Character shops (Pokemon & Japan)

Pokemon existed long before Pokemon Go as those who play the original game can attest.  There has been a shop under Tokyo station for a while, its part of Character street.. A shopping area where you can go to but your favorite Japanese characters including the Pokemon shop. The area is official shops for many favorite Japanese Characters including Hello…

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Otawara & Nasu (local area), Tochigi Prefecture, Tourist attractions

Nakagawa Aquarium

Nakagawa Aquarium is on the Nakagawa River in Otawara, Tochigi Prefecture. There are lots of freshwater fish and a tropical fish aquarium with a tunnel you can walk through.  Everything is in Japanese, but still very interesting and a fun day out. Admission is just a few hundred yen and as a rule open from Tuesday to Sunday. Nakagawa Aquarium

Japan, Tourist attractions, Travelling Japan


Despite so many trips to Kyoto it remains such a fascinating city with places like Kiyomizudera always showing something different every trip. This time, in the early light of day, Kiyomizudera at dawn… Kiyomizu-dera (The temple of clear water) is a historic temple that was established in 778, prior to Kyoto becoming the capital of Japan.  Like so many buildings…

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Japan, Nature, Travelling Japan

Kairakuen & Plum Blossom

Kairakuen in the city of Mito, in Iberaki prefecture is famous for its park, which is one of the top three Japanese gardens. The park, called Kairakuen is known specifically for its more than three thousand plum trees. The high interest in Plum is that it signals the end of winter and the beginning or Cherry Blossom season.  Mito has a Plum Festival…

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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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Japan, Nature, Temples & Shrines, Travelling Japan

To No Hetsuri – Cliff Towers by the river

To No Hetsuri literally means cliffs shaped like towers. The popular sightseeing spot near Shimogo in Fukushima prefecture is a naturally created valley, where the erosion from wind, rain and water have shaped the rocks along the Ōkawa river. The rocks or “towers” have been assigned names like Eagle Tower, Hawk Tower, Lion Tower, House Tower, Turret Tower, Nine-ring Tower, Elephant Tower,…

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