Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains

December 11, 2016 by David Herd

Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains are the perfect way to see this wonderful country. Rather than arrive at an airport 2 hours before your flight simply travel to the centre of one city to centre of the next.

Tokyo was the start of my trip

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains My good friend Kayo came to Tokyo Station to help me sort of all the tickets for my trip to six cities I had never seen before.

Currently a Japanese rail pass can only be purchased outside the country however from March 8th 2017 selected Japanese stations will sell them at a more expensive price.

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

As of January 2017 $100 usd = 11,695 Yen.

Tokyo to Kanazawa 4 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

One thing to keep in mind, I stay in budget hotels which are usually near the station. In many cities you can’t check in until 3 or 4 pm. Often I would just leave my luggage and head off to the nearest attraction.

My hotel was great value in a perfect location with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

How about the edible gold leaf?

Sushi Seafood Market Kanazawa Kanazawa’s history with gold leaf began 400 years ago. Kyoto and Edo (modern-day Tokyo) used to make gold leaf, Kanazawa now is the only remaining production hub of the coveted craft. 

Kanazawa to Hiroshima about 5 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

 Hiroshima was an emotional experience that I’ll never forget. Seventy one years ago at 8.15 am on August 6th 1945 U.S. pilots dropped an atomic bomb which instantly killed 140,000 people. 

As if that was not shocking enough 3 days later they killed 70,000 in Nagasaki.

For a super room rate in a great location with free WiFi just book through THIS LINK.

Cenotaph & park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park A memorial is held here every year on August 6th.

 Hiroshima to Kumamoto 2 hours 40 minutes

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

I was on my my to Kagoshima so I thought I would stop for one night to see the damage done to the castle by the recent earthquake.

My budget hotel was in an excellent location, good rooms with free WiFi, for a great rate just book using THIS LINK.

Three years to repair wall

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains The city hopes to repair the main keep within three years, while the rest of the grounds are expected to require about 20 years to be fully repaired.

Kumamoto to Kagoshima 2 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

Well worth a visit, the city lies opposite an active volcano.

Wonderful smiling faces

Kagoshima restaurant village Some things in Japan you can be sure of, happy smiling faces, they love to be in a photograph, & people are just so nice & polite.

 My hotel was only 10 minutes walk to lots of restaurants & the ferry terminal, a great location with free Wi Fi and a great room rate if you book through THIS LINK.

Kagoshima to Nagasaki 2 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

I had heard a lot aout Nagasaki so I was eagerly looking forward to visiting this seaside city, in particular the atom bomb site & Battleship Island.

 My favourite Nagasaki sign

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains It’s on billboards, the side of trains & trams, wonderful Japanese humour. 🙂

My hotel was only a three minute walk to the station. Rated highly by AGODA, book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate with free WiFi.

Nagasaki to Fukuoka 2.5 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

The final leg of my Shinkansen rail trip through Japan.

I would certainly recommend the hotel Ascent, for a very good discount just book through THIS LINK.

Craving a change of cuisine

Fukuoka Kyushu Island Japan As much as I love Japanese food after 2 weeks I was craving a change. The fabulous pizza is a speciality at Gorm’s, part of a Danish restaurant chain, opened 2014 in Nagasaki & shortly after in Fukuoka.

Fukuoka was anther surprise packet, lots of things to see and do. Think about flying into Tokyo & out of Fukuoka as I did, travel by bullet train in between these 2 cities.

On the way to Osaka in October 2015 with my friend Hamish

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

Hamish of course is world famous for the number of selfies he takes. 🙁 Look closely and you can see me in the background. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains photo blog.

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           Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .🙂
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Pattaya webcam

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

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Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one

March 6, 2016 by David Herd

Ryokan Shirouma-so

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort has many good hotels as you would expect, Shirouma-so is a modern Japanese ryokan (inn) combining both traditional wood and modern Japanese ”Wa” architectural styles, resulting in a creative and beautiful design This traditional hot spring hotel is surrounded by trees and only 10 km from Mount Shirouma and 12 km from Lake Aoki.

