japan's biggest coral reef has died from bleaching, says report

China moves Japan war start date up to 1931 in textbooks to boost ‘patriotic education’
Japan Times

The Japanese State versus the People of Okinawa: Rolling Arrests and Prolonged and Punitive Detention
Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blog


A recent survey of sixth graders across Japan asked them about their future dream job (the number in parenthesis is the result from the previous year).

For girls, the top five responses were:

1) Food service (chef, etc.) (1)
2) Day Care Worker (2)
3) School Teacher (5)
4) Doctor (4)
4) Nurse (3)

For boys, the top five responses were:

1) Professional Soccer Player (1)
2) Researcher/Professor (8)
3) Police Officer/Detective (3)
4) Professional Baseball Player (2)
5) Doctor (6)
5) Food service (chef, etc.) (7)

Source: Asahi Shinbun


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Chogakuji Temple & Takeda Shingen

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:40:44 PST

長岳寺&武田信玄Chogakuji Temple in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture is associated with the death of the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573).Takeda Shingen's death is shrouded in mystery. It is thought he died of pneumonia while returning to his base in Kofu from an attack on Noda Castle, north east of present-day Toyohashi. In Akira Kurosawa's film, Kagemusha ("Shadow Warrior"), Takeda Shingen, however, is shot at night by a Tokugawa sniper at the castle and fatally wounded.One version of the following events is that Takeda Shingen's body was cremated in the hills near Chogakuji Temple and his ashes are buried within the temple grounds. His followers tried to maintain Takeda was still alive to fool his enemies, hence the "Shadow Warrior" of Kurosawa's movie, a common thief with a remarkable resemblance to Takeda, who was forced into impersonating him.A ten-story pagoda was erected in 1974 to mark the spot where Takeda's ashes are buried, paid for by subscriptions from residents of Takeda's home province of Yamanashi. A noticeboard references the popular 1988 NHK Taiga drama, Takeda Shingen and the history of the warrior's final days.Chogakuji TempleAchi Village569 Komaba, Shimoina-gunNagano Prefecture 395-0303Tel: 0265 43 2967Hours: 9am-5pmAdmission: 200 yen adultsChogakuji Temple is located in the village of Achi midway between Iida and Nakatsugawa just off the Chuo Expressway. Chogakuji Temple is very close to the Hirugami Onsen resort.© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="500"> [...]

Shin-Ochanomizu Station Mosaics

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:47:07 PST


Shin-Ochanomizu Station on the Chiyoda Line of the Tokyo metro in Ochanomizu has some lovely mosaics by glass artist Ikkou Itabashi representing the months of the year and including phrases from the old lunar calendar to describe the seasons, for example, 立秋 (risshuu), meaning the beginning of autumn.

Shin-Ochanomizu Station also has the longest escalator on the Tokyo subway network. Another reason to visit.

The mosaics were completed in 2002 and make use of recycled glass.


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Hotel Avanti Tokushima

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:51:08 PST


Hotel Avanti Tokushima in Tokushima city on Shikoku is 600 meters from Tokushima Station and only 100 meters from the ropeway going up Mt. Bizen and Awa Odori Kaikan.

The Hotel Avanti is very popular with backpackers, pilgrims and foreign visitors to Japan on a budget.

The Hotel Avanti has free wifi and is very foreigner-friendly. There is no kettle in the rooms but hot water is available in the lobby.

A small breakfast is provided on a tray in your room.

Hotel Avanti
Higashidaiku-machi 1-20
Tokushima Prefecture, 770-0905


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Edo Noren Ryogoku

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 15:12:20 PST

江戸NorenEdo Noren, a two story food and shopping center opened in November 2016 as part of the redevelopment of Ryogoku Station. Ryogoku is the heartland of Japanese sumo and Ryogoku Station is less than five minutes' walk from the Kokugikan sumo stadium and close to a number of sumo stables or heya - where sumo wrestlers live and train.Edo Noren has a sumo ring as part of its "Edo era" design and among the dozen or so restaurants in the complex is one specializing in the dish most associated with sumo wrestling: chankonabe (see the last image).Other restaurants offer sushi, okonomiyaki, yakitori, noodles, tempura and other favorites of Japanese cuisine.There's lots to see and do in the Ryogoku area including the Edo-Tokyo Museum, the new Sumida Hokusai Museum, the Ryogoku Fireworks Museum and the Ruins of Kira Yoshinaka's House, Kira Yoshinaka being the man murdered by the 47 Ronin in the ultimate revenge attack way back in 1703.There are plenty of other places to try chankonabe and delicious sushi in the area, especially on the road running parallel to the railway tracks north of Ryogoku Station up towards Ryogoku subway station. Edo Noren, though, is a welcome addition to an already excellent culinary scene in the area.Edo Noren1-3-20 YokoamiSumida-ku, Tokyo (JR Ryogoku Station West Exit)Hours: 10am-11.30pm; closed January 1-2 © JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Man in the Moon Pub Kyoto Station

