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.

Excellent Lens Filter Comparison

I found an article about lens filters that actually has a ranking based on multiple factors.  The article is quite detailed and I used the rankings to upgrade my UV filters for my lenses.  My current gear list has all of my glass listed in detail with reviews of each lens.  I decided that this ...

JAL Safety Promotion Center 2

JAL Safety Promotion Center
JAL operates their Safety Promotion Center near Haneda Airport.  It is a solemn place, open to the public and by reservation only.  Photographs are prohibited but JAL maintains a webpage with some photos of what’s inside.

Japan Customs Warnings

Japan Customs Warnings
The  departure area at Narita airport has a nice display of contraband.  Genuine and counterfeit articles are displayed, prohibited items are also displayed.

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 ...

JAL Executive Class Dinner (->USA)

JAL Executive Class Dinner (->USA)
The Japanese dinner offered in JAL Executive Class on flights leaving Japan is pretty good.  I starts out with eight courses of very delicious dishes followed up by an entree with rice and miso soup.

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).