The mountain awaits

Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort  The ryokan is 500M away from the main ski resort called Happo One so it’s an easy walk to and from the lifts at the base, only takes 10-15 mins.  Very quiet with no line ups at any of the lifts jut jump straight on every time.

Nice rooms

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one  Shirouma-so is a traditional Ryokan, rather than a hotel, you have traditional room and the beds are put out a night on the floor. Shared showers plus it has a Onasen (bath house) in the basement, and a very traditional Japanese breakfast as you would expect. Use this link for an exceptional room rate.

Small rooms

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one All hotel rooms in Japan are rather small and this is no exception.

Hotel restaurant

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one

In my book there is no better food in the world than Japanese.

Wonderful Japanese food

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one Over the centuries Japanese people have made eating and food an art form.

Hamish Elton

Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort My friend Hamish is building up his strength for the slopes. I introduced him to Japanese culture in October 2015 and he is now hooked.

Big dump last night

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one What a day time to hit the slopes.

Bus snowed in

Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort

Ok folks time to break out the shovels.


OK team lets go

Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort Adam Fletcher is a close friend of Hamish and hails from Melbourne.

Here is the team

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one Well, it’s certainly not the A team, like his golf Hamish needs a little improvement to his downhill slalom technique.

Hamish’s speciality

 photo Happo One Hakuba Nagano 5.jpg If taking “selfies” was an Olympic event Hamish would certainly be a medal contender. 🙂

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one          Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one          Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort

Where are all the people?

Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort According to Hamish 80% of all the skiers were Australians who were enjoying both the fabulous conditions and lower prices than Australia.

Catch me if you can Hamish

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one

No doubt about it, the boys really looked the part.

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one

Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort Only four hours by bus from Narita airport in Tokyo.

Selfie bomb

Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one Adam is wise to Hamish’s love of selfies, so he successfully bombs this one. 🙂

Thanks for visiting Hamish’s Ski Japan Hakuba Happo-one photo blog.

Granbell Hotel

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

If you would would like to stay at Shibuya I got an excellent deal booking through this Agoda link.

Here is my favourite Japanese song.

         Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

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Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

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French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo                 

        Hong Kong                        Florianopolos                         Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

                                 

 Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .🙂
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Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

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Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

October 11, 2015 by David Herd

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle David Herd Sixteenth century Osaka Castle is a magnificent structure, it is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century.

 Otemon (western) Gate

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle The castle grounds, which cover 60,000 square meters (15 acres), contain thirteen structures that are designated as important cultural assets by the Japanese government.

Castle moat

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle  This is the Sixteenth century Osaka Castle outer moat.

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle          Osaka Castle granite          Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

The inner moat

Osaka Castle moat  The granite walls were built in the 1620s & remain  standing today, they are made out of interlocked granite boulders without mortar. Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries near the Seto Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who donated them.

 Sakura-mon Gate

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Through the Sakura-mon Gate is the first glimpse of this magnificent building.

Photo opportunity at Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle school children At all the temples and shrine I have visited in Japan there are always huge numbers of school children learning about the history of their wonderful country.

Awesome castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.

Long Queue for the elevator

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Instead of joining the queue I decided to take the stairs, 8 floors and very steep, ok I admit I took a couple of rests on the way. 🙂


Samurai short sword

Osaka Castle Samarai sword The various floors hold museum pieces from the past.

Models of Samurai warriors

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Re-enacting battles from past centuries. The samurai (or bushi) were the warriors of pre-modern Japan. They later made up the ruling military class that eventually became the highest ranking social caste of the Edo Period (1603-1867). Samurai employed a range of weapons such as bows and arrows, spears and guns, but their main weapon and symbol was the sword.

Osaka Castle warrior          Osaka Castle Samarai           photo Osaka Castle amp around 52.jpg

Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of bushido (“the way of the warrior”). Strongly Confucian in nature, bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one’s master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior. Many samurai were also drawn to the teachings and practices of Zen Buddhism.

Magnificent Tiger

Osaka Castle Tiger

This tiger was so impressive.

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

Model of reconstruction

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Presented by Osaka Lion’s Club in 1992.

From to top floor of the castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle A view of Osaka from the 8th floor of Osaka Castle.