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 19:46:54 PST

マンインザムーン京都駅店Man in the Moon bars are a small chain of Irish-style pubs in Kyoto with pubs at Kyoto Station and others in Shijo Karasuma, Gion and Rokkaku. The chain also includes the Pig & Whistle on Sanjo which recently celebrated 30 years in business.Man in the Moon pubs offer draft Guinness, a variety of Irish and Scottish spirits plus perennial food favorites such as fish and chips all served up in cozy, wood-panelled interiors with live sports on TV.All the Man in the Moon pubs have free Wifi.The pub at Kyoto Station is at the Hachijoguchi Exit near the Shinkansen tracks. Turn right (west) as you exit the station and walk about 500m.The interior is tight for space at the Kyoto Station pub and can get pretty warned.Man in the MoonKintetsu-meitengai Miyakomichi 31-1Kamadonno-cho, Higashi-shiokoji, Shimogyo-kuKyoto 600-8215Hours: Friday & Saturday: 11am - 4amSunday - Thursday: 11am - 2amHappy Hour 11am to 7pmAll alcohol reduced by 100 yen© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Orion Happy Park

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 20:22:35 PST

オリオンビールOrion is Okinawa's very own beer with an American-style mild taste and an alcohol content of 5%.Orion Happy Park in Nago in the north east of Okinawa main island offers brewery tours and tastings. You can also visit Orion Happy Park just to eat and drink in an Okinawan beer hall environment.Brewery tours can be booked online (see the link below) and include 2 drinks (non-alchoholic for drivers, minors and non-drinkers). There are 23 tours a day starting at 9.20am and finishing at 4.40pm with one every 20 minutes. Each tour lasts 35 minutes with 20 minutes sampling time.Orion Happy Park also includes a store where you can buy Orion beer and souvenirs and a beer hall/restaurant.Orion Happy Park2-2-1 Agarie, Nago CityOkinawa 905-0021Closed: December 31 - January 3If driving leave the Okinawa Expressway at the Kyoda I.C. and then take highway 58 for about 10 minutes.Other attractions nearby in the Nago area include Pineapple Park, the ruins of Nago Castle and the Nago Museum next door to the Town Hall.© align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&lc1=3366FF&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="align: left; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">Like this Japan blog? Sign up for the JapanVisitor newsletterKeywordsOkinawaOrion beerOrionBeerJapanese beer [...]

Japan News This Week 8 January 2017

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 19:05:42 PST

今週の日本A Maverick Former Japanese Prime Minister Goes Antinuclear New York TimesIs Japan’s culture of overwork finally changing? BBCHow Japan weaves caring and sharing into all layers of society GuardianExperts warn Japan’s language schools are becoming a front for importing cheap labor Japan TimesTrump's Threat to Charge Japan More for U.S. Forces: Taoka Shunji says “Let them leave.” Japan FocusLast Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blogStatistics"While widely recognized for its peace constitution, Japan is one of the world’s top military spenders, ranking officially (in 2015) at No 8 (after the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, India, France) but if the military subsidy it pays to the Pentagon (over $6 billion) is added to its own military budget, it probably passes India and France to become No 6. It has supported and provided facilities for US wars from Korea and Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria more recently. Seven decades after being defeated in war and occupied by US forces, it insists that the US continue to occupy its territory, especially in Okinawa."Source: Gavan McCormack, Japan Focus© JapanVisitor.comInside Track Japan For Kindle [...]

