Himeji Castle Interior

Himeji Castle Interior
Here are some shots of the inside of Himeji Castle. If you have big feet the stairs may be a little dicey. I had trouble coming down because the backs of my calves were always getting impacted with the riser I was coming of off.

Station Maps

Station Maps
Every train and subway station has large local neighborhood maps near the exit portals.  In most areas in or near medium and large cities the maps are bilingual and very easy to read.  Here is an example of those maps.  In large station complexes these are very useful for determining which exit to use.

The Real Hachiko 45

The Real Hachiko
Many people have seen the statue of Hachiko in Shibuya.  What many people don’t know is that the real Hachiko is in the National Science Museum in Ueno. 

Gyoza in Utsunomiya

Gyoza in Utsunomiya
I am one of the biggest suckers for venturing out to try something when I hear a place “is known for” or “specializes in” or “is the <choose food> capital of Japan” so I headed out to Utsunomiya one morning to try the gyoza there.  It was certainly delicious but not much different from any ...

JR Sakura Lounge Shower at Narita

JR Sakura Lounge Shower at Narita
The Sakura Lounge at Narita is quite vast and well-stocked.  They have first-class shower facilities which are available on a first-come-first-served basis.  If I’m not flying business class I use the day room facilities to take a shower prior to boarding but the facilities in the Sakura Lounge are second-to-none.

JR Tickets at Narita Terminal 2

JR Tickets at Narita Terminal 2
You can buy JR (or Keisei) tickets in the arrivals lobby or go down one level to the platforms and use the JR Travel Center (first picture) or the ticket window (second picture).

2009 Hakata Trip

2009 Hakata Trip
I went to Hakata to get some Ramen and took these pictures of the station and the Yodobashi Camera store.  Unforunately, they wouldn’t let me take pictures inside of the store.

Mt. Fuji Pictures at 270 km/h

Mt. Fuji Pictures at 270 km/h
I was heading to Osaka in January 2009 on a beautiful clear day and took these pictures of Mt. Fuji.  It was truly fortunate to be traveling on such a clear day.

Fukushima Ekiben

Fukushima Ekiben
I was returning from Aizu-Wakamatsu and picked up an ekiben meal on my way back to Tokyo.  There were quite a few choices but this one caught my fancy because of the salmon flakes on the rice.

2009 Kitajima Shoten Visit

2009 Kitajima Shoten Visit
I visited 4-time Olympic gold medal winner Kitajima Kousuke’s family shop in Nishi-Nippori one rainy day in January 2009 to try the now famous menchi-katsu.  I met his father and mother at the shop.  They were very gracious in allowing me to take pictures of them and their shop and were really impressed that I ...