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.

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori

November 20, 2016 by David Herd

Too much sashimi is never enough

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Kumamoto trams sake yakitori was on my list travelling from Hiroshima to Kagoshima on the Shinkansen, so I decided to spend 24 hours in Kumamoto to see the earthquake damage to the beautiful castle.

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori One of my passions is Japanese food, which help make my visits to the great country a total joy.

As for the sake

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Well that’s another story, it kind of sneaks up on you after 2 or 3 small bottles. Made from rice, “Sake” is an alcoholic beverage peculiar to Japan. It has a long history dating back to the 3rd century A.D.

Yakitori

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Plus edamame washed down with cold beer, delicious.

Lots of choices here

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Often language can be a barrier in Japan, however in restaurants like this you just have to point. 🙂

Seattles best coffee

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Any idea who they may be having a go at, and I wonder what Starbucks thinks of the name? 🙂

Seattle’s other coffee

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori From what I have read about Seattle it always seems to be raining, perhaps that’s why everybody sits in coffee shops because it’s too wet to go outside. 🙂

Their coffee & cake suits me

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori I must admit I am a Starbucks fan.

Covered arcades

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Japan in famous for it’s covered arcades which are simply shopping walkways crisscrossing the cities. Many as you can see have circular transparent domes running along the roof line letting in light and sunshine.

Pachinko

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Japanese people seem to be addicted to these noisy gambling parlours which occupy prime positions in all of the busy parts of a city. The pachinko machine is like a vertical pinball machine with no flippers and a large number of relatively small balls. The noise inside these parlours is so loud it certainly must have a detrimental effect on the hearing of their customers.

Heavily promoted

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Walking past you are nearly knocked over by the noise. 🙂

 Trams fares are only 170 Yen

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori A great way to get around the city, comfortable & cheap.

I think upstairs is some sort of shrine

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori I couldn’t quite work out if this was a shrine or a temple.

Part of the ritual

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori The people visiting here would step through this circle a number of times before continuing upstairs.

Toyoko Hotel

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle

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

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

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy     

Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

             Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

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. 🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

 

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Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer

November 18, 2016 by David Herd

Fabulous Nagasaki restaurant

Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer, I found Char-Grilled Yakitori Torimasa Ebisu through TripAdvisor who rated it 9th out of 1981 restaurants in Nagasaki. It was so good I’m sorry I didn’t have the time to visit the top 8.

My first dish

Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer Absolutely superb, I saw the girls who were sitting next to me order this dish, it looked so good I had it also.

 Here are my new friends

Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer Everyone in the restaurant was so friendly, both customers and staff.

I was here for the Yakitori

 photo IMG_5888.jpg I was not disappointed it was excellent.

Naturally I washed it down with hot sake.

Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer

The third bottle turned out to be my downfall, the following morning I had quite a hangover. 🙂

Yakitori

Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer As they say in the classics “I love the smell of Yakitori in the morning”.

Nagasaki Restaurants hot Sake cold Beer

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer The master at work. 

Interesting choices

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer This was as good as any of the Yakitori restaurants I have visited in Japan. Then again there are some wonderful places in Osaka & Tokyo plus every other city I have visited. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Farewell to the guys

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer As I said earlier the chefs & waitresses were super friendly.

Farewell to my new friends

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer The girls could not speak much English, maybe 6 words. Plus with my zeeo Japanese it was a little difficult communicating however we still had a few laughs.

 A row of restaurants

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer Overlooking the harbour there are many restaurants, check out my photo blog.

A good place for a cold beer.

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer We just returned from Battleship Island and had worked up quite a thirst.

Night opposite the harbour

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer They always look more inviting at night.

 50 meters from my hotel

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer

About 10 or more restaurants very close to my hotel.

Orion Hotel

Nagasaki city harbour street drummers

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

Craving a change of cuisine

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer 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.

Gorm’s is very stylish

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer They really have a very good atmosphere to compliment their excellent food.

TullY’s Coffee

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer A very popular chain of shops, they seemed to be all over Kyushi, the coffee is pretty good..

These guys need no introduction

Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer I must say I do have a week spot for icecream. 🙂

Farewell to Nagasaki, a great city.

David Herd Thailand Thanks for visiting my Nagasaki Restaurants hot sake cold beer photo blog. 

 Please check out some of the most popular below, and thank you for visiting.