Osaka Castle          Osaka Japan          Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

The Sixteenth century Osaka Castle grounds

Osaka Castle Japan

Looking down from the 8th floor of Osaka Castle.

City skyline

David Herd Osaka A great view of Osaka from the top floor of Osaka Castle.

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle          Osaka Castle Japan          Osaka Castle

Beware all Ninjas

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Awesome fire-power, well it may have been in the 16th century. 🙂

Modern buildings near the Castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle It’s about a 15 minute walk from the station to the Castle, here are some of the buildings you pass on the way.

Thanks for visiting my Sixteenth century Osaka Castle photo blog, I stayed in a nice budget hotel in Osaka five minutes walk to Namba station. Get a very good rate by using this link.

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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

October 9, 2015 by David Herd

From the Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers make this one of the world’s truly great cities. When you add wonderful people, great food & restaurants you have the whole package. This September 2015 trip was my 4th visit to which has now become my favourite city.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers                    Tokyo Tower Japan

Check out this link for great food in Tokyo.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

The photos above were taken from the observation deck of the Tokyo Tower. Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a four-story building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from there, guests can visit two observation decks. The two-story Main Observatory is located at 150 metres (490 ft), while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 249.6 metres (819 ft

Ladies at the Ginza

Ginza Tokyo

Today the kimono are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.

The Ginza

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers One of the best known intersections in the world.  Ginza is recognized by many as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world, attracting visitors and regulars alike from across the globe.

Wako store in the Ginza

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Wako is a department store retailer in Japan, whose best known store (commonly known as the Ginza Wako) is at the heart of the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. This store is famous for its watches, jewellery, chocolate, porcelain, dishware, and handbags, as well as upscale foreign goods.

 Tokyo Peninsula Hotel

Tokyo Peninsula Hotel

Spectacular Tokyo Hotel near the Ginza. Only around $560 usd per night if you book through this link. 🙂

Modern Tokyo buildings

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers From the modern to the traditional Tokyo has t all.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

The GAP building in Tokyo near the Ginza, this city is a shopping paradise.

The old and the new

David Herd Thailand

Tokyo is a city of contrasts, they preserve the old and build the new. 🙂

 Fujiya Building Ginza

Iconic Tokyo building

One of Tokyo’s iconic buildings.

Much more spectacular at night

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers Tokyo at night lights up in all its glory, walking around the Ginza in the evening is quite exciting. Ginza is a popular destination on weekends, when the main north-south artery is closed to traffic.

Accidental video

This was taken by accident, from Shabusen restaurant in the Ginza followed by our walk to the Imperial Palace. I didn’t realize my camera was making a compilation of the photos I was taking.

Kitanomaru Park

 photo IMG_0056.jpg Kitanomaru Park is located North of the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

The Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace Tokyo

One of the most popular sots in Tokyo for a photograph.

Piss Alley Shinjunku

Piss Alley Shinjunku

Piss Alley Tokyo was named many years ago, when it was a shady destination for criminals to get drunk together. The place wasn’t very built up back in those days, so instead of using a toilet, people just relieved themselves wherever they could.

 Grambell Hotel Shibuya

 photo Granbell Hotel Shibuya 1.jpg A nice budget hotel in a fantastic location. Use this link for a great rate.

Lancia Stratos

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers The Lancia Stratos isn’t just one of the world’s rarest cars, but one with an iconic cult following like no other. In total, 492 Stratos are believed to have been built, with the majority of them being competition or Rally race cars. We saw this rare beast in the Ginza.

Sushizanmai

Sushizanmai Tokyo

Open 24 hours a day adjacent to the Tsujiki fish market is my favourite restaurant in Tokyo. It is an experience to enjoy and remember. If you want a quiet romantic setting cross this place off your list. It is a happy frenetic chaotic dining experience, and the food is wonderful.  There is always a queue waiting to get in, make sure you sit at the sushi counter on the ground floor.

Shibuya crossing

Shibuya crossing Tokyo Shibuya Scramble Tokyo takes place at the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station. the traffic is stopped in all directions, which allows pedestrians to walk & scramble in every direction across the intersection.

