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Sensoji Temple
Sensoji (浅草寺, Sensōji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is one of Tokyo's most colorful and popular temples. The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensoji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo's oldest temple. When approaching the temple, visitors first enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), the outer gate of Sensoji Temple and the symbol of Asakusa and the entire city of Tokyo. Various events are held throughout the year in the Sensoji Temple area. The biggest of them is the Sanja Matsuri, the annual festival of the Asakusa Shrine, held in May. Other events are the Asakusa Samba Carnival in August and the Hagoita-ichi (Hagoita Market) at which decorated wooden paddles used in the traditional game of hanetsuki are sold. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3001.html
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Akihabara
Akihabara (秋葉原), also called Akiba after a former local shrine, is a district in central Tokyo that is famous for its many electronics shops. In more recent years, Akihabara has gained recognition as the center of Japan's otaku (diehard fan) culture, and many shops and establishments devoted to anime and manga are now dispersed among the electronic stores in the district. On Sundays, Chuo Dori, the main street through the district, is closed to car traffic from 13:00 to 18:00 (until 17:00 from October through March). Akihabara has been undergoing major redevelopment over the years, including the renovation and expansion of Akihabara Station and the construction of new buildings in its proximity. Among these newly opened buildings were a huge Yodobashi electronics store and the Akihabara Crossfield, a business complex with the aim of promoting Akihabara as a center for global electronics technology and trade. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3003.html
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Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo. It is the centerpiece of the Tokyo Skytree Town in the Sumida City Ward, not far away from Asakusa. With a height of 634 meters (634 can be read as "Musashi", a historic name of the Tokyo Region), it is the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest in the world at the time of its completion. A large shopping complex with aquarium is located at its base. The highlight of the Tokyo Skytree is its two observation decks which offer spectacular views out over Tokyo. The two enclosed decks are located at heights of 350 and 450 meters respectively, making them the highest observation decks in Japan and some of the highest in the world. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3064.html
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Hama Rikyu
Hama Rikyu (浜離宮, Hama Rikyū), is a large, attractive landscape garden in central Tokyo. Located alongside Tokyo Bay, Hama Rikyu features seawater ponds which change level with the tides, and a teahouse on an island where visitors can rest and enjoy the scenery. The traditionally styled garden stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers of the adjacent Shiodome district. The garden has served many purposes over the centuries. It was originally built as a feudal lord's Tokyo residence and duck hunting grounds during the Edo Period (1603-1867), but later served as a strolling garden and as an imperial detached palace before eventually being opened to the public in its current form. Vestiges of these old roles are still visible throughout the garden including several reconstructed duck hunting blinds, and the remains of an old moat and reconstructed rock wall. Hama Rikyu is attractive in any season. Although not as famous for its fall foliage as some of the other gardens around Tokyo, it offers plenty of maple, ginkgo and other trees that show their beautiful autumn colors between late November and early December. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3025.html
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Imperial Palace East Gardens
The current Imperial Palace (皇居, Kōkyo) is located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo, a short walk from Tokyo Station. It is the residence of Japan's Imperial Family. Edo Castle used to be the seat of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. In 1868, the shogunate was overthrown, and the country's capital and Imperial Residence were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. In 1888 construction of a new Imperial Palace was completed. The palace was once destroyed during World War Two, and rebuilt in the same style, afterwards. From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3017.html
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Odaiba
Odaiba is a popular shopping and entertainment district on a man made island in Tokyo Bay. It originated as a set of small man made fort islands (daiba literally means "fort"), which were built towards the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868) to protect Tokyo against possible attacks from the sea and specifically in response to the gunboat diplomacy of Commodore Perry. More than a century later, the small islands were joined into larger islands by massive landfills, and Tokyo began a spectacular development project aimed to turn the islands into a futuristic residential and business district during the extravagant 1980s. But development was critically slowed after the burst of the "bubble economy" in the early 1990s, leaving Odaiba nearly vacant. It was not until the second half of the 1990s, when several hotels, shopping malls and the Yurikamome elevated train line were opened, that Odaiba developed into one of Tokyo's most popular tourist attractions and date spots with a wide selection of shopping, dining and leisure options. Despite the initial setbacks, several lavish development projects did materialize, including some of Tokyo's boldest architectural creations, such as the Fuji TV Building, Telecom Center and Tokyo Big Sight. Modern city planning furthermore provides Odaiba with plenty of green space and a pleasant division of motorized and pedestrian traffic using elevated walkways and the like. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3008.html
