Kyoto Station - 京都駅

Japan's second-largest train station building has 15 stories, is 70 meters high and 470 meters long. It includes shopping, movie theatre, government facilities and on top floors hotel Granvia. Build in a futuristic style, it was opened in 1997, when Kyoto celebrated its 1200 years anniversary.

Kyoto Temples - 京都市

Kyoto ("capital city") became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794. It was Japan's capital for 1074 years until the transfer of the government to Edo in 1868. It is one of the best preserved cities in Japan with 2000 historic temples, shrines and palaces. Kiyomizu-dera is one of the most famous sites, along with the 1000 statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon at the Sanjūsangendō temple.

Tale of Genji - 源氏物語

... is a novel written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu during the Heian period in the 11th century. With its 54 chapters it is considered the world's first novel. The story features the romantic life of the emperors son Hikaru Genji. The pictures show the model of his Rokujyo-in mansion, replicating Heian period costumes and scenes of daily life. Lady Rokujyo was Genji's longtime mistress.

Kobe Kitano Ijinkangai

Ijinkan means Weather Cock House and is an area around Kobe's Yamamoto street in Kitano-cho. The houses were build by foreigners living in Kobe during the Meiji period. Nearby Mount Rokko invites for walking after taking the ropeway to the top of the mountain.

Tokyo City - 東京

After unifying Japan in 1603, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu declared Edo as his base. When the shogunate ended in 1868, Emperor Meiji moved to Edo renamed it Tokyo. Today, 12 million people (10 percent of Japan's population) live in the Tokyo prefecture areas, counting 35 million including the surrounding areas.

Tokyo Sights

Sensoji temple in Asakusa is Tokyo's largest Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. Nearby is the 5-Story Pagoda Gojūto (五重塔, ), said to have some of the ashes of Buddha. Further sights include Kōkyo, the imperial palace near Marunouchi and the Kabuki theatre in Ginza from the Meiji-era with its daily performances.

Shikokucho - 新長谷寺

Shin-Hazedera was first build in 724 on the Toyooka-yama mountain, 186 years after the introduction of buddhism to Japan. It even predates the great Todaji temple in Nara. Climbing up the 225 stairs is said to bring good luck. A youth hostel next to it is a nice way to stay at a temple.

Konpirasan - 金刀比羅宮

This Shinto shrine said to be build in the 1st century is 521 meters high, halfway up to mount Zozu. 1368 stairs must be climbed to reach the top. This shrine is dedicated to marine safety and all Japanese ships are said to have a talisman from it onboard. By tradition, the last 5 stores before the entrance sell candy.

Japanese Gourmet

First we have chocolate, traditionally decorated with pressed maple leafs to indicate the season. Next we have a Sashimi. White fish is very lean and light while red fish is mild with a richer taste. It is decorated with vegetables and Wasabi raddish. The other table is a typical Japanese lunch set called Teshoku.