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Fun signs in Japan

March 04, 2016 - This is my last day to write about Japan. On Monday, I will start writing about Ireland. I would like to share some sign...
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Kabuki-za Theater, Tokyo, Japan

March 03, 2016 - The Kabuki-za Theater is located in the Ginza District. It is a beautiful old building and is in sharp contrast to the g...
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Ginza District, Tokyo, Japan

March 02, 2016 - The Ginza District is the glittering, ritzy shopping district of Tokyo. All the most upscale international shops are loc...
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Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan

March 01, 2016 - The Imperial Palace is still the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan and his family. It is located on an island su...
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Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo, Japan

February 29, 2016 - The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a neat historical museum! Tokyo was called Edo until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. The museum h...
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Udon Noodles & the sunset, Takamatsu, Japan

February 12, 2016 - This was my favorite meal! We had udon noodles in broth with a slice of pickled egg and some seaweed on top. Yummy! Afte...
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Ritsurin Park, Takamatsu, Japan

February 10, 2016 - Ritsurin Park is a beautiful garden featuring 6 ponds and 13 hills set against the backdrop of Mount Shiun. It was built...
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Shikoku-mura Village, Takamatsu, Japan

February 09, 2016 - Shikoku-mura is an open-air museum. Thirty-three historical village buildings were moved here from all over the island o...
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Hiroshima, Japan

January 28, 2016 - On August 6, 1945 at 8:15 AM, the USA dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The A-Bomb Dome stood close to ground...
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More Cats in Japan

January 27, 2016 - As a crazy cat lady, I took photos of every cat related thing in Japan. There are cats on trucks too. We even saw a colo...
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Cats in Japan

January 26, 2016 - I LOVE cats! (Yes I am the Crazy Cat Lady! J) Cats statues are everywhere in Japan. I was so happy to find an entire cou...
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Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima, Japan

January 25, 2016 - A very peaceful Buddhist temple, Daisho-in is nestled into the base of Mount Misen. It was linked with Itsukushima Shrin...
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Omotesando Shopping Arcade, Miyajima, Japan

January 22, 2016 - Even though the whole island is a sacred shrine, it still boasts a nice shopping area. One interesting place was the map...
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Goju-no-tu, Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, Japan

January 21, 2016 - High on a hill, overlooking the shrine is Goju-no-tu, a bright red, 5-story pagoda. It is 28 m tall and was built in 140...
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Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, Japan

January 20, 2016 - Below are two photos of the main altar at Itsukushima Shrine and two of the other buildings. One is a temple also and th...
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Bugaku Dance of Ranryoo-an, Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, Japan

January 19, 2016 - While at the Itsukushima Shrine, we saw a performance of the Bugaku Dance of Ranryoo-an. The dance tells the story of a...
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Floating Torii of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Miyajima, Japan

January 18, 2016 - A torii marks the entrance to the sacred ground of a Shinto shrine. Torii are traditionally painted vermillion with blac...
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Toko-ji Temple, Hagi, Japan

January 15, 2016 - The temple was built in 1691 for deceased members of the Mori clan. Over 500 lanterns were donated by Mori vassals. They...
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Merchandise at Kikuya House, Hagi, Japan

January 14, 2016 - The house is now a museum and it showcases many wares that were sold there. I loved all the small statues, toys and piec...
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Kikuya House, Hagi, Japan

January 13, 2016 - Kikuya was a prominent merchant in Hagi. Kikuya helped the Mori clan become the daimyo or feudal lords of Hagi so he was...
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Samurai Quarter, Hagi, Japan

January 12, 2016 - Hagi, Japan was a castle town, fortified by Mori Terumoto in 1604. He was the daimyo (top lord) and surrounded himself w...
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Nosaka-san Pottery Kiln, Hagi, Japan

January 11, 2016 - Japan is famous for its fine ceramics and we got to see them making some. First they mix the different types of clay car...
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Farewell ceremony at Nagasaki, Japan

December 11, 2015 - After a very somber day visiting ground zero, we were treated to a farewell ceremony with music and dancing. The guy wit...
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Bank of Hong Kong, Nagasaki, Japan

December 10, 2015 - The Bank of Hong Kong is a very striking building. I thought it was very interesting to see the difference between the C...
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Peace Park, Nagasaki, Japan

December 09, 2015 - There is a large Peace Park with statues donated by many countries. The Japanese statue is a man in the half lotus posit...
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Ground Zero, Nagasaki, Japan

December 08, 2015 - Ground Zero is where the atomic bomb landed on August 9, 1945 at 11:02 AM. There is a statue there of a mother holding h...
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Yaku Monkeys, Yakushima, Japan

December 07, 2015 - I have always wanted to see monkeys in the wild and I got my wish on Yakushima! We happened upon a small family of the Y...
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Tachudake Peak, Yakushima, Japan

December 04, 2015 - In general, villages in Japan lie along the flat coastal areas. The Japanese tend not to build houses on the tops of mou...
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Yakusugi Land, Yakushima, Japan

December 03, 2015 - Yakusugi Land is a remnant of a warm-temperate ancient rain forest. Only trees that are at least 1,000 years old are cal...
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Dairakuji Temple, Uwajima, Japan

December 02, 2015 - Dairakuji Temple sits high on a hill overlooking the town. It is famous for the flying squirrels that live in the front...
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Tensha-en Garden, Uwajima, Japan

December 01, 2015 - Tensha-en is a small but beautiful garden known for its wisteria, iris and bamboo. It was built for quiet contemplation...
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Welcoming at Uwajima, Japan

