Kiraku Ramen Shop – Torisawa, Yamanashi-ken

Kiraku Ramen Shop - Torisawa, Yamanashi-ken
  There is a non-descript ramen shop about 75 meters from JR Torisawa Station called Kiraku that specializes in cha-shu pork.  The thick chunks are extremely tasty and amazingly tender.  The ramen and fried rice is competent but nothing special.  The cha-shu pork is special.  Japanese Gourmet Navi entry is here.  The google maps street ...

Barrels of Sake at Meiji-Jingu

Barrels of Sake at Meiji-Jingu
As the sign says, these barrels are offered once a year from the Meiji-Jingu Sake Brewers Association.  The presentation is impressive.

Ueno Shoryu Gyoza Restaurant

Ueno Shoryu Gyoza Restaurant
There is a wonderful gyoza restaurant buried inside of the Ameyoko marketplace in Ueno.  You might walk by it a hundred times and never notice it.  The queues can be quite long during meal times because seating is very limited but it is well worth the wait.   Google search references are here.   Google ...

JR East Hayabusa

JR East Hayabusa
  The E5 Hayabusa Shinkansen set is one of the newest in the JR system.  I departed Tokyo Station and rode a green car to Shin-Aomori Station. Distinctive green colorGran Class car JR East Hayabusa logo Ekiben (station box lunch) The toilets are amazing for being on a train Green car cabin

Nokke-don in Aomori

Nokke-don in Aomori
I visited the Aomori Gyosai Center and enjoyed Nokke-don which is a process where you have a do-it-yourself bowl of rice topped with fish and seafood of your choosing. There are numerous blogs describing this. Do a search like this and you will see many entries. The google maps street view is here   Very heavy snow ...

Kigensai (National Foundation Day festival)

Kigensai (National Foundation Day festival)
  National Foundation Day at Meiji-Jingu from the Meiji-Jingu website: Kigensai is a ritual ceremony commemorating the foundation of Japan. It is said that Emperor Jinmu, the first Emperor of Japan, was enthroned at Kashihara-no-miya in Nara prefecture on this day more than 2600 years ago. During Kigensai, Shinto priests in festive attire offer food ...

Tokyo 2011 – Top Hotels

This is a third update from two years ago of the 2009 Tokyo hotel ratings in the Michelin Guide.   Notable changes are that there are no 5 red star hotels this year but I believe that is a typo in the book so I’ve listed them as 5 red-stars.   2009 is here and 2010 ...

2011 Japan Earthquake Video

I was in Japan on 3/11/2011 at the Tesudo Hatsubutsukan (Omiya Train Museum) during the Tohoku Earthquake.  I was able to shoot video footage about 1 minute AFTER the shaking started. I added this video to youtube if the above one is not working.  You can view it here.

Tsunahachi Tempura Restaurant

Tsunahachi Tempura Restaurant
I visited the Tsunahachi tempura restaurant at the Daimaru food floor above Tokyo Station again but went there for dinner instead of lunch.  The price is a little higher than the lunch specials but well worth it.  I ordered one of the omakase seafood choices, about Y4000 plus beer and was not disappointed.  They have an ...

Modern Japanese Express Train

Modern Japanese Express Train
I was shooting pictures on the bridge at Uguisudani in Tokyo and snagged some nice shots of a yellow E653 set used for the Fresh Hitachi service on the JR Joban Line.  The cool thing about the Joban Line is that it is dual voltage with 1500V DC in the Tokyo area and 20,000V AC ...