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Shibuya: Different At Every Turn

October 1st, 2008 by

Shibuya Station, located in Tokyo’s Shibuya-ku, is a terminal for a number of different rail lines: the JR Yamanote and Saikyo lines; the Tokyu Toyoko, Den’entoshi, and Keio Inokashira lines; and the Tokyo Metro Ginza and Hanzomon lines. It is a prominent downtown area of Tokyo rivaling Ginza, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Asakusa. Shibuya is unique in that every street and area in the district has a completely different atmosphere. The Center Gai is Shibuya’s main pedestrian crossing. It is always busy and stops all vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrains to cross. It is crowded with a multitude of shops, including youth fashion shops, fast food restaurants, and game centers, and it is famous as the place where new trends are born that quickly spread among the youth nationwide. It is always crowded day and night, mostly with teenagers, and you can get a direct feel for today’s Japanese fashion trends there. There are several interesting landmarks in Shibuya, with each giving off a different vibe.

The Center Gai

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Suginami Animation Museum In Anime Town

September 27th, 2008 by

Suginami-ku, Tokyo, the location for many companies related to animation production, is known as an anime town. The Suginami Animation Museum is a center that provides a fun and systematic way to learn, experience, and understand anime. In addition to diverse exhibits on the history of Japanese anime, an anime production workplace, and the latest digital production technology, the museum also invites professional creators to give talks, and organizes workshops where you can actually experience producing anime. Moreover, in the library filled with a rich collection of anime-related materials, you can browse through books and watch DVDs.

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Fukuoka: A Cradle Of Culture

September 24th, 2008 by

The View at the top of Fukuoka TowerFukuoka is situated in the northern part of Kyushu, facing the Sea of Suo to the northeast, the Sea of Genkai to the northwest, and the Sea of Ariake to the southwest. As the prefecture borders the Korean Peninsula to the continent of China with a strait in between, Fukuoka was the first place in Japan to be exposed to the culture of the continent. Ever since the Government-General of Kyushu, Dazaifu, was set up in the 7th century, Fukuoka has grown as the hub of the Kyushu region.

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An Affordable Trip To Tokyo

September 13th, 2008 by

Many foreign visitors mistakenly believe that it is very expensive in Tokyo but this is not entirely true. Like many popular tourist spots, Tokyo can be an expensive place to visit if you don’t plan ahead. There is a wide variety of budget accommodation options, transportation passes and sightseeing discounts, which help to make Tokyo an affordable destination for even the most budget conscious traveler. It is worthwhile to take the time and decide which options will best suit your stay and your budget.

TRANSPORTATION

The Bullet Train

Public transportation is available in both cities and suburbs. Visitors who expect to change trains many times per day should purchase a one-day ticket or other discount tickets. Discount passes prices often only cost about 500-1500 yen. These discount passes are typically valid within a year from the date of purchase, so if you’re going to be staying in Japan for a few days it’s better to buy not just one ticket. With the Japan Rail Pass, foreign visitors to Japan can enjoy discounted travel on nearly all services of the extensive JR Transportation Network, including the Shinkansen or the bullet train. There are also numerous other rail passes, which also offer discounts on rail travel in Japan. Long distance buses and local train services are other low-cost transport options.

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The World Of Osamu Tezuka

September 10th, 2008 by

The Phoenix Outside the Osamu Tezuka museumEverybody has seen, or at least heard of Astroboy; with his large eyes, characteristic hair, rocket boosters on his legs, a cannon on his arm and the machine gun from his rear. This character is the brainchild of one Osamu Tezuka, also known as the “God of Manga“. Astroboy is just one of the beloved and well-known characters to come to life from Osamu Tezuka’s pen in the span of his career as a manga-ka (comic artist). He was known to have invented the “large eyes” style of Japanese animation. He based it on cartoons of the time such as Max Fleischer’s Betty Boop and Walt Disney’s Bambi and Mickey Mouse. As an indication of his productivity, the Complete Manga Works of Osamu Tezuka comprises some 400 volumes, over 80,000 pages; even so, it is not complete. His complete works includes over 700 manga with more than 150,000 pages but most of his work was never translated in English. With a manga-ka of this caliber and greatness, it’s only natural to pay homage.

