Shinkansen turned a half of century

Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) was the 50th anniversary on October 1, 2014. According to news reports, the total running distance of all Shinkansen trains for 50 years is equal to 13.3 times the distance between the earth and the sun. And they carried 5.6 billion passengers. But, the one thing that’s more important than anything else is no accident death for 50 years. Shinkansen is very safe. In addition, though about 120,000 trains are operated for one year, the average delay time is only 36 seconds. The punctuality of Shinkansen is the number one in the world. Shinkansen is earthquake-proof Japan is one of the earthquake countries. But Shinkansen is […]

Ramen – Japanese popular noodle developed from Chinese noodle

Ramen is one of the most popular noodles in Japan. According to a survey, one Japanese eats ramen about 30 times per year. Ramen is cheap and tasty, and we can visit the ramen shop casually. And we can find ramen shops in any town in Japan. Ramen is originally a Chinese noodle food. In the early part of the 20th century, Chinese cooks living in Japan had served them in the restaurant. After the 1950s, some Japanese cooks began to tried to make ramen to suit Japaneser taste buds. Then many Japanese cooks appeared and ramen has formed a big category of Japanese food. Now even Chinese people recognize […]

Reserved seat and Non-reserved seat of limited express train in Japan.

When you travel around Japan, the most efficient means of transportation is railway. Shinkansen is the bullet train of Japan and it is a good way to use it for the travel in Japan. The west line from Tokyo leads to Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka in Kyushu Island. (The station name of Osaka is “Shin-Osaka”.) The section between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka is called as Tokaido-Shinkansen, and the section between Shin-Osaka and Fukuoka is called as Sanyo-Shinkansen. The line connects to Kyushu-Shinkansen at Fukuoka and it leads to Kagoshima city located at the south end of Kyushu Island. The north line from Tokyo has some branched lines. They lead […]

The climbing season of Mt.Fuji finished.

Now is in the middle of September. The climbing season of Mt.Fuji in 2014 finished, and four routes of the climb were closed. Mt.Fuji is a mountain that the world takes as the symbol of Japan. It is 3,776 meters in height and is the highest mountain in Japan. It is located at about 120 km southwest of Tokyo, and we can view it from Tokyo in a fine day. The near-complete conical shape is beautiful. And because there is no mountain around Mt.Fuji, we can view it from every direction. Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan and it originated out of a feeling of awe for natural objects. […]

The means of transportation during the night is only overnight bus in Japan.

In Japan, there are many railway routes across the country. But, only several overnight trains are operated now. And some of them will be cut in March of 2015 and only one overnight train “Sunrise Izumo” running between Tokyo and Izumo city will remain. Until the 1980s, many overnight trains had been operated from Tokyo and Osaka to Kyushu Island, Tohoku area, etc. Some of them had only sleeping cars, but the others included some normal cars with seats. After that, the network of Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) was expanded and use of airplane increased. These means of transportation cut the time needed for travel, then the area where we […]

Do you believe Japan is still exposed to radiation?

Great East Japan Earthquake occurred at 14:46 on March 11, 2011. It was one of the world’s powerful earthquakes of this century, and the magnitude was 9.0. By the earthquake, the east half of Honshu Island including Tohoku region and Tokyo area was shook strongly. I am living in Nagoya city at 350 km west of Tokyo. At that time, even my house shook badly. Because Japan has been an earthquake country, many houses and buildings have been built by Japanese high quake-resistance standards. Therefore, the damage of constructions was not so much. But the great tsunami just after the earthquake caused enormous damage to the coastal area in the […]

Ekiben – Box lunch sold at a railway station

Ekiben is a box lunch sold at a railway station. “Eki” means railway station and “ben” is the first syllabic character of “bento” meaning lunch box. Until the 1980s, when we traveled around Japan, railway was the main method of transportation. Most of long-distance trains had a dining car. But only a part of the passengers could have dinner in the car because of a limited number of tables. Other many passengers had Ekiben bought at any station. In those days, some ekiben sellers waited for the arrival of trains on the platform. As soon as the train arrived, they sold ekiben walking along the train during the short stoppage […]

Major festivals in Japan

Main religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shinto. Because Buddhism and Shinto are quite different from one another, most Japanese separate them in a real-life situation. (For your information, Japanese Christians constitute only 1% of the population and only several thousand of Japanese Muslim are in Japan.) Believers in Buddhism pray to Buddha statue which is the incarnation of Buddha. Therefore, there are some Buddha statues in the main hall of Buddhist temple. Shinto is an indigenous religion of Japan. Many gods created the world and we believe that they live in huge natural objects such as mountain, waterfalls, gigantic stone, old huge tree, etc. The popular sacred objects are […]

Unlimited passes to travel around Kyoto

Kyoto had been the central city of Japan from 794 until the capital function was moved to Tokyo in 1869. The city was built on a grid and the Emperor had lived in the city the whole time. There are still many old folk house and temples in the city. Some of them are be designated a World Heritage Site and Kyoto is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. When you plan to visit Japan, I think you add to visit Kyoto in your plan once at least. There is no airport around Kyoto, and the nearest airport is Kansai Airport located 100km southwest of the city. It […]

Sushi is Japanese people’s favorite food.

Sushi is a Japanese food recognized by the world. Japanese people really like sushi. Sushi is made by mixing vinegar into boiled rice. Of course, it is the base of sushi and sushi as a dish is served as follows. 1) Nigiri-zushi (Hand-rolled sushi) : Put a sliced fish on a handful vinegared rice. 2) Maki-zushi (Sushi roll) : Put vinegared rice and ingredients on a sheet of nori (laver), then roll it. 3) Chirashi-zushi : Put vinegared rice into a bowl and put various ingredients on it. 4) Oshi-zushi (Pressed sushi) : Put vinegared rice and ingredients into wooden mold and press it. 5) Inari-zushi : Put vinegared rice […]

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