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

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.

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 ...

Uncommon House in Central Tokyo

Uncommon House in Central Tokyo
20+ years ago when I worked for LSI (Logic) our Tokyo office was in the heart of central Tokyo in an area called Akasaka. It was and is a very high-end area catering to business and politics. We were in the west wing of the Kokusai Shin Akasaka Building which is right on top of ...

Tokyo 2010 – Top Hotels 1

This is an update to my post last year of the 2009 Tokyo hotel ratings in the Michelin Guide.  Notable changes are the Shangri-La displaced the Conrad for #5 in the top tier.  The Nikko moved up to four red (from four black). I’ll repeat the same pitch I gave last year.   If you are ...

Underground at Ueno-Hirokoji Station

Underground at Ueno-Hirokoji Station
People frequently ask me about navigating the trains and subways in Tokyo. It can be a daunting task. The important thing to do is to prepare properly. First, you should know the area you are interested in, you should know which train or subway lines are in the area and what the stations are called. ...

F1 Car at Toyota Factory Tour

F1 Car at Toyota Factory Tour
Day 9 Post Note: This is from a series of trip reports from my January 2010 Tokyo Trip. They are random musings about whatever seems interesting for that day. On Day 9 I went on the Toyota Factory Tour. Prior to the tour I went through the museum and found that they are still displaying ...

Deer at Nara Park

Deer at Nara Park
Day 8 Post Note: This is from a series of trip reports from my January 2010 Tokyo Trip. They are random musings about whatever seems interesting for that day. On day 8 I made a side trip to Nara.  This entry focuses on the deer.  The Todaiji and the Buddha is pretty spectactular but the ...