 Live webcam at Shibuya

Kubuchiko

Kubuchiko Tokyo Only in Japan, Hamish & I were enjoying some cold beers in Kubuchiko when these nice Japanese ladies approached us to asked if they could take our photo. Of course we agreed as any cool rock star would. 🙂

Street performer at Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

I’m not really a fan of performing animals, training methods are often cruel.

Metro Cafe at Omotosando station.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers The whole gang gather at one of my favourite haunts in Tokyo. Bob, David, Clai, Dan & Hamish.  We usually enjoy numerous bottles of Italian wine for only $25 aud or 650 Baht a bottle.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers          Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers          Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Thanks for visiting my Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers post

Kubuchiko Tokyo

As well as Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers check out my Tokyo food blog.

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                                               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .🙂
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Here is a hidden gem in Tokyo

 

Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

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Dotonbori lights camera action

October 6, 2015 by David Herd

Dotonburi Osaka

Dotonbori lights camera action Dotonbori lights camera action, this is the entertainment centre of Osaka, it has the lights & the action you just need the camera. The number of restaurants large & small is mind boggling.

The big crab beckons at Kani Doraku Crab restaurant

Dotonbori lights camera action Huge crabs, dragons, & octopus adorn the restaurant façades to entice you in for a feast. This six and a half meter crab is on the front of the crab restaurant Kani Doraku. It is mechanised, being able to move its arms and eyestalks. Built in 1960, this mechanical billboard soon spawned imitations, including a squid that puffs steam and oni (demons) that light up at night.

You have seen the crab, well here is the octopus. 🙂

Dotonbori Osaka

Dōtonbori traces its history back to 1612, when a local entrepreneur, Yasui Dōton, began expanding the tiny Umezu River, which ran east to west, hoping to increase commerce in the region by connecting the two branches of the Yokobori River, which ran north to south, with a canal.

There is even some giant Gyoza. 🙂

David Herd Thailand

What a fabulous city, I will certainly visit again in the future.

David Herd and Hamish Elton first night in Osaka

Hamish Elton Thailand We had just arrived from Tokyo which was Hamish’s first visit. Osaka was the first time for both of us, so we headed for Dotonbori and started our night off with some ice cold Super Dry Asahi which is one of the world’s great beers.

Dotonbori canal

Asahi beer We were sitting by the canal watching the tourist boats go by and waiting for the neon signs to come on.

Cruising the canal

Dotonbori lights camera action

We had some sensational food in Tokyo and were hoping for a similar experience in Osaka. High on my agenda was  visit to the city of Nara which used to be the capital of Japan from the year 710 to 784, and the Todai-ji Buddist temple.

The cameras are locked & loaded

Asahi Super Dry

I am usually the one taking hundreds of photos.

The lights are coming on in Dotonbori

Dotonbori lights camera action

My favourite time of the day for taking photos.

 Beside the canal

Dotonbori lights camera action

View from where we were drinking Asahi.

 French restaurant

Dotonbori Osaka

So many restaurants and such little time.

Another octopus

Osaka Japan

Use this link for a good budget hotel in a great location.

Has Hamish found his twin?

Hamish Elton

My friend Hamish Elton on his first trip to Japan.

Or perhaps I have found mine. 🙂

David Herd Thailand

There is a photo opportunity around every corner.

More dragons

 photo Osaka201st20night2020.jpg

Dotonbori is a kaleidoscope of images.

So many restaurants and so little time.

Dotonbori lights camera action

The food choices in Dotonbori is quite amazing. I look forward to returning.

An interesting hotel

Dotonbori lights camera action We were actually staying at a very good budget hotel in Namba which is only 10 minutes walk to Dotonbori and 5 minutes to the railway station. Use this link for a very good rate.

A beautiful sight at night

Dotonbori lights camera action

Most evenings we would sit by the canal and start the night off with a couple of ice cold Asahi beers.

Dotonbori lights camera action

Japan

Glico Man: Originally installed in 1935, the giant neon athlete on a blue track is a symbol of Glico candy. The sign has been altered on several occasions to celebrate events such as the World Cup and to show support for the Osaka baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers.

