Japan, etc.

Here are some of the “side trips” or “mini-stops” during my six months of traveling in mainland Japan.


Yet another “side trip” driving back home from Takato Cherry Blossom Festival and Matsumoto Castle was Narai in Nagano. It is a time-warped old town where buildings where kept as they were in Edo period. It features quick stop hotels of working and walking travelers back in the old times when transportation was limited.



It’s just so neat to know that there are places on Earth where Superman’s changing room still exist.


Ha! πŸ˜€


I saw this on my way to Horikiri Iris Garden in Tokyo, Japan …


…. and these “manimals”. πŸ˜€



Before witnessing Kawagoe’s Lantern Festival, we stopped by Kita-in Temple…



… where there are also statues of 500 rakans or disciples of Buddha.


It is said that each of the statues have different facial expressions, and that anybody could find their own resemblance to one of the statues.


I saw my own face when I took a selfie. Ha! πŸ˜€


If you ever visit Shibuya Scramble Crossing, do not forget to pay a visit to the statue of a faithful dog named Hachiko.


For those of who are unacquainted, Hachiko is considered a hero to the Japanese. Hachiko would go see his owner off to work in the morning at Shibuya Train Station, and went to go see him again at the same spot after work. One day, his owner never came back because he died while at work. Hachiko continued to come back to the train station in the morning and afternoon even when he already had a new owner. He became a celebrity as the story spread all over Japan. People would come by to see the dog wait and leave the train station. It continued for ten years until he died at a street near Shibuya Train Station.
There have been several movies about Hachiko, including one from the US. So if you haven’t seen the movie, then you made a huge mistake reading the paragraph. Ha! πŸ˜€ Ooops, my bad. πŸ™‚


Last one …

There is a beautiful park across the street of the Squirrel Garden in Machida called Yakushi-ike Park. So better not miss it.



There are different flowers blooming here for every season.


I was here in July, and there’s an abundance of lotuses. I have no cheap joke to end this one. Ha! πŸ˜€


If you’re ever here in Japan visiting major places, perhaps one of these “side trips” maybe a good idea if you have time to kill. πŸ˜‰

Last Calls…







Categories: Japan, Travel

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47 replies »

  1. Japan is a fascinating country, thank you for sharing these lovely photographs! Something I don’t see at all anymore here…a public phone booth!

  2. I love this very personal collection of photos – universal and so Japan ((from what I know)) but with all your angles and side shots that Are not normally in a magazine – and I think I have told you this before – anyhow R- the selfie image did not load for me – but the rest did -;)

    • I surprise myself with how naturally I take pictures on the sides as well. When I first looked at my shot of that umbrella, it’s just one shot and I wondered why I didn’t take an extra shot that shows the whole thing.

      • well the shot of the red umbrella you did get is super artsy and all pro like – the use of space and so much more….
        but your comment reminded me how so much of life is made with real time deciding – so often we look back and see this and that – but at the time we did not – hmmmm

  3. Hachiko’s story sounds very similar to that of Grey Friar’s Bobby in Edinburgh. He sat on his masters grave for years after his master died.Beautiful pictures.

    • To be honest, I didn’t know what Shiba Inu is. I had to google it. Hachiko is a Akita according to different sources. Akita does look so much like Shiba Inu. Nice observation, Angie.

  4. Beautiful photos, Rommel. I particularly like the first one. I can picture myself walking on that street and it’s so peaceful and quietly…
    By the way, I think you flip the photo that has 3 green banners. The words on them are like what you would see in a mirror. πŸ˜‰
    Have a great day.

    • I don’t know Japanese so I can’t disagree. However, I 100% remember that it is the way it was as I was seeing that same scene when I was taking picture of it. πŸ˜‰ Great observation, by the way. Maybe it was the banners that are flipped.

  5. Ah……now I already have hubby looking for the Hachiko movie. πŸ™‚ Gorgeous photos from your side trip. With all those different Buddha statues, one must surely have your likeness somewhere.

    • With this one, the statues are mostly “defaced” that you can barely see the expression. But I love that they are sticking on the authenticity of it. They all look great as a group anyways.

  6. What an amazing adventure you are having ~ always being able to find yourself in a place of beauty (and surrounding by great people too). The water-lily photos to me capture the essence of both your writing and the place. Soooo peaceful. πŸ™‚

  7. These photos were a treat! I’m not even gonna pretend I don’t envy your traveling trips 😩

    I love your captions and hey they made me smile so they can’t be cheap jokes πŸ˜‰

    I tried to pick a favourite from these but all of the pictures are great. The lotus ones are so serene! And Rommel face on a statue? How priceless must that be πŸ˜†

    • You are more than welcome to stare at that pagoda for as long as you want. Ahihihi πŸ™‚ I can see how pagoda-kind of admirer you are. πŸ™‚

  8. You’ve captured the beauty of Japan so well. Thank you for sharing your adventures; really inspiring. 😊

  9. I always love wooden buildings from edo periods. They look fascinating and a little bit mysterious for me.
    In tokyo university you can found a statue of Hachiko reunited with his master. His master used to be a professor at tokyo university

  10. Beautiful photos.I love your blog! It would mean the world if you checked out my blog and commented at hintstolifeblog.wordpress.com !! THANKYOUUU I just started so some tips would help.

  11. Oh, Hachiko 😭😭😭 I love that story, and got a bit testy the first time we visited… my kids were horrified 😜 great pics. Thanks πŸ™πŸ½

  12. I came here via your Aug. 2017 post to read about Hachiko, Rommel. Thanks for sharing the great story. I very much enjoyed this post–the photos, history, vistas, and jokes. I laughed out loud several times. Lovely post.

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