Welcome to the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum of Japan!

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Experience A Pleasant Onsen Bath

September 6th, 2008 by

Indoor BathMany of Japan’s mountains are active volcanoes. Even the famous Mt. Fuji had been active as a volcano until the Modern Age. Where there are active volcanoes there are also hot springs and they can be found all over the country. Since ancient times, the Japanese people have been very fond of these hot springs, which have become a part of the Japanese lifestyle.

Onsen is a term for hot spring used by the Japanese people, though the term is usually used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs. They were traditionally used as public bathing places and today play a central role in directing Japanese domestic tourism drawing Japanese couples, families or company groups  and foreigners alike who want to get away from the hectic life of the city to just lay back and relax. Onsen come in many shapes and forms, including outdoor and indoor baths, which may be public run by a municipality or private run often as part of a hotel in Japan or a ryokan (a bed and breakfast).

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Tanabata: A Japanese Star Festival

September 3rd, 2008 by

Wishes for TanabataTanabata, also known as the Star Festival traces its origins to a legend that the Cowherd Star (Altair) and Weaver Star (Vega), lovers separated by the Milky Way, are allowed to meet just once a year–on the seventh day of the seventh month. The Tanabata festival is thought to have originated in China. It was transferred to Japan during the feudal period and was combined with the local traditional customs to become an official event at the Imperial court. Soon, commoners also began observing this festival, with the different localities developing their own distinctive ways of celebrating the festival.

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Pilgrimage To Japan, The Path Of A Warrior

August 30th, 2008 by

When you think of Japan, samurais and ninjas usually come to mind. A lot of tourists come to Japan for the specific purpose of learning the martial arts that were mastered by these iconic figures. But these are just some of the arts that come from the land of the rising sun.

Samurai Fight

Martial arts is a system of practices and traditions of training for combat. While they may be studied for various other reasons, essentially martial arts share a single objective: to defeat one or more people physically and to defend oneself or others from physical threat. In addition to this, some martial arts are linked to spiritual or religious beliefs or philosophies while others have their own spiritual or non-spiritual code of honor. Many arts are also practiced competitively most commonly as combat sports, but may also be in the form of dance. For now, we will focus on martial arts that were founded in Japan.

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Flower Viewing Under Pink Blossoms

August 27th, 2008 by

Flower Viewing at Ueno ParkNumerous iconic Japanese scenes are concerned with viewing cherry blossoms with friends and loved ones. This tradition is called hanami and it has been practiced in Japan dating back to the Nara Period, about one thousand three hundred years ago. The Japanese people continue the tradition of hanami by taking part in the processional walks through the parks. Some hundreds of people fill the parks to hold feasts and gatherings under the flowering trees, with most of them staying until late at night. This is a form of retreat for contemplating and renewing their spirits for another year.

Hanami is the Japanese tradition of enjoying the beauty of flowers. The flowers in this case almost always mean cherry blossoms (sakura) or plum blossoms (ume). Sakura  usually bloom all over Japan from late March to early May. The blossom forecast is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two. In modern-day Japan, hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura during daytime or at night. Hanami at night is called yozakura and in many places temporary paper lanterns are usually hung for the purpose of people who go for yozakura.

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Biggest Comic Market In The World

August 23rd, 2008 by

Comic Market or Comiket as it is popularly known, is the world’s largest comic convention. The event is so huge that it encompasses the whole of Tokyo Big Sight, from top to bottom and from the conference tower to the west exhibition hall. There is a Summer Comike usually around the 15th of August and the Winter Comike around the 28th to the 31st of December at the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center in Odaiba, Tokyo in Japan. The gates opens at 10:00 in the morning and closes at 4:00 in the afternoon. The most recent Comiket (Comiket 74) was held last 15th to the 17th of August 2008. The next Comiket (Comiket 75) will be on the 28th to 30th of December of this year.

Crowded Tokyo Big Sight

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AsiaHotels.com Travel Blog is your central source of news bits, amusing experiences, funny observations, and helpful tips and guides to travelling around Asia. For easier browsing, check the Categories section for topics you are interested in. Every month, we also highlight an Asian destination with quick links to the travel guide and best hotels in […]

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  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

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