Ryuku Sun Royal Hotel

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 21:19:50 PST

琉球サンロイヤルホテルThe Ryukyu Sun Royal Hotel in downtown Naha on Okinawa is a moderately-priced business hotel close to Asahibashi Station on the Yui Line and the main shopping street of Kokusai Dori.The good points: the staff are unfailingly friendly, the buffet breakfasts were good and the rooms spacious with complimentary newspaper and bottled water every day.Slight reservations: the carpets in the halls are becoming a bit frayed, the hotel charges 1,000 yen a night for parking (limited spaces available) and the Wifi was hit and miss outside the lobby and first floor toilet.The hotel is a short walk from the souvenir stores and restaurants of Kokusai Dori and the Palette Kumoji Department Store. There are a good number of restaurants close to the hotel without having to walk to Kokusai Dori and a convenience store just 50m away.Ryukyu Sun Royal HotelHigashimachi 6-20Naha, Okinawa 900-0034 © JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Shitamachi Museum Annex

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 19:42:44 PST

旧吉田や酒店Shitamachi Museum Annex (Former Yoshidaya Liquor Store) is a photogenic, traditional wooden store in the Yanaka district of Tokyo that survives from the early part of the 20th century. The building dates from 1910 and was in use until 1986.A free museum, the Shitamachi Museum Annex recreates the interior of a Meiji Period liquor store with contemporary advertising posters on the wall, rice straw sake barrels and the raised tatami part of the shop where the shopkeeper would be.The Old Yoshida Sake Store is just a little down the hill from SCAI the Bathhouse art gallery and Gallery Okubo, towards Kototoi Dori Avenue. Also nearby is Jyomyoin Temple with its thousands of Jizo statues.Shitamachi Museum Annex is close to both Nippori Station and Uguisudani Station on the Yamanote line or 10 minutes from Nezu Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.The Tozai Megurin bus also stops close to the building. The Shitamachi Museum Annex is part of the main Shitamachi Museum which is located in Ueno Park.Shitamachi Museum Annex10-6-2, Ueno-SakuragiTaito-ku, Tokyo 110-0002Hours: 9.30am-4.30pm; Closed Mondays (unless Monday is a national holiday in which case it is closed on the Tuesday); Closed December 29-January 3Tel: 03 823 4408© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Kyoto City Bus 9

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 03:52:20 PST

京都市バス#9Kyoto city bus #9 runs from Nishigamo Shako-mae across the Kamo River from Kamigamo Shrine in the north of Kyoto to Kyoto Station and then back.Bus #9 passes Jinkoin, Omiya Somonguchi-cho, Kamigamo Misonobashi, Kamogawa Chugaku-mae, Kami-Horikawa, Kitaoji Horikawa, Horikawa Kuramaguchi, Horikawa Imadegawa, Horikawa Nakadachiuri, Horikawa Marutamachi, Nijojo-mae (Nijo-jo Castle), Horikawa Oike, Horikawa Sanjo, Shijo Horikawa, Horikawa Gojo, Nishihonganji-mae (Nishihonganji Temple & Ryukoku Museum), Nanajo Horikawa and Kyoto Station.The Kyoto #9 bus service begins at 5.44am daily from Nishigamo Shako-mae and the last bus is 10.12pm.From Kyoto Station the first bus is at 6.30am daily and the last bus is at 10.57pm. At peak periods there are 8 buses an hour.Find out more about buses in Kyoto. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="500">© JapanVisitor.comLike this blog? Sign up for the JapanVisitor newsletter align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&lc1=3366FF&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="align: left; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">Tokyo ApartmentJapan Job SearchRough Guide To JapanKeywordsJapan BusesKyoto BusesKyoto [...]

Gallery Okubo & Yuka-an

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 18:05:50 PST

瑜伽庵Located in the Yanaka district of Tokyo, Gallery Okubo is now part gallery, part cafe and part traditional tea room. An antique shop for Japanese tea ceremony bowls and other implements has stood here since 1913.The first floor has a varied collection of antique Japanese ceramics and tea ceremony implements on show and also for sale.The second floor has a small Western-style cafe where guests can eat a set lunch and enjoy tea or coffee served using European tableware. Western tea sets are also on display and on sale in glass cabinets.Next door is a raised 4.5 mat tatami tea room where visitors can sit on chairs, without removing their shoes and kneeling to enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and matcha green tea served using vintage Japanese tea bowls, some dating back to the Edo Period (1603-1868).Visitors are welcomed by the enthusiastic and English-speaking host and can enjoy a friendly and informal Japanese tea ceremony in comfort and 6-2-40, Taito-kuTokyo 110-0011Tel: 03 5834 2119Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11am-6pm; closed Monday and TuesdayCost: The Japanese tea ceremony costs 1,000 yenAccess: Gallery Okubo is a 5-minute walk from Nippori Station or 8 minutes from Nezu Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. The Tozai Megurin bus stops nearby. Gallery Okubo is close to the Scai The Bathhouse Gallery, the Shitamachi Museum Yoshidaya and the entrance to Yanaka Cemetery.© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Antique-ya Matsue

