I've reorganized these posts recently in reverse chronological order, but scroll down to those earlier trips - some of them were real voyages of discovery, with more of me playing traditional tourist. Also, before you write any snarky comments, check my post about Japan's "dark side" before deciding you really want to do that.
It's getting tougher to plan new things in Japan - I'm on my 15th year of visits. But this trip turned out surprisingly fun.
- ANA International First Class - my first time in the lap of luxury
- SCANDAL at Tokyo International Music Market - my 4th SCANDAL show in 4 years!
- Chara/Yen Town Band and going to a Japanese "live house" show
- Riding the Cassiopeia night train Tokyo - Sapporo - this train is the last of a breed
- 24 Hours in Sapporo - ramen and beer, two of the best things in life!
- Flying Skymark Airlines - what's a Japanese LCC really like?
- Staying in Odaiba - my favorite part of Tokyo
I barely wrote about this trip - the fact is it was pretty stressful. We did various things that never made it here - maybe I'll still write about them someday. Here's what did make it up.
- SCANDAL at Fujita Hall 2000 in Nagoya - a much longer trek than I was expecting
- Kimura Kaela's KAELAND - POPPIN' PARK at Yokohama Arena
- The "7-11 exclusive" Grand Kirin beer
- 24 Hours in Nagoya - udon, ska festival and sightseeing
- Batting practice in Tokyo - a rare photo of yours truly
2013 - November
- The Prince Park Tower hotel and trip intro - what a view!
- ALDIOUS live report from Kashiwa 11/4 - actually at my store blog
- SCANDAL at Tokyo NHK Hall 11/7 - second time seeing my favorite Japanese band
- Tokyo Dome City and Thunder Dolphin
- Nasu Highland Park
- Daikanransha - Giant Sky Wheel - Odaiba
2013 - April
In which I got to fly modern business class for the first time, and visit Okinawa. A fun trip even if half our plans fell through... it's easy to fill the time in Tokyo. Harder when it rains in Okinawa.
- The Preview
- Flying ANA business class
- Tokyo Skytree to the top
- Staying online in Japan with a pocket wifi
- Vampire Cafe
- ANA Maintenance Facility Tour
- Katsusen - the best pork restaurant
- Make your own plastic replica food
- Robot Restaurant - not what you might think!
- HND-OKA and flying Japan domestic
- Arriving in Okinawa
- Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
- Taco Rice at Charlie's Tacos
- Traditional Okinawa food at Ashibina
- Shuri Castle
- Random picture dump - frozen corn soup on a stick!
One of my more memorable trips - mostly due to a little event held at Nippon Budokan...
- The original plan - the best trips don't happen by chance
- Kobe beef at 511 - the real thing
- Shibuya on a Sunday night
- Guitar shopping in Ochanomizu
- Haneda Airport - you know, for the food!
- SCANDAL at Nippon Budokan - yeah!
- @home Maid Cafe - Akihabara's most popular maid cafe
- SC Maglev Railway Park
- The soundtrack to Japan
- Hooters Akasaka - my wife's idea, I swear!
- Yokohama Chinatown
- Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum
- Miyajima Island and Hiroshima Castle
- Japan Rail Pass and getting around
- Random thoughts and picture dump
Shortly after the Great Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and triple-meltdown. We saw some damage, but unsurprisingly, life went on...
- I'm in Japan - pics of broken roofs
- Japan is HOT - and these kids fanning themselves at 8:30AM prove it
- AKB48 - they finally got me
- Tokyo Area Earthquake Damage
- Teas Tea New York - doesn't exist in New York
- Tokyo Skytree - under construction
- Western Breakfasts in Japan
- Riding in a Joban Line Green Car - first class on a commuter train
- Is Tokyo Radioactive? - yes, I brought a Geiger counter with me
A "surprise" trip for my business, I still managed to fit a few interesting writeups in. Sometimes my mind just catches on something...
More of a business trip than a vacation, I didn't write as much this time - but I've got a few great highlights off the beaten path.
- The View - Shinjuku from the Oakwood Apartments
- An interesting few days - doing business in Japan
- Quarantine - the H1N1 swine flu experience (and yes, I actually got it)
- MOSDO! - MOS Burger Donut
- Ushiku Daibutsu - massive Buddha statue as featured in "Kamikaze Girls"
- Hula Girls - the real-life Spa Resort Hawaiians featured in the movie
- Random Japan - $90 mangos
- Flight Report - including the weirdest breakfast I've ever had on a plane
In which I realize I've outgrown the Tokyo Game Show. (I'd last gone to TGS in 2000.) Otherwise, a tour of modern Tokyo pop culture delights.
- We're in Tokyo - arrival, hotel and Roppongi
- Noodle Shop - still the best ramen I've ever had
- Sega Joypolis part 2
- Himiko boat, Asakusa redux
- Maid Cafe - Maid Station, Akihabara (now closed...)
- Tokyo Game Show 2007 - Campaign Girls
- Tokyo Game Show 2007 - The Line
- Random Japan - Melon Cream Soda
- Tokyo Game Show 2007 - The Experience
- Random Japan - Black Sesame Ice Cream
- Beer Museum Yebisu - home of Sapporo Beer
- Random Japan - Why They Drive Small Cars
- Roppongi Hills - Mori Tower
- Japanese Fast Food Part Deux
- Eight Things That Kinda Suck About Japan - my most controversial Japan post
- Harajuku on a Sunday Afternoon - the dress-up day
- Akihabara Revisited
An action-packed vacation that included a first stop in Kyoto before moving back to Tokyo.
- Flight Report - this trip was on Japan Airlines 747-400 and 777-300ER's
- Kyoto Tower
- Japan is Hello Kitty land
- Kyoto Temples - specifically Sanjusangendo and Kiyomizu
- Kyoto's Gion Corner - Geisha and Maiko performance
- Souvenir Shopping in Kyoto
- Japanese Fast Food
- Getting Around Japan (part 1?)
- Undokai - "sports day" for kids
- Tokyo Tower
- Hotels and How to Find One - this is now a bit out of date
- Akihabara - otaku paradise
- Harajuku - street fashion mecca
- Random Thoughts and Pictures
- Studio Ghibli Museum - a must for Miyazaki fans
- Asakusa and its temple
- Odaiba, Sega Joypolis, Trip End