Most viewed
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Little ninja at target practice.422 views
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No Tripods421 views三脚使用禁止 - The bold characters read, "Sankyaku shiyō kinshi" meaning tripod use is prohibited. The sign further explains that since tripods hinder the view of other spectators, they are not allowed except in the press photographers' box.

The kanji characters for tripod consists of "san" for three (the 3 horizontal lines make it obvious), and "kyaku" which means legs.

Place: Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine (during the Yabusame Festival), Kamakura, Kanagawa Pref.
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Cherry blossoms and Chiba Castle421 views
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Big expressive eyes.421 views
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The veranda is another escape route after opening trick windows from the inside. Ninja avoided direct combat and preferred to defend themselves and escape from enemies. Assassination was only a minor part of their activities.421 views
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Kumamoto Castle before the earthquake. Unfortunately, it suffered major damage by the Kumamoto earthquake and remains closed. 熊本城420 views
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Both the Marunouchi and Yaesu sides have three main entrances/exits at the north (Kita-guchi), center (Chuo-guchi), and south (Minami-guchi) ends. Tokyo Station platform sign420 views
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Shuriken Dojo has a few stalls. For a few hundred yen, you can throw real shuriken at wooden targets.420 views
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The Koka Ninja House also has a Shuriken Dojo. Pay 200 yen for five shuriken throwing stars (300 yen for 10) and try hitting the bull's eye.420 views
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Contrary to popular belief, ninja cannot walk on water. "Mizugumo" means water spider. To move across water, they used a wooden floating ring shown here, and sat in the middle.420 views
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Magistrate Procession 奉行419 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.419 views
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They wore wooden geta clogs with flippers which helped them propel themselves underwater. The wooden floating ring is collapsible and quite light. Almost like balsa.419 views
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SAN DIEGO (May 31, 2008) A fire aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) caused damage to the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration shop.419 viewsSAN DIEGO (May 31, 2008) A fire aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) caused damage to the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration shop. George Washington is in San Diego for damage assessment and repairs following an at sea fire on May 22. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Phillip Pavlovich (Released)
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My YouTube video featuring hula dancers in waraji straw sandals, hip-hop, belly dancers, and more during the 1st Waraji Day Dance Contest on Ekimae-dori near Fukushima Station on Aug. 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm. Also, giant waraji races.419 views
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Friends and family members welcome the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the ship pulls into its new operating base at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.418 viewsYOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 25, 2008) Friends and family members welcome the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the ship pulls into its new operating base at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. George Washington's arrival from its former homeport of Norfolk, Va., marks the beginning of its role as the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier and as centerpiece of the U.S. 7th Fleet's Carrier Strike Group Five. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kari Bergman/Released)
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Iga-ryu Ninja House garden. They take you in groups, so you may have to wait a while before you can go in.418 views
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Kaizu-Osaki is a peninsula easily accessible from Makino or Nishi-Azai Station. You can rent a bicycle at Makino Station on the Kosei Line or at Nagahara Station. Makino Station is closer so I rented a bicycle there at the tourist info office.418 views
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Real ninja obviously did not wear a pink costume, but in the manga/anime world, pink looks cute.417 views
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The yobidashi changes once in a while. Dressed in black and sitting as one of the judges is former yokozuna Chiyonofuji, now Kokonoe oyakata.417 views
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Everywhere you go in Iga-Ueno, you see a ninja motif.417 views
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Shirahige Shrine torii, Takashima. One of Lake Biwa's best-known landmarks. It faces the shrine on land. Rent a bicycle or go by taxi from Omi-Takashima Station (Kosei Line).417 views
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Matsushima is a 30-40 min. train ride from Sendai on the JR Senseki Line.417 views
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The 61st Sapporo Snow Festival was held during Feb. 5-11, 2010 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Among the giant snow sculptures was Hawaii's Iolani Palace made of ice. It was the reason why I decided to see this festival again.417 views
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From Naka-Meguro Station (Hibiya Line) to Ikejiri Ohashi Station (Toyoko Den'en Toshi Line), cherry blossoms line the Meguro-gawa River.416 views
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The famous Dobuita Street with military shops, bars, etc. "Dobu" means sewer, and "ita" is plank. They once had wooden planks covering a sewer gutter running down the street.416 views
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The bj-league's final and championship game for the 2009-2010 season was held on May 23, 2010 at Ariake Coliseum in Koto Ward, Tokyo. Golden State Warrior Girls from California perform as special guests at the Final Four games.416 views
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Nakamura Tamao (actress), Fukuhara Ai (tennis), and Tochiazuma at Zojoji Temple setsubun415 views
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Breakfast at Otaya415 views
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Next is a palanquin (not mikoshi) for the Toshi-gami deity of harvests. 御歳神414 views
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Wakayama Castle is a short bus ride from JR Wakayama Station. The East Moat (東堀) is what you see when you get off at the Koen-mae bus stop. The Ichinohashi Bridge at Otemon Gate is on the right.414 views
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Shelf for beckoning cats, maneki neko. Gotokuji temple, Setagaya, Tokyo.413 views1 comments
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Yodobashi Camera store on west side of Sapporo Station.413 views2 comments
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Yokozuna "tsuna" belt demo412 views
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Miss Shakunage (Rhododendron)412 views
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Otsu Exhibition, Nov. 21 - Dec. 4, 2005 at Shiga Kaikan, Otsu, Shiga. Right across from the Shiga Prefectural Office. 滋賀会館412 viewsFor this exhibition, I created my own photographic rendition of the places and scenes mentioned in the song and also photographed all the stone monuments dedicated to the song. I used Photoshop to composite images and to alter the colors into a dreamy condition as the song suggests. I also translated the lyrics into English.

