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Showing posts with the label Japan

Fushimi Inari and the Shrines of Kyoto

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Along with the futuristic megacity of Tokyo and the foodie heaven of Osaka, no trip to Japan would be complete without visiting its cultural capital, Kyoto.
Home to the Japanese imperial court for over a thousand years, Kyoto is full of palaces, temples, shrines, and gardens; which thanks to not being targeted by Allied bombing during World War II, has been preserved in all its authenticity. This is Part 3 of our Kyoto Series: Shrines.
Fushimi Inari-Taisha

* And hands-down, the most requested photo spot in all of Kyoto, is this pathway leading to Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Prepare to battle with dozens of tourists over what is essentially the same shot (lol!).

The Golden Pavilion and Other Temples of Kyoto

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Along with the futuristic megacity of Tokyo and the foodie heaven of Osaka, no trip to Japan would be complete without visiting its cultural capital, Kyoto.
Home to the Japanese imperial court for over a thousand years, Kyoto is full of palaces, temples, shrines, and gardens; which thanks to not being targeted by Allied bombing during World War II, has been preserved in all its authenticity. This is Part 2 of our Kyoto Series: Temples.
Kinkaku-ji Temple: The Golden Pavilion

* The most famous of all of Kyoto's Temples, the Golden Pavilion is made of, you guessed it, gold; with the top two floors of the building covered in pure gold leaf.

The Palaces of Kyoto: Home of the Emperor

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Along with the futuristic megacity of Tokyo and the foodie heaven of Osaka, no trip to Japan would be complete without visiting its cultural capital, Kyoto.
Home to the Japanese imperial court for over a thousand years, Kyoto is full of palaces, temples, shrines, and gardens; which thanks to not being targeted by Allied bombing during World War II, has been preserved in all its authenticity. This is Part 1 of our Kyoto Series: Palaces.
Kyoto Imperial Palace

* From 794 AD to 1869, Japan was ruled by its Emperor from his Imperial Palace in Kyoto.

Dotonbori Walks: Welcome to Osaka!

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Osaka, home to over 19 million inhabitants, is Japan's second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo, and is unofficially known as the country's culinary center. The city is also a great starting point for one to explore the nearby cities of Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe.
Personally, I preferred my experiences in Osaka visavis Tokyo. While both are sprawling megacities, full of neon lights, and efficient citizens, somehow I always felt that Osakans were warmer as a people, and that I could more easily find my bearings here.

* And the most popular tourist destination in Osaka is without a doubt Dotonbori, famous for its neon lights, shopping selections, and street food.

Mt. Fuji: Japan's Most Sacred Mountain

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When I used to picture the land of the rising sun as a child, somehow Mt. Fuji and its perfectly shaped cone always came to mind. You know the school activity: draw a horizontally-longer triangle on a piece of paper, add criss cross lines near the peak to signify snow, add a sun behind the peak, and you have Mt. Fuji.  It was grand yet mysterious, elegant yet mystical.
So when I had the opportunity to visit Tokyo, I knew that it was the right time to pay my respects to Japan's most sacred of mountains.

* And boy did she not disappoint! Despite the freezing temperature, what a view!

Buddhist Enlightenment at Tokyo's Sensoji Temple

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When you need a break from the futuristic skyscrapers, neon lights, eye-catching characters and crazy shopping, you'll find that Tokyo is also home to numerous spots dedicated to spiritual centering and enlightenment.

* Senso-ji Temple, located at the heart of Asakusa, is Tokyo's oldest and most important temple.

Robot Restaurant: Inside Tokyo's Craziest Show

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In a country of hilariously weird TV shows, insane manga titles, curious food items, and peculiar fetishes, there is ONE attraction that every tourist MUST check-out in Tokyo. 
The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is Tokyo's CRAZIEST show; an adrenaline-pumping and sensory overloading performance that perfectly showcases everything that makes Japan the dichotomy that it is.

* And while it may look like a regular neon-lit KTV from the outside..

Eccentric Tokyo: Harajuku and Other Peculiarities

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Japan is a country of extreme contrasts! A country where futuristic skyscrapers coexist with ancient feudal parks and temples, where a culture of honor and respect coexists with the craziest TV shows known to man, and where a polite and friendly people can also be eccentric and quirky!
Here are some of my favorite shots of these peculiarities.

* Animals playing musical instruments with no tone, rhythm and tune.. perfectly normal here in Harajuku!

Tokyo: What Happens When Sci-Fi Becomes Reality

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Home to a mind-boggling 13 million people, the metropolitan area of Tokyo is a sensory overload every step of the way. Everything in this mega-city looks, smells, sounds, and feels extraordinary.. like one is in a blockbuster movie, or 15 years in the future.
And my first piece of advice for any first-time traveler to Tokyo, is to just let the city swallow you! Don't even try to make sense of anything, open yourself up to everything.. and don't forget to look up!

* Shibuya is known as Japan's fashion center and is where all the cool kids go to drink and party.