Cultural, Otawara & Nasu (local area)

Christmas illuminations in downtown Otawara

For a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas, Japan has a total love affair with Christmas illuminations. Even where I live in rural Tochigi prefecture, there are illuminations everywhere. Near me is a concert hall called  Harmony hall, every year they deck the outside in lights or a musical & Christmas nature. Its part of a local “illumination” contest, as you can…

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Cultural, Tokyo, Tourist attractions

Toshiba Museum., Kawasaki

 The Toshiba Science Museum is located close to Kawasaki Station, south of central Tokyo. The museum encompasses 3 main parts, the history of Toshiba including details about the original founders and their philosophy and early inventions; a display of many of the “firsts” invented by Toshiba over the years, in many different markets and a permanent exhibition that is both…

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Cultural, Japan, Temples & Shrines, Tochigi Prefecture, Tourist attractions


Nikko National Park is in Tochigi prefecture and about an hours drive from home..  It a huge area containing many interesting sights, walks, historical buildings and other tourist spots.  Nikko is a town within the National Park which is probably most famous for its World Heritage temples and shrines. The main temples and shrines being Rinno-ji; Temple, Toshogu Shrine and…

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Cultural, Japan, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo

Hie Shrine, Tokyo

This lovely Shinto shrine and grounds is very close to the centre of Tokyo, hidden behind the DIET building. Its open most days from 5 am – 6pm and is a really tranquil place in one of the worlds busiest cities. The original shrine was built in 1478 in the grounds of Edo castle, which is now the site of…

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Cultural, Japan, Tokyo

Tokyo Craft Fair

The 58th Tokyo craft fair was held in late January on the 11th floor of the Takashimaya Department store in Shinjuku.   I had to go to Tokyo for another reason, and wasn’t really so close to Shinjuku, but the concept of this fair really interested me.  It was based around crafts that were common in Tokyo during the Edo period…

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