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Here in Tochigi prefecture, the scenery is beautifully dominated by rice fields and wooded mountains.

Rice and Mountains in Tochigi Japan


Here in Tochigi prefecture, the scenery is beautifully dominated by rice fields and wooded mountains.

This is a famous shopping district in Ueno.

Ueno


This is a famous shopping district in Ueno.

One of the most famous places to celebrate the cherry blossoms is in Ueno in Tokyo.  I went right at the peak of the season and enjoyed a walk under the trees.
One of the most famous places to celebrate the cherry blossoms is in Ueno in Tokyo. I went right at the peak of the season and enjoyed a walk under the trees.

Cherry Blossom Viewing

Just How do the Japanese Celebrate this Beautiful Natural Event?


Every year, many Japanese stroll through a park or sit down under a sakura tree for food and drinks with friends.

This place was little more than a small house with a living room converted to seat a few extra guests.  The couple who owned it were warm and friendly, as you might expect.

A Small Family Owned Restaurant in Tochigi


This place was little more than a small house with a living room converted to seat a few extra guests. The couple who owned it were warm and friendly, as you might expect.

Cheaply bought Japanese steak.  It really is different.  You can plainly see it.  The taste is amazing, but I kinda like the texture of what we eat in America.

Some Japanese Steak I Bought Cheaply


Cheaply bought Japanese steak. It really is different. You can plainly see it. The taste is amazing, but I kinda like the texture of what we eat in America.

They are expensive and usually congested, but Japanese highways roll through some beautiful country when you make it out of the city.

Japanese Highways


They are expensive and usually congested, but Japanese highways roll through some beautiful country when you make it out of the city.

Odds are, this will be the first and last thing you see when you visit Tokyo Disney Sea.  Many of my visits have ended with me catching my breath and relaxing my feet while looking at the globe before the trip home.

The Globe at Tokyo Disney Sea


Odds are, this will be the first and last thing you see when you visit Tokyo Disney Sea. Many of my visits have ended with me catching my breath and relaxing my feet while looking at the globe before the trip home.

Driving through Niigata, you come across plenty of small cities.  It is quite a relief when compared to the Tokyo area.

A Small Japanese City on the Coast


Driving through Niigata, you come across plenty of small cities. It is quite a relief when compared to the Tokyo area.

In Japan, hockey isn't unheard of, but it isn't especially popular.  Like in America, hockey seems to be a regional sport in Japan.  It is played much more in the north and in the mountains than it is around Tokyo.  I caught a couple games that were

Hockey in Japan


In Japan, hockey isn't unheard of, but it isn't especially popular. Like in America, hockey seems to be a regional sport in Japan. It is played much more in the north and in the mountains than it is around Tokyo. I caught a couple games that were

These guys really hold a special place in Japanese culture.  Their graves are in the middle of nowhere in particular in Tokyo, but people still come and they really do show respect.

Final Resting Place of the 47 Ronin


These guys really hold a special place in Japanese culture. Their graves are in the middle of nowhere in particular in Tokyo, but people still come and they really do show respect.

It is a shame more of the architecture from industrializing Japan doesn't still stand, but it is nice to see an attempt to keep it alive with the station at Harajuku.  Oddly enough, it is a district known to be ultra-modern in terms of style.

Harajuku Station


It is a shame more of the architecture from industrializing Japan doesn't still stand, but it is nice to see an attempt to keep it alive with the station at Harajuku. Oddly enough, it is a district known to be ultra-modern in terms of style.

Festival goers parade their neighborhood\'s mikoshi around town on a hot and humid day.

A Summer Festival in Japan


Festival goers parade their neighborhood\'s mikoshi around town on a hot and humid day.

I'm not a huge sake drinker, but I do enjoy it every now and then.  There are seemingly limitless variations and brands to choose from, but somehow, they all manage to make really cool looking bottles.

Japanese Sake


I'm not a huge sake drinker, but I do enjoy it every now and then. There are seemingly limitless variations and brands to choose from, but somehow, they all manage to make really cool looking bottles.

Too many people think of futuristic cities when they think of Japan.  There is a whole other side of it just a short drive from the major cities.

A River and the Japanese Countryside


Too many people think of futuristic cities when they think of Japan. There is a whole other side of it just a short drive from the major cities.

It isn't easy to find a decent burger in Japan.  It is a shame to pass up a chance to eat a Japanese meal, but if you've been here long enough, an American hamburger is a nice way to go back home for a bit, even if it costs twenty bucks.

T.G.I. Fridays in Japan


It isn't easy to find a decent burger in Japan. It is a shame to pass up a chance to eat a Japanese meal, but if you've been here long enough, an American hamburger is a nice way to go back home for a bit, even if it costs twenty bucks.

The buildings in Kusatsu fit the atmosphere and look great.  The main attractions here are the natural public baths and the skiing.

Kusatsu Offers Amazing Natural Hot Springs and a Great Backdrop for Relaxation


The buildings in Kusatsu fit the atmosphere and look great. The main attractions here are the natural public baths and the skiing.

A traditional Japanese meal for the New Year holiday, osechi.  If you get the chance, give it a try.  Half of the stuff is genuinely delicious, and the other half seems to be an acquired taste.

New Year's Meal


A traditional Japanese meal for the New Year holiday, osechi. If you get the chance, give it a try. Half of the stuff is genuinely delicious, and the other half seems to be an acquired taste.

At times you can barely move in them, but when the train stations settle down, you might be the only one hopping on your train.

An Empty Japanese Train Station


At times you can barely move in them, but when the train stations settle down, you might be the only one hopping on your train.

The famous electric district in Tokyo, Akihabara is an otaku's paradise.  It is one of the most unique districts in Tokyo.  The great thing about it is that it attracts so many tourists, but it is still made for the game/cosplay/maid loving otaku who

On the Street in Akihabara


The famous electric district in Tokyo, Akihabara is an otaku's paradise. It is one of the most unique districts in Tokyo. The great thing about it is that it attracts so many tourists, but it is still made for the game/cosplay/maid loving otaku who

The cakes in Japan aren't like they are in America, but they are still great!

Japan's Amazing cakes!


The cakes in Japan aren't like they are in America, but they are still great!