Barrels of Sake at Meiji-Jingu

Barrels of Sake at Meiji-Jingu
As the sign says, these barrels are offered once a year from the Meiji-Jingu Sake Brewers Association.  The presentation is impressive.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...