Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ouchijuku, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Late last year I visited the historic little village called Ouchijuku which is south of Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. The village is famous for the numerous traditional thatched buildings from the Edo period that line its main street. In the buildings are numerous little tourists shops and an old historic traditional restaurant.

Here I am sitting on the main street.

Along each side of the street, a little stone lined cold stream flowed and in it at various points were beer and other beverages cooling and ready for sale to tourists.

On the morning of the day I visited, then Prime Minister Koizumi visited. I am disapointed I missed him as I definately would have tried to introduce myself. Oh well. Here is a picture of the former Prime Minister visiting Ouchijuku on the day that I was there.

If you are traveling on the road through the mountains to Aizuwakamatsu, Ouchijuku is a really cool place to stop. Beware that it may be crowded on weekends or holidays. I don't remember the name of the restaurant but it is the only old traditional restaurant in the village and it was really great and the interior is incredible.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yokohama, Japan

In 2004, I went to Yokohama for the day. It was the first time I had visited there. I stayed at the Pan Pacific Yokohama hotel. The hotel is located at the relatively new Minato Mirai development which includes a new train station and the tallest office building in Japan, the Landmark Tower. One mistake I made was traveling to Yokohama from Tokyo during evening rush hour. Everything you may have heard about passengers being packed like sardines on the trains and subways during rush hour in Japan is true.

The Minato Mirai area is really amazing. It surrounds the inner harbor of Yokohama. Here is a picture of me in front of a historic ship in the inner harbor right next to the Landmark Tower.

Here is a picture I took of the Landmark Tower. The tower has an observation deck but I did not have time to visit it.

Above the train station in the new Minato Mirai development is a shopping center which includes many good restaurants, coffee shops and other shops. It also links directly with the Pan Pacific Hotel. The hotel was amazing and the service was great. I felt bad when the petite female hotel employee carried our heavy bags to the room. I wanted to give her a tip but of course tipping is not done in Japan.

Here are some links for Minato Mirai and Yokohama.