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 17:23:11 PST

Sometimes things about Japan can be so interesting and yet difficult to understand. I may laugh because of the differences, but I always appreciate them.Shimane Prefecture lies in the Chūgoku region on the coast of the Sea of Japan. I was finally able to devise an itinerary which included a visit to the prefecture and specifically Matsue, last May. I prepared for the trip by reading what material was available online. One of these sources was "Visit Shimane," presented with the cooperation of the Shimane Prefectural Office.Tourist information included, naturally, shopping information. That is when I saw a store called Antique-ya located in Matsue. The description sounded interesting, and I made a note of it in my planner. I thought, "This must be something pretty good if it's on the Shimane Tourism site."On the day we visited Matsue we went to Izumo Taisha Shrine, to Matsue Castle, and walked to the beach. It was a lovely day and we decided to drop by Antique-Ya.My daughter, whose special skill happens to be expert map-reading and a flawless sense of direction, found the store quickly. Yes, there it was. And we had to laugh, at least a little.Antique-ya did not look like the picture on the website. It looked as if it had been rained on for a long time (probably true). There were so many items outside. I said to Amanda, "They can't possibly bring all of this inside at night. It must just sit out here all the time." There were notebooks filled with plastic sleeves holding old photos and postcards. Although they were in a crate, it didn’t seem as if they would stay dry during a rainstorm. Pottery and dishes, some cracked and broken, filled other boxes set up below the window.We walked inside gingerly. There was space for one person to look, so we took turns, always being careful not to kick anything on the floor or knock anything off a table. Virtually every inch of the shop was filled with merchandise.Amanda really wanted to find something to buy, and what finally caught her attention was a Navy medal. The owner removed it from the case, went into another room, and found some loose paper and a sack. He wrapped up the medal and opened his wallet to give Amanda her change. Then we turned cautiously and left. She was happy with her purchase.And why did we laugh? Because this store was on Shimane's tourist website. Does Shimane have such few shops? It was an interesting place, definitely, and we enjoyed it, but…© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Annex Katsutaro Yanaka

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 15:00:07 PST

The Annex Katsutaro is a popular place to stay in the delightful low-rise Yanaka area of Tokyo.Rooms are Japanese style with futons on a tatami floor. Visitors need to remove their shoes in the small genkan (entrance) before entering the room.There is serviceable Wifi throughout the hotel. Breakfast is extra. Rooms are ensuite with a bath and shower. Nearby, is one of the few remaining traditional sento (public baths) in Tokyo - Asahiyu.The nearest stations are Nippori Station on the Yamanote Line, Joban Line, Keihin-Tohoku Line, Keisei Line and the Nippori-Toneri Liner. Sendagi Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line is even closer to the hotel. The smaller Katsutaro Ryokan with just 7 rooms as opposed to the 17 in the Annex is nearer to JR Ueno Station.Annex KatsutaroYanaka 3-8-4Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001.© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Japan News This Week 1 January 2017

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 21:20:39 PST


Japanese Ad Executive to Resign Over Employee’s Suicide Stemming From Overwork
New York Times

Japan PM Shinzo Abe offers Pearl Harbor condolences

Anger as Japanese minister visits 'war crimes' shrine after Pearl Harbor trip

Chinese scholar urges Abe to follow Pearl Harbor with Nanjing visit
Japan Times

Japan: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s Agenda
Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blog


One in 68 Japanese women is estimated to be participating in the "pink" industry. This data comes from a Shukan Post article that appeared in December 2011.

Counting the women who work in the adult video, prostitution, cabaret clubs, and other sex-related industries, this not particularly scientific - or verifiable - data was announced.

One in 200 women is or has appeared in an adult video.

Source: Tani Channel


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Kohaku Uta Gassen 2016

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 00:44:48 PST

(image) This year's Kohaku Uta Gassen is the 67th installment of this long-running New Year's Eve institution, which is watched by millions of people around Japan.

Kohaku is a male-vs-female singing face-off between famous entertainers in Japan run by Japan's public broadcaster, NHK.

"Ko" is the kanji for "red" and stands for the women; "haku" is for white and represents the men.

The main theme of this year's program is "Let's sing a dream." However, not far below the happy and well-run surface, is a much larger issue. SMAP - the nation's leading boy band - is breaking up after a quarter century and will not be appearing. Short of divine intervention, the "boys" (most of the members are now in their early 40s), an institution, are finished. Rumors are rife.