The exhibition was held at Shiga Kaikan, right across from the Shiga Prefectural Office. Shiga Kaikan has two spaces for exhibitions, and I used the smaller space called Bunka Salon Gallery.

Map: http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/shigakaikan/map.html
Address: Kyomachi 3-4-22, Otsu, Shiga Pref.
Phone: 077-525-9995
〒520-0044 大津市京町三丁目 4-22
Web site: http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/shigakaikan/
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Every three years (2017, 2020, 2023, 2026, etc.), the full-scale version of this festival is held in mid-Aug. The festival's last day is the climax with this procession of over 50 portable shrines. Led by this banner which reads Tomioka Hachimangu.412 views
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It is not yet full bloom. A few patches of green.412 views
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Tokorozawa Aviation Museum. The building on the left is an IMAX theater, and the larger structure on the right is modeled after a blimp on the inside to show retired planes and helicopters. Looks like jet turbine too. 所沢航空発祥記念館412 views
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July 2004 - Nebuta Matsuri, Aomori411 viewsThis was the first edition of PhotoGuide Japan's new home page design called the "Billboard Look." A dramatic change from the "Stripe Look" that was used for many years previously.

Photo caption: One of my all-time favorite festivals, the Nebuta Matsuri is held in early August in Aomori in northern Japan. I give this picture the honor of being the first to be featured in this newly designed home page.

Cover photo and page design: © Philbert Ono

JAPANESE:

新しいHPデザイン!
ご覧のとおり、当HPのトップページのデザインを新しくしました。完全にCSSでレイアウトされていて、表など全く使っていません。画像が大きくて「ビルボード風」と名付けました。自分でデザインを考えて作りました。