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Koishikawa Korakuen
Koishikawa Korakuen (小石川後楽園, Koishikawa Kōrakuen) is one of Tokyo's oldest and best Japanese gardens. It was built in the early Edo Period (1600-1867) at the Tokyo residence of the Mito branch of the ruling Tokugawa family. Like its namesake in Okayama, the garden was named Korakuen after a poem encouraging a ruler to enjoy pleasure only after achieving happiness for his people. Koishikawa is the district in which the garden is located in. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3034_003.html
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State Guest House
The Tokyo State Guest House (迎賓館, Geihinkan) is one of two state guest houses of the Japanese government alongside another one in Kyoto. Contained within the Akasaka Imperial Estate in central Tokyo, the Tokyo State Guest House serves to accommodate world leaders, diplomats and other guests of honor during their visits to Japan. When not in use, sections of the grand estate are open to the public, with visitors able to explore some of the opulent rooms, picturesque gardens and the Japanese-style annex. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3048.html
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Tsukishima
Tsukishima (月島, lit. moon island) is a man made island in Tokyo Bay, just across the channel from Tsukiji fish market. It was created over 100 years ago using earth that was dredged from the bay during the construction of a shipping channel. In the last few decades, areas of the island were redeveloped into residential high-rise complexes; however, you can still find remnants of the atmosphere of old Tokyo if you poke around the back alleys and lanes, especially around Sumiyoshi Shrine. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3015.html
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Yasukuni Shrine
Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社, Yasukuni Jinja) is a Shinto shrine in central Tokyo that commemorates Japan's war dead. The shrine was founded in 1869 with the purpose of enshrining those who have died in war for their country and sacrificed their lives to help build the foundation for a peaceful Japan. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2321.html
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Tokyo Fish Market
Tsukiji Outer Market is a district adjacent to the site of the former Tsukiji Wholesale Market. It consists of a few blocks of wholesale and retail shops, as well as restaurants crowded along narrow lanes. Here you can find fresh and processed seafood and produce alongside food-related goods such as knives. A visit to Tsukiji Outer Market is best combined with a fresh sushi breakfast or lunch at one of the local restaurants. The restaurants are typically open from 5:00 in the morning to around noon or early afternoon. Because most of the fish served and sold at Tsukiji Outer Market is delivered directly from Toyosu Market, this is one of the best places in Tokyo to enjoy fresh seafood. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3021.html
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Sapporo Clock Tower
The Clock Tower (時計台, Tokeidai) is a symbol of Sapporo. The building was constructed during the early period of Sapporo's development in 1878 as a drill hall of the Sapporo Agricultural College. In 1881 a clock purchased from Boston was installed. Today, the Clock Tower serves as a museum with displays about the building's history and Sapporo on the first floor. On the second floor are displays about the clock and a spacious ceremony hall that calls to mind the simple buildings of the colonial American Midwest. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5302.html
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Historic Village of Hokkaido
The Historic Village of Hokkaido (開拓の村, Kaitaku no Mura) is an open air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. It exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido's development was carried out on a large scale. There are four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm village and a mountain village. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5303.html
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Mount Moiwa
Mount Moiwa (藻岩山, Moiwa-yama) is one of several small, forested mountains southwest of central Sapporo. The mountain is a popular sightseeing spot that is known for the spectacular view out over the city from an observation deck at its summit. The view is especially beautiful after sunset. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5309.html
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Nijo Market
Nijo Market (二条市場, Nijō Ichiba) is a public market in central Sapporo that occupies about one city block. Both locals and tourists visit the market to shop for fresh local produce and seafood such as crabs, salmon eggs, sea urchin and various fresh and prepared fish. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5310.html
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Sapporo Beer Museum
