Tokyo is a city of 12 million people and most of them seem to ride the subway at rush hour.


Our group took the Shinkansen or Bullet Train many times to get around the country. We had rail passes that allowed us to ride most of the trains.


Eating bento on the train. They sell a large variety of boxed lunches at the train stations.

Waiting for the the train. The trains really do run on time. You can set your watch by them. When the Shinkansen stops you have exactly one minute to get on or get off.

Food is an obsession in Japan. It is sold everywhere and there is a tremendous variety. This is an open air market in Takayama.


Wasabi, anyone?

Hida Folk Village

In Takayama we went to a Hida Folk Village, a collection of over 30 ancient houses from surrounding rural areas. The steep thatched roofs were able to withstand heavy snow and shed rain quickly so that the straw did not rot. The woman hand stitching is 90 years old.

Takayama is surrounded by mountains. Its isolated location has allowed it to keep an old world character with lots of tiny shops and a village atmosphere.


Strolling the quiet streets of Takayama in the morning after visiting the market was a real pleasure.

Japanese Garden

I saw many exquisite gardens. I particularly liked this one with the bridge and the Koi.

Lucky Cat

They have some very large Godzilla-like creatures in Japan.