Tokyo

Hotel Niwa Tokyo

Hotel Niwa Tokyo

Great Hotel in the Heart of Tokyo

Booking a hotel for Tokyo is difficult only because there are so many options. There are rooms for all budgets, ranging from capsules for single men to suites for visiting celebrities. There are traditional Japanese inns (ryokans), hourly “love hotels,” business hotels, chain hotels, independent hotels, luxury hotels, you name it.… Continue Reading →

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

A National Treasure of Japan

Matsumoto is a city of 250,000 located in the Nagano prefecture and it serves as a gateway to the Japanese Alps. Getting here from Tokyo is pretty easy. From Shinjuku station, take the Azusa Limited Express train. If that sounds complicated, it isn’t. At the station, find the JR ticket office and present your rail pass to the agent.… Continue Reading →

Meiji Jinju and Gyoen

meiji shrine

Large Gardens and Shrine in Central Tokyo

In 1867, Japan was an isolated island nation ruled by shoguns and relying on agriculture. Then Emperor Meiji took over and everything changed. Japan’s shogunate system was abolished and land and power became concentrated with the Emperor. Through a series of reforms, industrial and military power increased and Japan shed its feudalism in exchange for a place in the modern world.… Continue Reading →

Shinjuku Gyoen

shinjuku gyoen

Lovely Gardens in the Center of Tokyo

Tokyo is a pulsating metropolis. Jam-packed sidewalks and a dizzying array of trains, subways, buses and taxis that move the city’s 13 million inhabitants should make it seem more overwhelming than it actually is, and this is in no small part because of the lovely green spaces that dot the landscape. … Continue Reading →

Ueno Park

Ueno park

Family-Friendly Park in Taito, Tokyo

Any big city worth its salt has a large public park where its citizens can congregate, relax and while away a day off. In Tokyo’s Taito neighborhood, that is Ueno Park. After you have overstimulated your senses in Akihabara, walk a few blocks north to the spacious and inviting Ueno Park.… Continue Reading →

Akihabara

Electric Avenue and More

After WWII, Japan began rebuilding. Roads and homes were constructed, people went to school and new consumer products were all the rage. In Tokyo, a black market electronics trade flourished in the area surrounding the train tracks in Tokyo’s Taito neighborhood near a school of electrical manufacturing.… Continue Reading →

Taste of Tokyo

Here are a few photos from our visit to Tokyo:

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