Another large theme is that this may be the final program in the Heisei Era as the current Emperor may abdicate in the coming year.

The White (men's) team is led by Masaki Aiba from the boy band Arashi - the heirs to SMAP. Actress Kasumi Arimura leads the Red (women's) team.

Hiraku Utada and Puffy will make their debut appearances. Hiroshi Itsuki is making his 46th appearance.

Kohaku will air on December 31 2015 from 7:15 pm to 11:45 pm on both NHK TV and radio. The venue is NHK Hall in Tokyo's Shibuya district.


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G Physique Gay Bar -- for a Quickie (or More) in Osaka

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 05:30:07 PST

G Physique is an easy place to stop for a quickie as you bar hop your way around Osaka's main gay area, Doyama, but you may even find reason to linger here longer than planned.G Physique - the entranceThe crowd is primarily in their 20s to 30s, and a bit into the 40s too, but with only about one-third of them being Japanese (with about a third each Asian tourists and non-Asian tourists), you’ll find the place very accommodating to foreigners.Bar at G Physique gay bar in Doyama, Osaka, JapanEnglish is spoken well by your "master," otherwise known as the owner of the bar. He'll be happy to chat you up if you like, but this is also the kind of place where you can just relax with your drink and take in the surroundings. Speaking of drinks, they’re quite affordable for a bar like this! 700 yen for standard drinks, and no cover charge either. Compared to many other bars, the lack of a cover charge here makes it even more fiscally palatable, since you can experience the place, have a drink, and be out the door all for 700 yen.Spot lit bar at G Physique gay bar, Doyama, Osaka, JapanG Physique is split into two zones, a small bar area up front, and a back room with a smattering of cocktail tables. If you’ve come with someone you want to chat with, or if you prefer to blend into the wallpaper, the back room is going to be best for you. For more joviality and pole position, sidling up to the bar is recommended. Wherever you choose to sit, you’ll get to experience the moderately titillating light show, and some classic gay bar music with requisite follow-along TV screens.G Physique, Osaka, a great atmosphere to get to know peopleOpening hours are from 7pm to midnight, later on weekends, closed on Tuesdays. Although it is unabashedly a gay bar, men and women of all orientations are welcome.Welcome to G PhysiqueG Physique is located at 8-23 Doyama-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka, right at street level.© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Japan This News Week 25 December 2016

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 21:20:57 PST


Napping in Public? In Japan, That’s a Sign of Diligence
New York Times

Japan in record military spending amid Chinese tensions

Swipe right? 'Toilet paper' for smartphones trialled in Japanese

Okinawa gets largest chunk of land back from U.S. military since ’72
Japan Times

Okinawa: NGO Appeal to the United Nations and to US Military and Government over Base Matters, December 2015 and December 2016
Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blog


Japanese young people flock every Christmas season to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). It is a seasonal "tradition."

Between December 23 - 25, 2015, KFC had revenues of roughly 46 million US dollars.

That was a 104.4% increase on the previous year.

Source: Japan KFC Holdings


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Two Americans Pokemon Go and Japan

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 17:51:42 PST

ポケモンGOCan you stand reading one more article about Pokemon Go? Please humor me and say yes. I promise, this will be short.I have an iPhone, but my daughter does not, so she uses my phone to play Pokemon Go. I get the benefits of sharing in the fun and, once in a while, catching a Pokemon all by myself. So we were looking forward to playing in Japan, and for a reason special to Amanda: catching her favorite Pokemon since forever - Farfetch'd, who currently resides only in Asia.If you have not played in Japan, here is something I want you to know: wild Pidgies apparently circumnavigate the globe. They are everywhere, more than even Rattatas. So, except for Farfetch’d, you are definitely not missing out. All the other Pokemon populate the highways and byways, cities, towns, fields, mountains, and bodies of water in Japan. (And maybe you can hatch an egg with a Farfetch’d inside at home, as that is a possibility). But it is kind of fun to get Pokemon labeled as caught in Joetsu, or Nagano, or Niigata, and so forth.For days we looked for Farfetch'd, and at one time we observed his mysterious silhouette in a Pokemon sighting while we waited at the train station in Naoetsu. Amanda walked back and forth along the dark platform, but, alas, to no avail. Finally, having but one day left in Japan and resigned to the idea that it just wasn’t going to happen, we looked at the screen and there it was: Farfetch'd and his traveling leek stalk. Amanda pulled out all the stops: berry, then Ultra Ball… "Gotcha!"And guess what else? Amanda got to be Gym Leader at Kasugayama Castle - for at least five minutes!© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Luminous Forest & River