写真:ねぶた祭り、青森
この写真はやはり大きければ大きいほどインパクトが大きい。一つの忘れない日本のお祭り。
写真: © Philbert Ono.
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna.411 views騎女
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The battle started at the foot of the hill on the left of the road. The small hill on the right was where Shimazu Yoshihiro was stationed. Mt. Ibuki is in the background in the middle.411 views
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By this time, all the men are filled with sake and gregarious.411 views
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Headquarters of the Tendai Buddhist sect, Enryakuji is a large complex of temples, halls, buildings, and monuments on Mt. Hiei in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. It boasts buildings which are National Treasures. MAP411 views
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Cigarette break on Coming-of-Age Day. Yes, they can now smoke legally.410 viewsAko, Hyogo Pref.
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Perfect for snorkeling, Uradome Coast, Tottori410 views
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JR Toya Station is the closest train station to Lake Toya. From this station, take a bus or taxi. There are also other buses going to Lake Toya from other places such as Sapporo and Date.410 views
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Small revolving door connected to a closet. The Koka ninja's main activity was gathering information. As they traveled and sold medicines, they always talked to people and their customers. They tried to find out how many guns the enemy had, etc.410 views
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The Shiga Lakestars played against Takamatsu Five Arrows again on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2009 at Hikone Shimin Taiiku Center gym, a 20-min. walk from Hikone Station. These photos were taken on Oct. 31, 2009.410 views
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Finland: Land of Lakes 湖だらけの国409 viewsWhen you look at a map of Finland or see it from the air, the first thing you notice is that it has a lot of lakes. Ten percent of the country is covered by lakes, but from the air over the southern half, it looks like least 30%-40% of the land is water.

It looked like a field of giant puddles or one giant marshland. It was like the country was sinking into ocean. I had never seen so many lakes in my life. Incredible. And if it's not water, it's forests. Some 70% of Finland is covered by forests.

I think Finland will someday become a popular tourist destination, especially for people who need to escape the urban hustle-bustle and stressful lifestyle. There are nothing like trees and lakes which can pacify humans.

Basic intro to Finland: http://virtual.finland.fi/
Finland map: Virtual Finland map

上空からも直ぐ分かるけど、フィンランドは湖がとっても多い国。20万弱の湖。面積の一割が湖。なんと国の7割は森林。湖と森林は、人を癒すものである。
HP: フィンランド政府観光局(日本語)
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Matsuda Sakura Festival brochure.409 views
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8:43 am: Passed body check and walking to waiting line. After seeing these coned lanes, I was glad that I went early. I don't know if all these lanes were later filled with people, but probably yes.408 views
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Himeji Castle (National Treasure)408 views
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Snip by actor Hiroshi Fujioka, who played Kamen Rider in the '70s.408 views
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Oda Nobunaga 織田信長408 views
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Maid costume player in Akihabara408 views
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Giant phallus makes its way to the shrine.408 views
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Shigaraki pottery lessons408 views
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A sailor salutes as the Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) pulls into its new operating base at Fleet Activities Yokosuka.408 viewsYOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 25 2008) A sailor salutes as the Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) pulls into its new operating base at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. George Washington and Carrier Air Wing 5 will be operating from Fleet Activities Yokosuka as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Josh Cassatt (Released)
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9:28 am: Finally walking toward Nijubashi Bridge. There were a lot of men in trench coats gazing at the crowd.407 views
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Uwajima Castle tower (Important Cultural Asset)407 views
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Where the penis goes, the crowd follows.407 views
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Baton holder407 views
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Another ninja museum.407 views
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Iga-Ueno Ninja Festa poster407 views
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Bullets with various gauges.406 views
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This entire ceiling was designed to fall down on any assailant in this room.406 views
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Hairdressing demonstration405 views
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Awaiting the final cut as we listen to one of his famous matches.405 views
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Keiji Suzuki wins by hantei.404 views
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Geisha on a palanquin, Toka Ebisu, Imamiya Ebisu Shrine, Osaka404 views
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Sailors man the rails of The Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).404 viewsYOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 25 2008) Sailors man the rails of The Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the carrier pulls into its new operating base at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. George Washington and Carrier Air Wing 5 will be operating from Fleet Activities Yokosuka as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Heidi McCormick/released)
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Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, addresses a large crowd of well-wishers at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field...404 views21 April 2010 --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, addresses a large crowd of well-wishers at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center.
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Both ozeki watch403 views
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JR Sugamo Station on the Yamanote Line. 巣鴨駅403 views
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Mud Paddy. Main site of the Warabi Hadaka Matsuri held every Feb. 25.402 views
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Tired from walking, Narita Gion Matsuri401 views
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Break to treat Marumoto's bleeding nose.401 views
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Beware of Flashers!401 viewsエッチマン注意! - Besides watching out for poisonous snakes, jellyfish, and wild monkeys as you saw in the previous images, there's one last wild animal to watch out for: the flasher. Apparently, this country neighborhood has had a flasher (a person who shows his genitals) so often that they put up this sign to warn female passers by.

