Tokyo National Museum

The Tokyo national Museum contains diverse exhibitions of Japanese cultural heritage with an impressive collection of art and archaeological artefacts, including many national treasures. We visited only one of the six buildings that forms the Tokyo National museum. The Honkan, which is the main building, exhibits Japanese artworks from Buddhist statues to elegant traditional clothes. A large collection of ancient weapons and armors is also on display.

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Bic Camera Store In Shinjuku, Tokyo

This post targets the ultimate camera geeks, who like me, like to see the latest camera bodies and all the latest lenses when entering a camera store. Besides stores like Adorama and B&H in New-York, perhaps the most exciting place in the world for a camera gear enthusiast is located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. There, two big names in the camera world compete for your business. Those to major players are Bic Camera and Yodobashi camera. One gigantic electronics store is not enough in Shinjuku, those two companies have two stores each located within minutes of the Shinjuku station! This time, I visited the Nishiguchi (West exit) Bic Camera store. In my opinion, the choice of camera is great but the accessories offered cannot beat the Yodobashi Camera store also located on the west side of Shinjuku station.

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Delicious grilled chicken and a view of Tokyo Station in Shin-Marunouchi building

Tokyo Station is surrounded by the very modern business district of Marunouchi. One may wonder where to get a good view of the impressive train station, and perhaps more importantly, where to eat delicious Japanese food around the station. I’m going to answer those two questions at once. Continue reading Delicious grilled chicken and a view of Tokyo Station in Shin-Marunouchi building

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Yanaka cemetery area in Tokyo

The Yanaka area is a district of Tokyo with an atmosphere reminiscent of the old days. Besides the large Yanaka cemetery, many smaller cemeteries are found in the region. Each of them is attached to a small Buddhist temple. It is a nice area to take a casual walk and enjoy a certain feeling of being in old Tokyo.

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Kozan Takai museum

Kozan Takai was a wealthy merchant of Obuse who made a fortune in the rice business (in those days, rice dominated the Japanese economy). He is known for beings Hokusai’s benefactor as well as being his apprentice. The Kozan Takai museum is Takai’s former residence. The museum exhibits Takai’s paintings and calligraphy work. The building is remarkable for the many secret passages that would have allowed the wealthy merchant and his family to escape in case of an attack from burglars or a rival faction.

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Hokusai Museum

The Hokusai museum in Obuse is dedicated to the famous Japanese artist and painter Katsushika Hokusai.

Among Hokusai’s most popular work is his series of painting titled “Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji”. Indeed the artist developed a fascination for Japan’s iconic mountain.

Famous painting of Mount Fuji by Hokusai

Hokusai made a long stay in Obuse near the end of his life, where he was hosted by his local benefactor and apprentice, Obuse’s rich merchant Takai Kozan.

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Charming streets of Obuse

Obuse is a small town of Northern Nagano prefecture. It is known for being the residence of the famous Japanese painter, Hokusai, who spent his older years in Obuse. The Hokusai museum in Obuse is dedicated to his work while the Takai Kozan museum is dedicated to Hokusai’s patron, the rich merchant Takai Kozan.

Obuse is also an agricultural town known for its chestnuts (kuri 栗), which can be found easily in souvenir stores around the town. The center of the town is picturesque and exceptionally well maintained. Many residences and commerce feature “open gardens”: private gardens opened to any visitor, for free.

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