Dotonbori

 photo IMG_0369.jpg

I hope you are beginning to understand why I chose “Dotonbori lights camera action ” as the title for my Osaka post.

Shinsaibashi

Shinsaibashi Osaka Shinsaibashi is the upmarket centre of Osaka and only about 10 minutes walk to Dotonbori.  Shinsaibashi is the largest shopping area in Osaka with many boutiques and speciality shops attracting local people and visitors. The Shisaibashi has developed from the arcaded streets “Shinsaibashi Shopping Street” which runs east to Mido-Suji Avenue, is the best-known shopping area in Osaka, and a wonderful symbol of the city. With a history of 380 years, it was already an established shopping area in the Edo Period. Shops of all kinds and for all ages line the street featuring a roofed arcade 600 meters long.

Thanks for visiting my post

Dotonbori lights camera action

I have so much more to show you about the great food in Dotonbori I thought it best to do a separate post. Thanks for visiting my Dotonbori lights camera action photo blog.


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After Dromana I flew to the Gold Coast.

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Eastern European Odyssey

Pattaya webcam

My favourite song which has a sad story regarding the artist Kyu Sakamoto who died on August 12, 1985, in the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123, the deadliest single-aircraft accident in history.

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Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

July 25, 2015 by David Herd

Get ready

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo takes place at the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station. the traffic is stopped in all directions, which allows pedestrians to walk & scramble in every direction across the intersection.

Off you go

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo The name “Shibuya” is also used to refer to the shopping district which surrounds Shibuya Station, one of Tokyo’s busiest railway stations. This area is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, particularly for young people, and as a major nightlife area.

The masses collide 🙂

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world. Shibuya Station is the third busiest station in Tokyo. The busiest in Tokyo and the world of course is Shinjuku.

Beautiful girls

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo You will see all different kinds of people and outfits in Shibuya, that’s why it’s one of my favourite places in Tokyo.

Fabulous faces in Shibuya

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the world’s best cities for people watching.

Shibuya Scramble Tokyo

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

Something to see around every corner.

Tokyo fashion

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

Of course close to Shibuya on a Sunday morning you can also see the fabulous Harajuku girls.

Fabulous at night

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway, but for me Tokyo is the neon capital of the world. The Ginza, Kabukicho and Shibuya are just three of the districts that will blow your mind.

Shibuya 109

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo Here is a popular shopping mall where the trendy Tokyo teenagers shop in more than 100 boutiques.

Dusk in Shibuya

Shibuya Scramble Tokyo The crowd seems to increase when the sun goes down  and all the workers head for the shops, restaurants and bars.

Merry Xmas 2007

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

My first visit was December 2007 then March 2014 and I’m returning in September 2015 & October 2016..

Cool dude

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

I wonder what type of music he likes?

Pablo

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

The speciality here is sweet, fluffy cheese tarts, with a gooey core that oozes out when you cut it open.

Shibuya hamburger

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

The food is one of the main attractions for me.

The Cellar Grill

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo One of my favourite restaurants is only a 15 minute walk from Shibuya station. Good food and a great atmosphere.

Wine at Cellar Grill

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo Thanks for visiting my Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo photo blog, I’m really looking forward to my next trip in September 2015, I’ll be staying at the Shibuya Granbell Hotel.

Granbell Hotel

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

I got an excellent deal booking through this Agoda link.

                         Live link

What a great year for travel in 2015                  

                 Istanbul                  Budapest                        London

Galeta Tower     St. Stephen's Basilica       Walkie Talkie London    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

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                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Thailand Europe Vietnam Japan        Main Square Zagreb       Vung Tau

                                        Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 

A quaint Tokyo street

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Shinjuku Tokyo’s New Business Center

April 16, 2014 by David Herd

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

Shinjuku Tokyo’s New Business Center

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center

Shinjuku Tokyo’s New Business Center located in Tokyo Metropolis. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building.

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower is a 204-meter, 50-story educational facility located in the Nishi-Shinjuku district in Shinjuku. The building is home to three educational institutions.

Shinjuku is the busiest train station in the world

West of the station

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center Nishi-Shinjuku: The area west of Shinjuku Station, historically known as Yodobashi, is home to Tokyo’s largest concentration of skyscrapers. Several of the tallest buildings in Tokyo are located in this area, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, KDDI Building and Park Tower.