The sign reads "H man chūi!" "H" is for "hentai" meaning pervert. "Man" is man, and you know what "chūi" means.

Place: Country road, northern Shiga Pref.
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Shiga LakeStars poster for home games at Shiga Prefectural Gym in Otsu. 401 views
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Oh yeah...401 views
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Modeled after Chinese temple architecture common during the Kamkura Period, the temple layout is said to resemble the human body, with the head at the top on this map. Three temple buildings were designated as National Treasures in 1997.400 views
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Typical woman and flower. Give a woman a flower and ask her to pose with it, and this is how she typically would hold it.400 views
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On Dec. 14, 1702, Asano's 47 masterless retainers avenged their master's death by attacking and beheading Kira at his residence in Ryogoku.399 views義士の討ち入り
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Defensive barriers on Mt. Sasaoyama, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. 笹尾山 石田三成陣跡399 views
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Gishisai: Kira's head strung on a spear is brought to Sengakuji temple.399 views
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Ieyasu and his troops were here from about 6 am to 10 am on the day of the Sekigahara battle. He later moved closer to the front line as the battle was going his way. This is a National Historic Place. 桃配山 徳川家康最初陣跡399 views
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A sketch shows how they were "water spiders." They were largely submerged in the water, with the wooden ring also submerged, but buoyant enough for them to float across while kicking through the water with the flipper clogs.399 views
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Due to financial reasons, the Suijo Hachiman Shrine Taiko Drum Dance is held only once every 5 years. I went to see it on Sept. 23, 2009. MAP399 views
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Oguchi Taro Statue and Biwako Shuko no Uta Song Monument. On the shore of Lake Suwa, Okaya, Nagano. 歌碑と小口太郎銅像398 viewsThis was where I first heard the song, "Biwako Shuko no Uta." In May 2004, I was in Suwa, Nagano Pref. to see and photograph the Onbashira Festival (held every 6 years). My hotel was in the neighboring city of Okaya on the shores of Lake Suwa.

I walked around the lake and came across this statue of Taro Oguchi and song monument. I was very surprised when I saw the word "Biwako" (Lake Biwa). This was Nagano, not Shiga, so it was most unexpected to see "Biwako" here. I read the song lyrics on the monument and was surprised and delighted to see the names of well-known places in Shiga.