November 30, 2015 - When we arrived in Uwajima, they had a small welcoming ceremony for us. They brought out a huge red “demon” bull while m...
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Seto Ohashi Bridge, Japan

November 27, 2015 - This bridge connects Okayama on the island of Honshu with Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku. Previously all traffic bet...
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Tanuki

November 26, 2015 - Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of our national day of over indulgent gratitude, here is the Japanese folklore creature cal...
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Ohashi House, Kurashiki, Japan

November 25, 2015 - Ohashi was a merchant with elevated status so he incorporated some samurai features in his house, such as a courtyard be...
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Momotaro and Kibidango, Kurashiki, Japan

November 24, 2015 - This store provided samples of Kibidango for us. Kibidango is “candy” made from millet paste, made in this area and immo...
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Kurashiki, Japan

November 23, 2015 - The Bikan Historical Area of Kurashiki was the most charming and delightful place we visited! It was built in the Edo pe...
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Basket Lunch, Kurashiki, Japan

November 20, 2015 - As I have said before the Japanese have a definite talent for presentation. We had a basket lunch, which was so charming...
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Korakuen Garden, Okayama, Japan

November 19, 2015 - Korakuen Garden is considered one of the three most beautiful in Japan. It was commissioned by Lord Ikeda and completed...
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Leaving Kobe

November 17, 2015 - At the port of Kobe (think world famous Kobe beef – ultra tender), three people gave a short cultural presentation. One...
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Himeji Castle, Himeji, Japan

November 16, 2015 - Himeji is the grandest of Japan’s twelve remaining feudal castles. It is also called The White Egret Castle or the White...
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Deer, Nara, Japan

November 13, 2015 - Deer are considered the sacred messengers of the gods and are protected in Japan. They are quite tame and all over the p...
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Horyu-ji Temple, Nara, Japan

November 12, 2015 - The Kondo (main hall) at Horyu-ji is the world’s oldest wooden building. It was built in the seventh century. The five-s...
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Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara, Japan

November 11, 2015 - The Kasuga Grand Shrine features over 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns. It was founded in 710 by the Fujiwara family whos...
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Todai-ji Temple, Nara, Japan

November 10, 2015 - Nara was the first capitol of Japan from 710-794 and was the cradle of Buddhism in Japan. Not surprisingly there are lot...
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Shops in Kyoto, Japan

November 06, 2015 - We saw many interesting shops in Kyoto. My favorite was the sword shop with the samurai in the window. I also particular...
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Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto, Japan

November 05, 2015 - Kiyomizu-dera means “pure water.” The temple is named for a spring that comes down the mountain there. It sits high on a...
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Heian Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

November 03, 2015 - The Heian Shrine was built in 1895 to boost the city’s morale and economy after the capitol was moved to Tokyo. It is a...
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Nijo Castle & Ninomaru Palace, Kyoto, Japan

November 02, 2015 - Nijo Castle was built in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Edo Shogunate. The castle part is a huge wall & rampart...
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Japanese Cemeteries

October 30, 2015 - In honor of Halloween, I thought I would mention cemeteries today. Because of the lack of land, most people opt for crem...
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Bamboo Forest

October 29, 2015 - I have seen bamboo growing in small clumps at various botanical gardens but I had never seen a bamboo forest until I was...
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Frogs are lucky!

October 28, 2015 - The Japanese like puns (same as me!). The word for frog sounds very similar to the word for return. So to encourage peop...
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Tenryu-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

October 27, 2015 - T enryu-ji is the temple of the heavenly dragon and has a huge dragon painted on the ceiling of the main hall. We saw th...
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Kaiseki Lunch, Kyoto, Japan

October 26, 2015 - We had a Kaiseki Lunch at Shozan, a kimono factory. It was very elaborately presented! Each person had 11 separate littl...
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Ryoan-Ji Temple Garden, Kyoto, Japan

October 23, 2015 - The temple had a beautiful garden behind it with a pond. It had a tea house and a war memorial in addition to many flowe...
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Ryoan-Ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

October 22, 2015 - The Ryoan-Ji Temple was built in 1450. The centerpiece is a huge Zen rock garden which consists of only white gravel and...
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Cherry Blossoms, Kyoto, Japan

October 21, 2015 - We were fortunate to be in Japan when the cherry trees were in bloom (April). It was quite a beautiful sight to see! We...
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Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan

October 20, 2015 - The first place we visited was Rokuon-Ji Temple, which is best known for the Golden Pavilion (see picture below of me in...
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Kyoto, Japan

October 19, 2015 - The first place we visited in Japan was Kyoto. It was the imperial capital of Japan from 794 – 1867 and it is still cons...
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Sale!

October 19, 2015 - Sale! I have put my photos of Japan and South Korea on my website and to celebrate I am offering 20% off your whole orde...
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Doi Pearl Farm, Uwajima, Japan

April 09, 2015 - We visited Doi Pearl Gallery in Uwajima, Japan. The process of culturing pearls involves a delicate operation to put a s...
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Tensha-en Garden, Uwajima, Japan

March 30, 2015 - Tensha-en is a small but beautiful and serene garden. It was built to encourage quiet contemplation by Munetada Date in...
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Golden Pavilion Temple, Rokuon-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

March 18, 2015 - Most of the Buddhist temples we saw in Japan were not just one building but a whole complex, with the temple, monks quar...
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Floating Torii of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Miyajima, Japan

March 06, 2015 - A torii marks the entrance to the sacred ground of a Shinto shrine. Torii are traditionally painted vermillion with blac...
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