Category Archive: Explore

{Japan: Explore} Up, Up, Up to the Top of Sapporo’s Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium

In a Nutshell: Where: Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, Sapporo, Hokkaido When: October 7, 2013 *Notes: Website (English), the 90 meter ski jump competitions were held here during the 1972 Winter Olympics, 500 Yen… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} The Netherlands Come to Japan! An Afternoon at Huis Ten Bosch

In a Nutshell: Where: Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park in Sasebo, Kyushu that recreates the Netherlands When: October 28, 2013 *Notes: Website (English), 5900 Yen entry fee per adult (18 and over),… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Down The Rabbit Hole To Shinjuku’s Underground Passageways

When I first stayed at the Tokyo Hilton back in 2008, I noticed a narrow staircase inconspicuously tucked away in a corner of the lobby.  Immediately intrigued, I stood at the top of… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Searching for Helen Keller at the (Haunted?) Fujiya Hotel

In a Nutshell: Where: the historic Fujiya Hotel in Hakone (1.5 hours outside of Tokyo) When: October 16, 2013 *Notes: Founded in 1878, the Fujiya is one of the oldest hotels in Japan. … Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Outracing Typhoon Wipha For A Chance to Eat Owakudani’s Black Eggs

In a Nutshell: Where: Owakudani, a famous volcanic valley in Hakone (1.5 hours outside of Tokyo) When: October 15, 2013 *Notes: Owakudani can be reached via Hakone’s Ropeway (820 Yen for a one-way… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Our Failed Attempt To See Miyajima’s Floating Torii

In a Nutshell: Where: Itsukushima Shrine’s Floating Torii at Miyajima Island (less than an hour outside of Hiroshima) When: May 27, 2012 *Notes: the torii’s renovation has been completed, from Miyajimaguchi Station take… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

In a Nutshell: Where: Universal Studios Japan, Osaka When: May 31, 2012 *Notes: Website, closest station is Universal City, as of this writing a 1-Day Adult Pass is 6600 JPY Full Report: Since… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} 20 Minutes or Less in Shibuya, Tokyo

On my 2008 Japan trip, my younger brother came along with M and I.  As it was his very first visit to Japan and we only had a week in Tokyo, we were… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Off the Beaten Path: Arisa, Kyushu, Japan

One of the best things about having a JR Pass is having the freedom to throw your itinerary aside and jump on the first train to Anywhere, Japan.  Which is exactly what we… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} What’s Inside the Great Buddha of Kamakura?

Visiting Kamakura is one of the most popular day trips to take from Tokyo.  Once there, many people make a beeline to see the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) at Kotokuin Temple.    I, along… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Scenes From a Bus in Tokyo

In a Nutshell: Where: Tokyo, Japan When: May, 2008 *Notes: things we saw on our tour bus on the way to Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Hilton Hotel, Shinjuku, The Gray Line Sightseeing Coach… Continue reading

{Japan: Explore} Going Down Tokaido Road Via Suizenji Garden, Kumamoto

In a Nutshell: Where: Suizenji Jojuen Garden, Kumamoto, Kyushu When: May 25, 2012 *Notes: Suizenji Koen stop on Tram A or B (flat fare of 150 JPY), represents the 53 stations of the… Continue reading