The monument even had music box (seen on left) where you could hear three versions of the song. I immediately found it intriguing.
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The Koka Ninja House is located 2 km from JR Konan Station on the JR Kusatsu Line. There are no buses going to the Ninja House. The house is open every day 9 am - 5 pm. Closed Dec. 27-Jan. 1. Admission is 600 yen for adults. 望月出雲守398 views
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Kawasaki Motorcycles397 viewsKawasaki had a bevy of leggy beauties promoting their cycles. They didn't dance, but served well to attract attention.
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Jodogahama literally means Paradise Beach.397 viewsRikuchu-Kaigan National Park, Iwate Pref.
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2nd floor397 views
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Woman on bicycle. That's a thick shawl she's wearing. Must've been winter. It's unusual to see a bicycle used as a studio prop. Riding a bicycle while wearing a kimono must have been difficult. The postmark looks like 1908. Hand-colored.397 views1 comments
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Way to Niu Shrine, near Hashimoto bus stop, about 15 min. by bus from Yogo Station. The Chawan Matsuri festival is held by Niu Shrine. The last time was in May 2003. The festival features three floats, a procession, and sacred dances and music.397 views
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The kids gradually get bigger.396 views
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ396 views
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Center-gai arcade396 views
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Quite spectacular when the flowers are in full bloom.396 views
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Main entrance to Spa Resort Hawaiians, a huge water park and onsen hot spring amusement facility built in 1966. I visited for the first time shortly after they reopened on Feb. 8, 2012.396 views
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Lotus at Karasuma Peninsula in Kusatsu.395 views
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Japan has long been home to anime cartoons, manga comics, and video games. The girl on the left is dressed as Felicia from Vampire Savior.395 views
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In front of mirror. Hand-colored postcard sent as a Christmas card in 1914.395 views1 comments
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In 1604 at age 30, the Tokugawa government called him to Edo to supervise the building of Zojoji temple (where many Tokugawa shoguns are buried). He also supervised the building of the famous Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. This same statue is at Toshogu Shrine.395 views
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Ahhh...394 views1 comments
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Yotsudake, Okinawa's most famous dance. 四つ竹394 views
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Gaijin girls had an easy time attracting men who happily tried to converse in English and bestow cloth strips.394 views
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The shrine is dedicated to Sarutahiko and Ukano-mitama. Sarutahiko is a god which serves as a pathfinder guide. Deities for land/sea transportation safety. 二見394 views
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Tres Flores. Intriguing pose. It looks like a modern postcard, but it's postmarked 1907!394 views1 comments
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Asakusa Folk Entertainment 浅草奥山風景393 views
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4. Sakura Kazashite 桜かざして393 viewsDancers: 舞子、万り (Maiko and Mari)
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Entrance to the road leading to the Cherry Dance theater (Gion Kobu Kaburenjo) in the Gion district. The sign says "Miyako Odori."393 views
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Entrance to Sugamo Jizo-dori shopping street 巣鴨地蔵通り商店街393 views
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Keiji Suzuki vs. Hidekazu Shoda (semi-final)392 views
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Looks like Suganuma, another village in Gokayama area.392 views
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Outdoor stage, where they hold events like the Miss Kunoichi Contest.392 views
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The closed eyes express a prayer for all war victims.391 views
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Walking toward the second bridge391 views
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Entrance. The entrance gate is 22 meters tall and 19 meters wide.391 views
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Firemen's Acrobatics391 views大岡越前守と江戸町火消
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Asashoryu in the face-off391 views
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Toyama Castle391 views
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A family embraces the Japanese culture and wears yukatas as they wait for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) to pull into its new operating base Fleet Activities Yokosuka.391 viewsYOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 25 2008) A family embraces the Japanese culture and wears yukatas as they wait for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) to pull into its new operating base Fleet Activities Yokosuka. George Washington's arrival from its former homeport of Norfolk, Va., marks the beginning of its role as the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)
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Since Jan. 2010 is the 15th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake that struck on Jan. 17, 1995, I decided to upload these photos for the first time. I visited Kobe 10 days after the killer quake struck. Had to take a hydrofoil from Osaka to reach Kobe.391 views
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Ninomaru Palace entrance, National Treasure 二之丸御殿390 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)390 views
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5. Otsu-e 大津絵390 views眞由美
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Sexy MC. It was pretty cold that Nov. day.390 views
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Ninjas under cherry blossoms.390 views
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Center-gai arcade389 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.389 views
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Tsukubusuma Shrine (National Treasure) on Chikubushima island, Nagahama, Shiga. It worships Benzaiten as well as the Dragon God and Azai-hime. 都久夫須麻神社388 views
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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building on a sunny morning of the Tokyo Marathon, Feb. 17, 2008.388 views
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Straw sandals with metal claws for traction.388 views
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Even the engine is sparkling clean. Is that a gold-plated radiator hose??388 views
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Butsuri keiko387 views
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Chiba Castle387 views
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Kanazawa Castle387 views
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Dramatic rock formations.387 viewsRikuchu-Kaigan National Park, Iwate Pref.
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The clothing shops are geared for elderly women. Sugamo is the fashion capital for elderly women. 「おばあちゃんの原宿」387 views
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The large slope of azalea bushes have walking paths where you can see and photograph the flowers up close.387 views
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Swinging chain with weights on the ends. Wrap it around the opponent's neck.387 views
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Setsubun bean throwing at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo with Tamao-chan, Ai-chan, and Tochiazuma385 viewsAi-chan was really cute and seemed to be having a great time throwing the beans. Nakamura Tamao (actress), Fukuhara Ai (table tennis player) and Ozeki Tochiazuma (sumo wrestler)
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Snip by singer Shigeru Matsuzaki385 viewsFamous for his classic hit, "Ai no Memory."
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Statue of Chiba-no-suke Tsuneshige built in Dec. 2001 to commemorate Chiba city's 80th anniversary. 千葉介常重385 viewsLord Chiba-no-suke Tsuneshige was the founder of Chiba Castle in 1126.
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Penetration successful. This is 3:30 pm.385 views