From Skyscrapers to tiny restaurants

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center There is an incredible diversification in Shinjuku, everything from modern skyscrapers to tiny “hole in the wall” restaurants.

Meet my new best friend

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center Here I am with y new best friend in the little “no name” restaurant that sits only 3 people, 4 at a squeeze.

Food was average, wine was excellent

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center I was not worried about the food being very average & overpriced, the experience was well worth it. My friend Kayo had given me a lovely present, a nice bottle of red & a bottle of sake. So I drank the red at this tiny “no name” restaurant.

Here is my present from Kayo

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center Japanese people are so nice, they love to give you presents. I will look forward to returning the favor when Kayo visits Thailand in August.

My friend Kayo

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center We met on the Gold Coast in Australia 10 years ago and it was great to catch up again in Tokyo.  

Kabukicho is in Shinjuku

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center Kabukicho is in the heart of Shinjuku and right next to the railway line is one of my favorite places, Piss Alley.

Piss Alley

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center Piss Alley is a quaint Tokyo Street in Shinjuku which really has a distinctive personality. Known also as Memory Lane however I think Piss Alley has a far better sound to it.  :lol:

My favourite Japanese song

Toyoko Inn

Shinjuku Tokyo's New Business Center My hotel was in a perfect location and a very reasonable price if you book through my Agoda link.

Granbell Hotel

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

If you would prefer to stay at Shibuya I got an excellent deal booking through this Agoda link.

Thanks for visiting my Shinjuku Tokyo’s New Business Center photo blog

 

 
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David Herd Thailand

 

 

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Here is a famous red light district in Bangkok

 

Check out one of Pattaya’s most famous streets

 

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Kabukicho Tokyo the sleepless town

April 15, 2014 by David Herd

Kabukicho Tokyo

Kabukicho Tokyo Kabukicho Tokyo the sleepless town, an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Kabukicho is the location of many host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is often called the “Sleepless Town”

Kabukicho Tokyo has transformed from a residential area to a world famous red-light district housing over three thousand bars, nightclubs, love hotels, massage parlours, hostess clubs and the like. Although referred here as a “red light district”, there are no red lights in the literal sense with prostitutes in the windows as in Amsterdam.

Selling dreams to lonely women in Kabukicho.

The “sleepless town”

Kabukicho Tokyo

According to a spokesperson of Metropolitan Tokyo in 2004, there are more than 1,000 yakuza members in Kabukicho, and 120 different enterprises under their control.

Entering the new millennium, laws were more strictly enforced and patrols became more frequent. These, adding to the installation of fifty closed-circuit cameras in May 2002, reduced criminal activities here, amidst controversy.

In 2004, the police undertook an operation clamping down on illegal clubs and brothels, causing many to go out of business. Also, there is a movement to rid this area of the yakuza (“bad hand” gangs), known as the Kabukicho Renaissance.

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Neon lights everywhere in Kabukicho

Kabukicho Tokyo

Kabukicho Tokyo was a great place to stay as there is always something to see & do. Also it is close to Piss Ally, one of my favorite spots in Tokyo.

An Australian influence?

Kabukicho Tokyo

You gotta love Wombat herbs. 🙂

DVD shop

DVD shop Tokyo

A typical Kabukicho neon.

One of many love hotels

Kabukicho Tokyo Kabukicho is the largest red light district in Asia.


 

Another love hotel

 

Love hotel Kabukicho You have the option to pay for a short stay or all night, up to you.

 

It really is the town that never sleeps

Kabukicho in Tokyo They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway, but for me Kabukicho Tokyo is the world’s brightest city.

Here is a site which shows you what is available

slika 9

Check out those wonderful innocent faces. 🙂 Photo by Phoenix & Phoenix.

Selling dreams to lonely women in Kabukicho.

 Grambell Hotel Shibuya

 photo Granbell Hotel Shibuya 1.jpg

A nice budget hotel in a fantastic location. Use this link for a great rate.