         Zagreb Croatia              Rio de Janeiro                  Brisbane River 

Main Square Zagreb          Good Value Brisbane City Hotels         Brisbane Australia

           Koh Samui                          Korea                                  London

Thailand island          Good Value Brisbane City Hotels          St Pauls Cathredal London

         Bangkok                                Osaka                                     Pattaya

Red Sky Bar Bangkok          David Herd Thailand           photo a From my condo.jpg 

                                     

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

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy     

Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

             Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

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 .🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses

 

Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

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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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Soi Cowboy Bangkok         Shabusen Ginza          Cape Town Safari
 
                                               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses

To receive my latest posts please follow me on Twitter 

Here is a hidden gem in Tokyo

 

Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

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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

Thailand Europe Vietnam Japan        Dubrobnik cable car        David Herd Thailand                     

                 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. 🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

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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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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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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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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A very quaint Tokyo street

 

You gotta love the Ginza

 


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Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

July 24, 2013 by David Herd

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants, there are many  to choose from, however you can never go wrong at Fuji, excellent Japanese food at reasonable prices. Spotlessly clean with well trained staff. The Caterpillar roll above is my favorite dish, however their menu offers so many good choices of beautiful fresh Japanese food. There are almost 100 restaurants in this chain throughout Thailand, to see their locations please click here.

Salmon at Fuji

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

One of the many mouth watering dishes at Fuji in Big C shopping mall on 2nd rd.

Fuji chefs at Big C in 2nd rd.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Agoda is a great place to book your Pattaya hotel.

Oishi Ramen low cost Japanese.

Oishi Big C

Oishi Ramen is another chain of very low cost Japanese & Thai food, I have lunch at least twice a week at the Big C mall on 2nd road north Pattaya. The Salmon and salad shown above with bottomless Green Tea costs 220 Baht or $7 usd, great value. More information about Oishi click here.


Oishi Japanese Buffet Restaurant

Oishi Japanese Buffet

The buffet is excellent value at around 500 Baht or $15, eat as much as you want. I don’t rate the food as highly as Fuji however you can’t beat the value.

Tuna Ichiban

 photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 2.jpg There is a new shopping mall in Pattaya Klang with many good Japanese restaurants to choose from, my salmon sashimi was absolutely fabulous.

Tuna Ichiban at Harbor shopping mall

 photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 14.jpg High quality food at a reasonable price, what more could you ask for?

                           photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 6.jpg           photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 1.jpg          photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 9.jpg

I was a little disappointed in the Tempura, too much batter so I scraped 1/2 off.

Tokyo Teppanyaki

Harbor new Pattaya mall

I was surprised at the number of Japanese restaurants here.

                               Harbor new Pattaya mall          Harbor new Pattaya mall          Harbor new Pattaya mall

I had an excellent prawn teppanyaki and miso soup for lunch.

Anego

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

 Excellent food here at Anego however I still think 200 Baht for a glass of wine is too high.

Anego Gioza

pattaya japanese restaurants

Anego was at 226/11 (soi 5 BeachRd.) Pattaya. Now in 2nd Rd behind Lisa bar in North Pattaya.

Chamiko in Soi 3 North Pattaya.

                        Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants        Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Finally hidden away in Soi 3 North Pattaya is Chamiko, it is kind of like eating in a private home. Good food, low cost and friendly staff. I walked past this strange little restaurant for 3 years without entering, now I eat there at least once a week. Open for lunch and dinner and closed on Mondays. Good food at a very low price, the best chicken Yakatori in Pattaya for about $3.  😀 Another example is you can order the two plates shown above + two glasses of South African wine for a total cost of $20 including tip, priceless.

Chamiko is a very casual atmosphere.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Here are some crazy friends of mine enjoying dinner at Chamiko. From left to right is Juergen (German), Larry (Austrian RIP), Dah (Thai) & John a.k.a Pothole (Australian).

Sushi at Chamiko

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Only about B300 or $12 aud.

Genki in Soi 4.

Genki sushi Pattaya

A little gem hidden away in Soi 4 next to a row of shops which include Saithorn massage, is Genki. A very authentic Japanese restaurant with a nice outdoor area. Last night there were 50 Japanese male diners and one Caucasian, me.

That is always a testament to the quality of the cuisine, just count the number of Japanese diners.

                        pattaya japanese restaurants        Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants         Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

One disappointing dish at Genki.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Here is one dish that was not to my liking, normally I love Sukiyaki but this version did not use thin beef, instead it was chicken and even some chicken mince. I won’t be ordering this one again at Genki.  😳

Sukishi at Central Festival.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurantsSukishi is an excellent Japanese BBQ restaurant in Central Festival shopping mall.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

        Sukishi Japanese BBQ Central        Sukishi Japanese BBQ

Another favourite at Big C

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurantsIt is right opposite Fuji is Hachiban Ramen, the Gyoza & Teriyaki chicken is to die for, only 153 Baht for the two, priceless. There is another branch on the ground floor of Tukcom at the rear.

Sabai Wing Soi 1 North Pattaya

Pattaya low cost budget hotels

Sabai Wing Soi 1, 3 swimming pools and nice rooms, 100 meters from BigC, great value at only $30 usd per night as of August 15. I live in the high-rise in the background, Markland. For a great room rate book here.

Thanks for visiting my Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants photo blog.                         

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Beckington Trowbridge

To receive my latest posts please follow me on Twitter 

Check out one of the most famous streets in Pattaya

 

Here is a very interesting Pattaya hotel

 

One of the best shopping malls in Bangkok

 

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