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The Nishiyama Crater Trail (Nishiyama Kako Sansakuro) is accessible by car or bus from Toyako Onsen Spa or Toya Station. Get off at the Nishiyama Kako Kitaguchi which is in front of this former fire dept. station. 旧西胆振消防組合本部385 views
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One room's upper walls display a chronological history of the Koga ninja.385 views
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Straw ninja hat with a deep brim to hide their face. Dressing like a priest, merchant, etc., would arouse the least suspicion while they traveled.385 views
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Oiran Dochu Procession384 views花の吉原おいらん道中
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384 views
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Gate to Zenkoji384 views
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Male hula dancer at one corner384 viewsThe original plan was for the hula dancers to perform on the ring itself. But at the last minute, Musashimaru decided that it was not appropriate so they danced outside the ring.
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Statue of castle founder and 1st lord, Yuki Hideyasu 結城秀康384 views
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384 views
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Old Tokyo Station, Marunouchi side. On the left end is the North Entrance under a dome roof, and on the right end is the South Entrance also under a dome roof. Both dome roofs were damaged during World War II, and were repaired with slat-style roofs.384 views
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Where you can rent a ninja costume.384 views
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See many people wearing ninja costumes during the ninja festa.384 views
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383 views
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Honda Motorcycles383 viewsAt the end of the day, the companions line up in front of their booth to say goodbye. Great photo op too.
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Children dressed for the chigo parade (photo session), Tsukiji Hongwanji, Tokyo383 views
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Awards ceremony382 views
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Luggage storage room ヴェネツィアの駅の荷物預かり所382 viewsCoin-operated lockers were out of order in the station. In the morning at 9:30 am, the line can be long for people wanting to store their baggage.
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami382 views
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Mountain vegetables 山菜381 views
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They spin around the phallus.381 views
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The standard-bearer with a banner of shunga-style penis painting.381 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.381 views
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Banners and a monument mark the spot on Mt. Momokubari where Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp was established during the Battle of Sekigahara on Sept. 15, 1600.381 views
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PACIFIC OCEAN (April 20, 2008) Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 perform a fly-by maneuver over the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CV 73).381 viewsPACIFIC OCEAN (April 20, 2008) Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 perform a fly-by maneuver over the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CV 73) as crew members and distinguished visitors watch from the flight deck. George Washington is en route to Yokosuka, Japan, where she will replace the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clifford L. H. Davis (Released)
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At the same time as Niagara Falls, they lit the two giant torches. It was hard to watch both the Niagara Falls and giant torches at the same time. But Niagara soon petered out.381 views
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Budokan380 views
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380 views
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Shirakawa-go 白川郷380 views
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The highlight of the show was the hydraulics competition where we could see car hopping during most of the day.380 views
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Muramoto wins379 views
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Cherry blossoms and Chiba Castle379 views
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A large crowd line the narrow street.379 views
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Drawing of Commodore Perry, Grossly distorted if not humorous rendition of Commodore Perry by a Japanese artist who apparently never knew what Perry really looked like. It was drawn at a time when the Japanese thought all foreigners were barbarians.379 views1 comments
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379 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Kintaikyo Bridge from his "Famous Views of the 60 Provinces" series.379 views
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Red and white plum blossoms378 views
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Musashimaru doll378 views
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Coming-of-Age Day, Himeji378 views
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Horyuji temple Five-Story Pagoda and Kondo Hall, National Treasures 五重塔 金堂378 views
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The 28th Asakusa Samba Carnival was held on Aug. 30, 2008. Despite the threat of heavy rains, the parade was not cancelled and many people showed up. Kaminarimon-dori is crowded with people at 1 pm.378 views
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Asashoryu later won377 views
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It makes you wonder how they fit the temari threaded ball into the round glass bottle.377 views
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Manga cells. Ninja manga characters are famous. However, real ninja never became famous. Being famous in name or face would greatly decrease the value of that ninja.377 views
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Gift shop selling medicines, tea, and ninja goods.377 views
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To Obama via JR Obama Line (Tsuruga Station).377 views
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Zoo train to Tama Zoo along the Keio Tama Dobutsu Koen Line.377 views
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This crow was unafraid of humans. It was right in front of me and seemed to wait for food.377 views
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Kawasaki Motorcycles376 viewsOne of the best-looking motorcycle models.
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Hanagasa Festival, Yamagata376 viewsDuring early August, northern Japan holds several large-scale summer festivals. One of them is the Hanagasa (Flower Hat) Festival in Yamagata city. Held in the evening, it is a long parade of women dancing while wearing a flowered hat.
See more photos of this festival here.
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Head supporter speaks376 views
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It is really good! Different flavors are offered during different days of the tournament. Top is shoyu (soy sauce) flavor, and bottom is salt flavor. Miso flavor is also offered.376 views
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Tottori Sand Dunes looked like this when I first visited years ago. The shape does not seem to change.376 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu inspecting the head of his enemies at his base camp376 views
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376 views
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Three out of five of my shuriken at least stuck on the board. But all missed the target which is quite low. Probably geared for kids.376 views
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Sagami River Koi-nobori375 views
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375 views
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Chiba Castle as seen from Kencho-mae monorail station.375 views
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375 views
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375 views
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Tourist Information Center374 views観光案内所 - "Kankō Annai-sho." A string of kanji characters any tourist in Japan should remember. "Kankō" means sightseeing, "annai" means guide, and "sho" is place. You can find sightseeing maps and pamphlets, sometimes in English.