 

My favourite Japanese song

zulu928's Kabukicho album on Photobucket
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 Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
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Here is a hidden gem in Tokyo

 

Here is a famous street in Pattaya Thailand

 

My wonderful world trip in March 2014

 


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Piss Alley Tokyo very quaint Street

February 27, 2014 by David Herd

Piss Alley Tokyo very quaint Street in Shinjuku which really has a distinctive personality. Known also as Memory Lane however I think Piss Alley has a far better sound to it.  😆

Piss Alley Tokyo

Piss Alley Tokyo

Piss Alley Tokyo was named many years ago, when it was a shady destination for criminals to get drunk together. The place wasn’t very built up back in those days, so instead of using a toilet, people just relieved themselves wherever they could.

Wonderful tiny restaurants

Piss Alley Tokyo

Many of the restaurants in Piss Alley Tokyo only seat 6 or 7 people, the larger ones probably up to 20 and people are often packed in like sardines.

Little “hole in the wall” restaurants

Piss Alley TokyoThere are some very strange dishes available on Piss Alley.

  • Frog sashimi
  • Pig testicles
  • Soft-shelled turtle
  • Still-beating frog’s heart
  • Grilled salamander
  • Snake liquor

I was not taking any risks so I stuck to the Yakitori.

Yakitori in Piss Alley Tokyo

Yakatori shinjuku Piss Alley

Great yakitori,  this is still the place to eat Japan’s original fast foods: yakitori (chicken skewers), motsu-nabe (offal stew) and hormone-yaki (grilled organ meats). Most items on the menus are made from the rejected body parts of livestock.

Foreign television crews love izakaya Asadachi (Shinjuku 1-2-14, no phone) for delicacies such as pig testicles, grilled salamanders, frog sashimi and other foods. Even for adventurous Japanese eaters, most of the menu is considered off-the-wall. There’s a reason Asadachi has maintained its near city-wide monopoly on serving horse penis.

For the less experimental, standard yakitori joints abound, though truth be told, many of these Shinjuku bars survive as much on location as quality. Finding the best yakitori is often a hit or miss affair. The best strategy is to follow the crowds — or better, go with a knowledgeable friend. A general rule of thumb: the less crowded an establishment, the less you can trust its cooking.


 

One of the larger restaurants in Piss Alley

Piss Alley photo Kabukicho 37.jpg Most are not much bigger than a shoe box. 🙂

 Bright lights of Memory Lane

Piss Alley Tokyo The collection of small Shinjuku bars evocatively called Piss Alley (‘Shonben Yokocho’) — or Memory Lane (‘Omoide Yokocho’), as the authorities would rather you call it — is a sliver of post-war Japanese culture a few minutes walk from Shinjuku station. The cramped alley of restaurant and bar stalls offers a ‘nostalgic’ experience, which means something like visiting a decrepit shantytown.

My favourite Japanese song

Busy chef at work

piss alley tokyoOn a Friday night Piss Alley is in full swing. It’s like a film set of tiny buildings, with staircases leading nowhere. The place feels like it’s painted nicotine brown (no smoking laws definitely don’t apply to Piss Alley), and then spritzed with a hot, savory steam. It’s beside the railway (at one point, there’s a rusty ladder up to the main train track out of Tokyo) and the rumble of trains never goes away. Nor does the smell of fried food and sake, as salary-men eat and drink their fill.

My favorite PA photo

 

piss alley tokyo

  Each time I look at this shot it reminds me of the song “Only the Lonely’. The truth, however, is that the run-down, old-timey atmosphere of the Alley is as carefully cultivated as any of the city’s famed theme bars. The theme here just happens to be ‘post-war poverty.’ A black market drinking quarter in the 1940s, Piss Alley earned its name from its lack of toilet facilities, which compelled patrons to relieve themselves against nearby train tracks. The ramshackle post-war infrastructure lasted until 1999, when a fire destroyed most of the buildings and the Alley had to be rebuilt. Along with the renovation came actual restrooms and a new marketing campaign — at least officially, the Shinjuku bars of Piss Alley became Memory Lane. Though none of the current structures are more than a decade old, you’d hardly know it from the grease and grime covering nearly every surface. Although positioned as the ‘ultimate old-style Japanese drinking experience,’ the bars of Memory Lane are mostly staffed by young women from various Asian countries. Between the broken Japanese and hard-drinking patrons, many of them tourists, the area remains a little seedy — just in a new way.