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 08:01:03 PST

徳島LEDアートフェスティバル2016The season of illuminations is in full swing in Japan, but if you, like me, find most of them interesting but a little twee then I suggest you check out what Tokushima city over on Shikoku has on offer.The Tokushima LED Art Festival 2016 features dozens of artworks made using LEDs at numerous sites all over the downtown area. A few do look like the more traditional illuminations, but the vast majority don't, and many of them include sound and some form of interaction as well.The biggest pieces are produced by the international art collective teamLab and go under the name of Luminous Forest & River, and the biggest piece is located on the river itself about halfway between the main railway station and the Mount Bizan Ropeway Station.Consisting of more than 100 giant spheres floating on the water and speakers lined up along either bank, to a gentle soundtrack the colors of the spheres are constantly changing. Further along the banks are many more installations including a small one in a nearby arcade that has smaller white spheres suspended from the roof that when touched light up and emit a sound, very popular with kids.The grounds of Tokushima Castle also has a major installation. It would take a full evening or two to be able to visit all the art and there are numerous concerts taking place as well.Some information in English can be found here much more in Japanese here: width="500" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>The festival runs until the 25th December so if you are nearby it is well worth a visit. © JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

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Earthquake-Hit Joban Line Section Reopens

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:53:36 PST

JR常磐線・相馬―浜吉田間運行再開The Joban Line is a Japan Rail East railway that runs about 350 km from Tokyo through four prefectures: Chiba, Ibaraki, Fukushima and Miyagi up the east coast of Honshu to Sendai. Train services on the Joban Line were disrupted at several points by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Station closures caused by the earthquake and tsunami damage meant that some sections were served by connecting buses instead of trains.Map of the Joban Line stations that reopened after relocation this month.Now, five years and nine months after the disaster, train services have been restored to the 14.6 km section of the Joban Line that crosses from Fukushima prefecture into Miyagi prefecture just north of it: between Shinchi Station in Fukushima and Hamayoshida Station in Miyagi prefecture. Between the above two stations are Sakamoto and Yamashita stations. Since 2011, buses had been running between Shinchi and Hamayoshida stations as a transport alternative.The work of reopening involved changing the route of the line and relocating the stations. Shinchi Station is now 20 meters south of its original location; Sakamoto Station and Yamashita Station, the next stations north, are about 1 km further inland from their original locations; Hamayoshida Station, next north, remains in its original location, which is where the replacement section of the Joban Line joins the original.The diagram at top shows the old and new line and stations. (The diagram is an adapatation of that posted on the Kajima Construction website, Kajima having been responsible for the reconstruction of the section around Sakamoto Station.)The new section of line opened on December 10. Over one-third of the new track is now elevated.This reopening of a section of the Joban Line is a testament to Japan's dedication to good infrastructure, and its readiness to invest in rural areas.Read more about the Joban Line.© JapanVisitor.comGoods From Japan delivered to your home or business [...]

Japan News This Week 18 December 2016

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 21:21:17 PST

今週の日本What the West Can Learn From Japan About the Cultural Value of Work New York TimesJapan parliament legalises casinos BBCUS grounds Osprey fleet in Japan after aircraft crashes off Okinawa GuardianPutin set to arrive for summit with Abe, but island dispute progress seen as unlikely Japan TimesThe Asahi Shimbun’s Foiled Foray into Watchdog Journalism Japan FocusLast Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blogStatistics"The number of crimes reported in Japan in 2015 hit a postwar low, the National Police Agency said Thursday, attributing the trend to an increase in security cameras as well as raised public awareness of crime prevention.Overall penal code violations decreased 9.3 percent from the previous year to 1,099,048, falling below the previous record of 1,190,549 set in 1973, the agency said in a preliminary report. All crime categories marked declines from 2014.The number of thefts, which account for more than 70 percent of crimes in Japan, dropped to 807,605 from 897,259, while murders fell to 933 from 1,054.Fraud cases dropped to 39,439 from 41,523, but cases of furikome sagi (bank transfer scams) or phone scams rose 1,474 to 12,729."The only area that witnessed a spike was crimes committed by senior citizens. Source: Japan Times, January 14© JapanVisitor.comInside Track Japan For Kindle [...]

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