Place: Local museum in the countryside.
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき374 views
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According to one story, the Nebuta has its roots in the 8th century.374 viewsAccording to one story, the Nebuta has its roots in the 8th century when there was a rebellion in Ezo (Hokkaido). Ordered by Emperor Kanmu to quell the rebellion, generalissmo Sakanoue no Tamuramaro went to Ezo. However, he failed to capture the elusive chief of Ezo who went into hiding in the mountains.

Sakanoue then set up a trap with large votive lanterns which were lit and accompanied by taiko drums and flutes. This lured the curious Ezo chief out of hiding and led to his capture. The large lanterns were the forerunner of the Nebuta.
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Shin-Iwakuni Station373 views
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The right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons.372 viewsThe bronze statue is 10 meters tall.
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Hirosaki Castle tower372 views
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Grilled Iwana river fish372 views
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View of Mt. Mikami from Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park in spring.372 views
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Local protestors put up signs opposing the deployment of the USS George Washington.372 views
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From late April to early May, five long strings of giant carp streamers swim in the air high above the Sagami River in Sagamihara, Kanagawa. This event was started in 1988.371 views
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371 views
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The thrown cushions are hastily piled up at ringside.371 views
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Held during the weekend in mid-March, the Sagicho Matsuri is a dramatic parade and clashing of 13 or 14 colorful Sagicho floats. On the first day at 1 pm, 14 Sagicho Festival floats gather at Himure Hachimangu Shrine near Hachiman-bori Canal.371 views
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Makunouchi dohyo-iri370 views
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Dinner370 views
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Naosuke Ii and Commodore Perry. Issued in 1909, this postcard commemorates the 50th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port. It has a commemorative postmark marking the "Jubilee of Opening of Yokohama Port."370 viewsYokohama Port was officially opened to foreign trade on July 1, 1859 in accordance with the US-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce.