Two American girls

 photo Kabukicho 40.jpg I visited Piss Alley again in September 2015 & chatted to these nice American girls.

In October 2017 I travelled to Kagoshima and was happy to find another “Piss Alley” type village, check it out on THIS LINK.

It will remain a favourite part of Tokyo for me.
  piss alley tokyo border=

Make sure you put this unique piss alley Tokyo 0n your bucket list.   My hotel was 10 minutes walk from here, great value for Tokyo, only $85 per night. Use THIS LINK to book.

Granbell Hotel

Shibuya Chaotic Scramble Tokyo

This is a great hotel in Shibuya, I got an excellent deal booking through this Agoda link.

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 Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 
 


 

Click here to see the famous Tokyo fish market.

 

Check out Bangkok’s red light districts.

 

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Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto Japan

August 24, 2013 by David Herd

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto

kyotoGion Temples Geishas Kyoto Japan, originally developed in the Middle Ages, in front of Yasaka Shrine. The district was built to accommodate the needs of travellers and visitors to the shrine. It eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan.

Gion shop

Gion Temples Geisha's

A great window display.

Wonderful Japanese garden in Kyoto

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto

In my eyes this is perfection.

The magnificent Kinkakuju temple.

Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji (金閣寺, Golden Pavilion) is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Kinkakuji was the inspiration for the similarly named Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), built by Yoshimitsu’s grandson, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, on the other side of the city a few decades later. Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, and is the only building left of Yoshimitsu’s former retirement complex. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War, a civil war that destroyed much of Kyoto; and once again more recently in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.

Hanami-koj St Gion.

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto Part of the Gion district has been declared a national historical preservation district. Recently, the City of Kyoto completed a project to restore the streets of Gion, which included such plans as moving all overhead utilities underground as part of the ongoing effort to preserve the original beauty of Gion.

Gion

Gion Temples Geisha's

Gion is my favourite part of Kyoto.
Nijo Castle kyoto The castle is an excellent example of social control manifested in architectural space. Low-ranking visitors were received in the outer regions of the Ninomaru, whereas high-ranking visitors were shown the more subtle inner chambers. Rather than attempt to conceal the entrances to the rooms for bodyguards (as was done in many castles), the Tokugawas chose to display them prominently. Thus, the construction lent itself to expressing intimidation and power to Edo-period visitors. The building houses several different reception chambers, offices and the living quarters of the shogun, where only female attendants were allowed. One of the most striking features of the Ninomaru Palace are the “nightingale floors” (uguisubari) in the corridors. To protect the occupants from sneak attacks and assassins, the builders constructed the floors of the corridors in such a way as to squeak like birds when anyone walks on them.

So many wonderful restaurants in Gion.

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto

Good food & beautiful faces, what more could you ask for?

 Jyuunidanya restaurant in Gion

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto

Probably has not changed for hundreds of years.

 

Kyoto Tower

 

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto

Kyoto’s iconic landmark is a very convinient place to stay, for an excellent room rate just book through THIS LINK.

 Kyoto railway station

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto

One of the most fantastic stations I have ever seen.

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto    Gion Temples Geisha's    Gion Temples Geisha's

 

 

 

  A beautiful Japanese lady

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto This is Ake and she provided me with a real surprise. It was a wet Monday evening so I found a small bar to enjoy a few drinks and a light dinner. An hour or so later Aki came in with 2 of her friends, they all said hello to me and joined me at the bar. After a couple more drinks they invited me to join them at another bar where they were meeting friends. I said “please wait a minute while I pay my bill here”, Ake said “don’t worry I have already paid it”.  You could have knocked me over with a feather, so off we went and the night got better and better. 🙂

Aki’s friends Jun and Alice

Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto  It’s always great meeting the locals. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my Gion Temples Geishas Kyoto photo blog.

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          Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .🙂
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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

Click here to see another Japanese post

 

A very quaint Tokyo street

 

You gotta love the Ginza

 


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