Hokkaido is the birthplace of beer in Japan. Sapporo Beer, one of the oldest and most popular beer brands in the country, has been brewed in Sapporo since 1877. The Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール博物館, Sapporo Beer Hakubutsukan) was opened in 1987 in a former brewery from the Meiji Period. The museum introduces the history of beer in Japan and the process of beer making. After the exhibitions, beer tastings are available at a small fee. Alternatively, paid tours are held in Japanese that include a tasting session at the end. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5300.html
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Shiroi Koibito Park
Shiroi Koibito Park is a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. The company's flagship product is the Shiroi Koibito cookie, which consists of two thin butter cookies and a layer of white chocolate in between. It is one of the most famous souvenirs from Hokkaido. The park consists of a free area with a shop, cafe and restaurant and a paid area with various chocolate related exhibits and, most interestingly, a few large windows through which visitors can observe the cookie production process in the factory. It is also possible to create your own cookies in hands-on workshops. Another part of the Shiroi Koibito Park is a soccer field that serves as the practice ground for Consadole Sapporo, the local J-League soccer team. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5307.html
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Moerenuma Park
Moerenuma Park (モエレ沼公園, Moerenuma Kōen) is a large park in the outskirts of Sapporo. Surrounded by a marsh, the park has a circumference of about four kilometers. The grounds are covered in attractive green space and there are massive, dramatic features that make the park a very unique public space. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5313.html
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Curb Market
Curb Market (札幌場外市場, Sapporo Jōgai Ichiba) consists of nearly 80 stores and restaurants lined up along several blocks just outside of Sapporo's Central Wholesale Market. One of the city's largest public markets, the Curb Market specializes in Hokkaido seafood such as crab, sea urchin, salmon roe, squid and scallops, and local produce such as corn, melons and potatoes when in season. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5317.html
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Hokkaido University Botanic Gardens
This botanical garden (北海道大学植物園, Hokkaidō Daigaku Shokubutsuen) close to Sapporo's city center belongs to Hokkaido University and primarily serves a scientific and educational purpose. The garden with its walking trails and lawns, however, is also a pleasant place to take a break or to have a (non-alcoholic) picnic. Established in 1886, the Botanic Garden preserves a small part of the forest which formerly covered the Ishikari Plain. In addition, there is an alpine garden, a greenhouse and a small Ainu museum. During the winter, only the greenhouse is open to the public. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5304.html
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Ainu Museum
The Ainu Museum is an outdoor museum that allows visitors to encounter the culture of Hokkaido’s indigenous people, the Ainu. At the museum, thatched-roof homes, called “chise,” form a settlement that seems to blend in with nature along the shore of Lake Poroto. http://www.sapporo.travel/find/culture/ainu-museum/?lang=en
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Hokkaido Governor's Official Residence
Built in 1936 as a vacation home for Mitsui Partnership Company, this residence became Hokkaido’s property in 1953. It has since been used or various meetings and other functions. http://www.sapporo.travel/find/culture/governors_official_residence/?lang=en
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The Hokkaido Shiki Theatre
The Hokkaido Shiki Theatre is used exclusively by Japan’s famous Shiki Theatre Company. It is famous for long-running musical the Lion King, which has exceeded over 10,000 performances, making it the most performed play in the history of Japan, as well as many other musicals that attract people of all ages including adults and children http://www.sapporo.travel/find/culture/hokkaido_shiki_theatre/?lang=en
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Tsuyama Castle
Kakuzan Park is on the ruins of an ancient castle, Tsuyama Castle, which was built about 400 years ago. The castle’s approximately 10 m tall stone wall remains today, greeting visitors with a majestic view of overlapping stones even from a distance. The ruin has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 castles and has earned a spot as one of Japan’s top 100 cherry blossom sites. The Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival held every year in early to mid April gives visitors the chance to experience the park’s 1,000 or so cherry trees. After sunset, looking down from atop the stone wall at the cherry trees illuminated below, visitors will be treated to an unimaginably beautiful view. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/914
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Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
Built in 1240, Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is both an Important Cultural Property of Japan and is counted among Japan’s top 100 castles. The castle is located atop a mountain at an altitude of 430 m, making it the highest fortress with an existing castle tower in Japan. Visitors to the castle are treated to a spectacular sight, especially in the early mornings of fall and winter when the clouds spread out to form a “sea of clouds” around the castle. Also in fall, when the trees change color, the landscape becomes painted in a deep vermilion as if the castle walls were aflame, offering visitors a truly majestic sight. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/949
