collecting the keys for our AirBnB flat in Tokyo :-)
one of the many Pachinko halls. Pachinko is a Japanese pinball game. The noise level inside these halls is 4000
picking your dish is very simple as almost everywhere the food is presented either through pictures or plastic examples
there are many shops where you can buy the plastic food
in basic restaurants you often pick&pay your food at a vending machine and hand over the receipt to the staff afterwards
Ramen - a rich and delicious soup. Usually with small pieces of meat, vegetables and noodles
sunset above Tokyo from Roppongi Hills
the famous Shibuya crossing. Not as busy as it can be!
Shintō-Shrine in Shinjuku
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
in Japan everything is explained through pictures...very useful :-)
very difficult driving conditions when we arrived on Hokkaido
our guesthouse in Annupuri
snow walls of 2m or higher everywhere
we went backcountry skiing for two days... with many other people ;-)
but the crowds spread as soon as you leave the top
the best powder snow we experienced in our life so far!!
a scary looking single chair lift without security bar or anything
view from the ski area towards Yōtei-zan
on our second day we were even able to see the ocean. We were told that a view like this is very rare in Niseko.
gas station / lost in translation
snow depot: this huge snow mountain is built up from snow removed from streets, parking areas,...
snow right next to the ocean :-)
Snow Candle Festival in Jozankei
this is "Kappa". In Japan there is a mascot for everything!
we were surprised by the many Soviet-looking-buildings in Japan
vending machines...EVERYWHERE!!! lucky for us, they also offer hot drinks :-)
very delicious Japanese curry soup
there are both snow and ice figures
there are contests going on during the festival which is great for watching the progress
the snow sculptures are massive
the level of detail of the snow buildings is fascinating
at the snow contest teams from different countries can build a sculpture from one huge block of snow. In the front is the model. This was team Thailand. We wonder where they practice...
their progress on the next day
"Where do you come from?" we were asked 20 times on the second day by school kids on an excursion :-)
view from Sapporo TV tower over Ōdōri Park
as soon as it gets dark all sculptures are illuminated
light show on the Hokkaidō Government Office
Designers: make it sound VERY European. Facts are secondary... Always astounding how big the brand "Tirol" is around the world
typical for Japan: you can buy nicely packaged souvenirs everywhere. We liked it very much that you can buy local specialties only in the specific regional area.
Japanese high tech toilet
Hiroshima with its very sad but famous monument
folding Origami is more challenging than expected ;-) we added 2 cranes to the millions in the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower.
Okonomiyaki - famous and very delicious dish in Hiroshima
near the buddhist temple "Mitaki-dera"
view from our accommodation
Kinkaku-ji - the golden temple
in Kyōto many tourist dress in a traditional Kimono. It can be rented everywhere in the city.
this woman was dressed like a Geisha but was clearly a tourist
umbrellas everywhere - in fancy buildings even with locks. Luckily we only had 2 days of rain during 4 weeks
this painting has a size of 108 Tatami Mats and "only took 2 years to complete"
Bamboo forest near Inari. This was kind of hard to find. As a consequence we had it all for ourselves.
warning signs in Nara :-)
Nandaimon Gate of Tōdai-ji
wedding couple posing for pictures
this happened several times: people leave their laptop, mobile phone or even wallet unattended at the table in a cafe while they go to the toilet. Japan is by far the safest country with the lowest crime rate we have been to so far.
Byōdō-in temple. This temple is on the 10 Yen coin.
fast and incredibly punctual Shinkansen
everything is marked at the railway station
you queue at the indicated position and because the train stops so precise the door will be right in front of where you queued.
Japanese rules are often drawn with cartoons
many things in Japan are nicely explained to tourists - in this case how to properly eat Soba
tourist main street in Takayama
Hida Folk Village in Takayama
which is illuminated at night
we had very heavy snow fall this evening
our fanciest and also most traditional room in Japan in Yudanaka
with its own onsen (hot pot)
famous snow monkeys near Yudanaka
sometimes they are chilling in the hot water :-)
back in Tokyo - Asakusa Shrine
when we returned to Tokyo end of February we were lucky to witness the Ume blossom
a trolley is no drawback for a Japanese tourist
our room in Tokyo with two futon beds on the ground - this feels more like our travel style :-)
a shop full of 100Yen (approx. 80 Euro-Cent) vending machines
and 5 story buildings full with playing machines like these
on our last evening we said farewell to wonderful Japan