The card honors Naosuke Ii and Commodore Matthew C. Perry. You could say that Japan-America relations started with these two men. Ii was the Tokugawa shogunate's Great Elder (Tairo) who favored and concluded commercial treaties with the Western powers and thus broke Japan's isolation from the world. Foreigners were then allowed to trade with Japan and take up residence in cities like Yokohama and Hakodate. Ii was later assassinated in 1860 by people who sought to oust the foreign "barbarians."

Commodore Perry first came to Japan in July 1853 with his four warships which the Japanese called "black ships" (kurobune). No diplomatic breakthrough was made, but Perry's knocking on Japan's door was heard loud and clear. Running low on provisions, Perry departed for China and promised to return to Japan which he did in Feb. 1854. This time he got what he wanted. The Treaty of Kanagawa was signed about a month later. The treaty allowed US ships to call on two ports: Shimoda (Kanagawa) and Hakodate (Hokkaido). Permission for a US Consul (Townsend Harris) to reside in Japan was also stipulated. Official diplomatic relations between Japan and America thus began.
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Asakusa hangyoku (apprentice geisha in Tokyo). 半玉 千福370 views
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Narita-san temple's main hall.370 views
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About the Tokyo Motor Show...369 viewsMakuhari Messe is near Kaihin Makuhari Station on the Keiyo and Musashino Lines. The huge show occupies the entire Makuhari Messe consisting of the North, East, Center, and West Halls, and Event Hall. Admission was 1200 yen. The show sees over 1.4 million visitors.

Although this is called the 39th Tokyo Motor Show in 2005, the first motor show was held in 1954 and called the 1st All-Japan Motor Show. The venue was Hibiya Park in Tokyo. In 1964, the show was renamed "Tokyo Motor Show." The show was held annually until 1973 when the oil shock occurred. It was so severe that organizers decided to hold the show every other year. No show was held in 1974. From 1975, the show was held every other year. 2005 is actually the 50th anniversary of the motor show.

In 1958, the venue changed to Korakuen Bicycle Racing Stadium. Also in 1958, the date was changed from spring (April-May) to fall (Oct.-Nov). In 1959, the venue was switched to Harumi at the domed Tokyo International Trade Center where it would remain until 1987 when it moved to Makuhari Messe in 1989. In 1970, foreign automakers participated in the Tokyo Motor Show for the first time.

In 1999, the show combined passenger cars and motorcycles. Also, in 1999, the show for commercial vehicles was omitted and instead to be held in a separate show in alternating years starting in 2000. The motor show for passenger cars and motorcycles would continue to be held every two years from 1999. So there would be a Tokyo Motor Show every year, but the purpose would alternate between passenger cars/motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

During the 1st motor show in 1954, when most of the vehicles displayed were for commercial use, the attendance was 547,000. In 1963, it exceed 1 million over 16 days. It hovered around 1.4 million in the years following. The record attendance was attained in 1991 with over 2 million visitors during 15 days. In 2003, the total attendance was 1.424 million.

In 2000, at the first Tokyo Motor Show dedicated to commercial vehicles, attendance was a mere 177,900 over 5 days. In 2004, attendance was 248,600 over 6 days.

The ubiquitous female companions, attendants, or models that we see today started appearing at the show from as early as 1957. They do not only decorate the show, but they also reflect the fashion of the times. Their hairstyles, wardrobe, skirt length, make-up, etc. The Tokyo Motor Show is not only a showcase for cars, it is also a fashion showcase. Therefore, in this online photo gallery, you will see not only cars, but also women. Enjoy!
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto369 views
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ASIMO show at the Honda showroom in Tokyo.369 views
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For 500 yen, you can rent a ninja costume of various colors.369 views
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Oiran Dochu Procession. Passing by Matsuya Dept. Store and Tobu Asakusa Station.368 views
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