Homes in Koyasu 2

Homes in Koyasu
These pictures are from an old article I posted on the original sotobori.com website.  These homes are sandwiched between the Keikyu and JR tracks in Koyasu.

Welcome to Japan

Welcome to Japan
People sometimes ask me what it’s like to go to Japan.  I tell them that I am almost always charged up with adrenaline and in a very upbeat mood when I arrive in spite of spending 11 hours on a plane which amounts to a very long day.  It is near midnight on my body ...

Tokyo Kur Onsen Under Tokyo Station 1

Tokyo Kur Onsen Under Tokyo Station
Many people don’t realize this but there used to be an onsen under Tokyo Station.  It was called Tokyo Kur, open to men only and offered baths, shiatsu and akasuri massage.  Sadly, it has closed. Excerpted from the Japan Times, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001: Tokyo Kur by Tokyo Onsen — This sauna-spa is for men ...

Cement Trucks in Tokyo

Cement Trucks in Tokyo
One of the things that becomes very obvious to any long-time residents or frequent visitors to Japan is the presence of concrete.  It’s everywhere, even out in the most remote countryside towns, funded mostly by the Ministry of Construction.  You will see ferro-concrete buildings, concrete and steel overhead expressways, concrete-lined rivers and streams.  Here is ...

Dried Scallops at Ameyoko

Dried Scallops at Ameyoko
One of my favorite omiyage are dried scallops from Hokkaido, sold at Ameyoko in these large bags, individually wrapped tender morsels.  They are Y2000/bag and the price hasn’t changed in the 20+ years that I’ve been buying them.

Homes Under Keio Line Tracks

Homes Under Keio Line Tracks
There are some homes adjacent to Keio Takao Station that are built directly under the Keio Line railroad tracks.  These homes absorb quite a bit or rumble and shaking when a train passes overhead.  This is a truly stunning example of how precious land can be in Tokyo.

Women Only Train Cars

Women Only Train Cars
A friend of mine asked me the other day about Women Only cars on trains in Japan.  He found it to be quite unbelievable and  surprising given his preconceived notions of the behavior of Japanese people.  I told him I would dig up some pictures to show him.  These are from the Tokyo-bound Chuo Line ...

Choosing a Hotel in Japan

In the TripAdvisor forums one of the most frequently asked questions is about lodging choices.  Unfortunately, most of the time there is not enough detail of requirements so reponses become disorganized and inappropriate.  Please include as much of the following information as possible in your request: Occupancy – single, double, family, etc.?  How many in ...

Narita Airport Train or Limo Bus? – The Great Debate 1

In the Tokyo TripAdvisor forums there is a great amount of debate on both sides of this issue.  The pros and cons of each method are relevant and sometimes even profound.  I’ll try to discuss them here and let you decide which one is best for your particular requirements. Disclaimer:  in Japan, the author prefers ...

Favorite Japan Websites

Personal toolkit for looking up information on Japan, beyond google. Wikitravel Japan Section - a great user-contributed wiki dealing with travel Trip Advisor Japan Forums – user forums are the best anywhere News On Japan – a great collection of articles and links discussing news on Japan Japan Probe – another great collection of articles ...