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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Deflation in Japan

Deflation in Japan
One menacing characteristic (from a macroeconomic viewpoint) of the Japanese economy now is deflation. It’s evident at izakaya (watering holes) everywhere in Japan. Y300 plates (or less). Food has really come down in price since the heady Bubble years and it is really nice to enjoy a few beers and tapas for a little bit ...

Fresh Hitachi Train

Fresh Hitachi Train
These are some shots of the Fresh Hitachi Line train that traverses the JR Joban Line in Eastern Japan.

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. ...

Light Bar on Police Car

Light Bar on Police Car
This is something I have never seen before. It’s a light bar on top of a police car that extends upward for better visibility. I saw this in Ryogoku after a sumo tournament while I was walking back to the station.  Very clever, but I’m not sure how useful it might be.

100-yen Shop in Akihabara

100-yen Shop in Akihabara
Day 13 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 13, my getaway day, I left my bags at Keisei Nippori and headed to Akihabara for lunch and some final omiyage (souvenir) shopping. In ...