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Roppongi

It’s post-war reputation as a somewhat seedy entertainment district popular among foreigners has had a recent overhaul, with the building of several large-scale, upmarket commercial centers that have transformed the area into a classy and cosmopolitan meeting place for young professionals...

Shimabara Castle

It caused such a strain on the local populace that it was one of the factors behind the Shimabara Rebellion erupting from 1637 to 1638...

Nagoya Castle

If you’re into your samurai history (or you’ve just watched History of Japan on YouTube too many times) then you’ll be excited to know that one of the quintessential big shots of the time, Tokugawa Ieyasu, is responsible for commissioning the original castle...

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku is a time-slip worthy of a Hollywood movie set...

Kokusai Dori (International Street)

Stretching roughly two kilometers through the heart of downtown Naha, Kokusai Dori Street - literally “International Road” - is a shopping strip that’s as unbeatably colorful as the capital city itself...

Shuri Castle

Inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2000, the red Shuri Castle is a reminder of the flourishing Ryukyu Kingdom, when overseas trade networks linking China, Taiwan, and the Korean Peninsula helped create a unique melting pot that gives Okinawa its distinctly colorful vibe...

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Crowds flock from Tokyo Station to the Imperial Palace with Japanese flags in hand and many shouts of “Banzai...

Hirado

Hirado Port had long been the setting for international trade...

Shimabara

Once a major seat of power, Shimabara had its own castle during the Edo period...

Dazaifu Tenmangu

While the shrine is a spectacular sight year-round, paying a visit during the school examination season - when students and their teachers flock to the grounds to pray for academic success - is a rare and moving chance to see how Shintoism plays a role in ordinary Japanese life...

Kenchoji Temple

This Chinese ranking, known as the Five-Mountain System (or “Gozan”), was introduced towards the end of the Kamakura Period and, in turn, Gozan temples flourished as artistic and literary centers for the nobility and samurai class...

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