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Kibi Plain
The Kibi Plain is a charming, rural flatland just outside of central Okayama City that is covered in sprawling fields and dotted with shrines, temples and small clusters of farmhouses. The plain is best explored from an attractive cycling trail which visits several historic sights along the way. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5705.html
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Ohara Museum of Art
The symbol of the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, this private museum features Western works of art in an eye-catching building styled after a Greek temple. Based on Ohara Magosaburo’s collection of Western art, Ohara Museum of Art features a large collection of world-famous paintings and work such as one of El Greco’s “Annunciation” and Monet’s “Water Lilies.” The museum also features a pond with water lilies propagated from Monet’s residence. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/901
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Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum
Located in Osafune, a town that once flourished as a major produce of Japanese swords, the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum is one of a limited number of sword museums and features a variety of Japanese swords on display. Visitors can learn about the history and manufacturing process for Japanese swords as well as experience the beauty and power of the swords up close. The museum features several special exhibitions throughout the year that combine animations and video games, making this a popular destination for sword fans from across the country. In the adjacent workshop, visitors can see the skill of Japanese sword artisans, including the process where tamahagane, steel made from iron sand, is heated to 1300°C and then hammered to make a plate. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/1073
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Hiruzen-kogen Heights
Located on a gently sloping plateau, Hiruzen-kogen Heights is Japan’s leading resort area. The area is famous as the largest breeding zone for Jersey cows in Japan. Whether to take in the fresh greenery of spring or the fall foliage in autumn, the Hiruzen-kogen Heights Cycling Path is a popular cycling destination, and with hiking and camping in summer and playing in the snow in winter, the area offers visitors the chance to experience the richness of nature in any season. Visitors are also encouraged to try local gourmet offerings such as “Hiruzen Yakisoba” (noodles stir-fried in a miso-based sauce), “Genghis Khan” (a grilled mutton dish), and soft-serve ice cream and cheese made from the milk of the area’s Jersey cows. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/1079
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Iyama Hofuku-ji Temple
Iyama Hofuku-ji Temple was built in 1232 as a Zen temple. The temple is famous as the childhood training grounds for the painter Sesshu—the most prominent Japanese master of ink wash painting, which employs shading from a single-color inkstick. A popular attraction at the temple is the Buddhist practice of zazen, where worshippers sit in meditation for spiritual unity. Visitors can join early morning zazen sessions on the second Sunday of every month with no reservations required, and tea and sweets provided after the meditation offer a chance to experience the hospitality of Japanese culture. The temple’s fresh green of spring and vibrant foliage in autumn also make for beautiful sights. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/933
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Okutsu Onsen
With its riverside rotenburo (outdoor bath), Okutsu Onsen features numerous elegant inns and accommodations. Because soaking in the hot spring’s waters is said to make one’s skin white and smooth, this onsen is famously known as “Bijin no Yu” (Onsen of Beauty). “Ashibumi Sentaku,” also known as the “Washing Dance,” is performed by women in kimonos holding pails while stamping on garments and making washing motions with their toes. This “dance,” a noted attraction at Okutsu Onsen, is performed in the rotenburo on Sundays and public holidays from late March to early December. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the “Ashibumi Sentaku” at no charge as well as the area’s beautiful seasonal landscapes including fall foliage in autumn and snowfall in winter. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/1093
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Korakuen Garden
This quintessential Japanese garden was created roughly 300 years ago by the area’s daimyo (domain lord). A symbol of the power of the samurai, Okayama Korakuen Garden is considered one of the three great gardens of Japan alongside Kanazawa City’s Kenroku-en and Mito City’s Kairakuen. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/91
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Okayama Castle
Completed in 1597 after eight years of construction, Okayama Castle is one of Japan’s top 100 castles. After the keep was destroyed in the war, the castle was rebuilt in 1966. Also known as “U-jo (Crow Castle)” for its crow-like black outer wall, Okayama Castle is a popular counterpart to the white outer walls of Himeji Castle. https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/776