Favourite Places in Japan: Ueno-mura

Today I got a message from Facebook reminding me that three years ago I was in Ueno-mura (上野村), so it seems an appropriate time to continue with my posts about favourite places in Japan. I’ve written quite a few posts related to Ueno-mura already, with the main focus being on my research about the JL123…

Favourite Places in Japan: Jigokudani Yaen Koen (Snow Monkey Park)

Continuing with my posts about favourite places in Japan, I’m writing about Jigokudani Yaen Koen (地獄谷野猿公苑), also known as the Snow Monkey Park. I’ve visited the park twice – first in 1997 and then again in 2014. Both visits were very enjoyable, but also very different. In terms of access, the easiest way to get…

Photographing the Shinkansen: Maibara

During media interviews a couple of times I have asked where my favourite place is on the shinkansen network. The answer is Maibara (米原). Thanks to there being a bend just before the station (if approaching from Tokyo/Nagoya) and also a slope down into the station, it’s one of the few sections of the shinkansen…

Favourite Places in Japan: Hakodate

Continuing with my posts about favourite places in Japan (see also here), I’m going to write a bit about another – Hakodate (函館). Hakodate is located towards the southern end of the northern island of Hokkaido. I have been to Hakodate a few times now – for a variety of different reasons. The first time…

Favourite Places in Japan: Kinosaki Onsen

Continuing with my posts about favourite places in Japan (see my post about Ichigaya), I’m going to write a bit about another – Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉). These days Kinosaki is a part of Toyooka (豊岡) city, but when I first visited back in 1993 (when my wife was based nearby on the JET Programme) it…

Favourite Places in Japan: Ichigaya

One of the questions I often get asked about Japan is where my favourite place (although the question often infers a city rather than something more specific than that) is. I don’t have a single favourite place – it would be too hard after visiting 47 prefectures and having been to Japan so many times,…

Matsumoto Castle

Japan has many wonderful castles, but my favourite is probably Matsumoto Castle in Nagano prefecture. Matsumoto was the first place that I went to on my first (of what was to become many) JR Passes (whereby you can travel around Japan on Japan Railway (JR) trains without having to buy separate tickets) in 1992. That…

Yuzawa

Yuzawa (湯沢) in Niigata prefecture is a small town (population of less than 8,000) that I have visited many times – but never stayed at. That I have been there so many times is thanks to the fact that it has a shinkansen station and is only about 90 minutes from Tokyo Station. If you…

Contents Tourism – Mount Tanigawa and Ichi-no-Kurasawa

Are you familiar with the term ‘contents tourism’? I cannot remember when I first heard it, but I know who to thank for introducing me to it – Dr Philip Seaton. After hearing some of his presentations, not only did I become familiar with the concept, but it turned out that I had already been…

Photographing Planes Near Haneda Airport, Tokyo: Jonanjima

Ever since I first started visiting Japan in 1989 I have enjoyed taking pictures of trains, particularly shinkansen. I’m not 100% sure why – I would never classify myself as a train spotter. But in the end, the photographing helped stimulate my research on the shinkansen itself and the book and other articles I have…

Photographing the Shinkansen: Fuji

The view of the shinkansen passing Mount Fuji is probably the most well known and well used image of the shinkansen. This article will explain where to go to get that shot… what it cannot do it help you with the weather. Winter is a better bet than summer – but Mount Fuji tends to…

Photographing the Shinkansen: Lake Hamana

Although the Tōkaidō Shinkansen may not offer the variety of rolling stock that is found on the Sanyō Shinkansen or on the JR East lines, it does have good vantage points from which to take pictures. This article covers 7 different shots that can easily be covered in a half day. Note that there is…