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Hirado
The dawn of Japan’s contact with the western world
The beautiful temples and churches of Hirado
What makes Hirado so interesting is not just its historic ties with the west, but its well preserved old streets and general feel of ancient Japan. The city is for the most part located on an island of the same name and was not even connected to the mainland until a bridge was built in 1977 connecting it to Kyushu island.

Day-trips from Tokyo: Karuizawa
Everything you need to know about this resort town
Toto, we're not in Tokyo any more: the main road north from Karuizawa station
Karuizawa is a tranquil resort town an hour by train from Tokyo, a good place for a fun day-trip or relaxing two- or three-day break

Tohoku History Museum
A museum of history of the northeast of Japan
Various Jomon ritual artifacts, several of which I have personally never seen before
The Tohoku History Museum in Tagajo is located next to Kokufutagajo Station. It can be accessed via a 14 minute train ride on the Tohoku Honsen Line from Sendai Station. Its extensive and attractive exhibits detail history of the entire Tohoku region from stone age to modern era.  

Tokyo's Sake Brewery Sawanoi
A blessed location— wonderful nature and good sake
The entrance of the brewery Sawanoi
Just 90 minutes by train from Tokyo, you can experience the make of Japanese sake surrounded by traditions and wonderful nature. 

Open-Air Museum of Farmhouses
A glimpse of Edo period life at Hattori Ryokuchi Park
A stable
See ancient farmhouses from across Japan at Hattori Ryokuchi Park's open-air farmhouse museum in Osaka.

Echizen Asakura Mantoya Lightup
Ancient historical ruins lit-up with 15,000 candles
Lit-up lanterns flowing down the Ichijodani River
Echizen Asakura Mantoya in Fukui is an annual summer illumination event held at the ancient historical site, Ichijodani Asakura Ruins - Surrounded by serene mountains.

The Architecture of Studio Ghibli
A glimpse into the homes of your favorite characters
From the back alleys of the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
A leisure stroll through the architectures of Studio Ghibli's fictional universe in Koganei Park. With life-size reproductions of historical Japanese houses scattered about the seven-hectare premise, the museum is more like a small village. The bathhouse in the far end of the museum was rumored to be the central inspiration for the set of Spirited Away. Hayao Miyazaki was often sighted to have frequented the museum for inspiration.

A Beautiful Cycle Tour in Shiga
Omihachiman, a beautiful old town on Lake Biwa
Shinmachi-dori is an old merchant street lined with traditional wooden houses
If you‘re looking for a place to cycle tour in Japan, there is one place I would like to recommend. Omihachiman, a little town that sits on the east bank of Lake Biwa and is very easy to get to from Kyoto.

Explore Japanese Traditions in Tono
The old farmhouses of Furusato-mura
One of the Magariya houses in Furusato-mura
Tono is of my favorite places to go in Iwate. I often go there by bicycle from Hanamaki, round trip around 100 kilometers. The route there is quite scenic and every time I get there I feel like I'm back in British Columbia, the scenery is so similar. This year, I had family visit from Canada, obviously it was the first place that I took them to visit.

Nikko's 1000 Samurai Procession
The Nikko Shunki Reitaisai Grand Spring Festival
Impressive blue and red samurai warriors in lamellar armor and gold-colored kabuto helmets are an example traditional dress displayed during the procession.
The 1000 Samurai Procession at the Nikko Shunki Reitaisai Grand Spring Festival.

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