Aomori is located in the far north of Japan and is the snowiest city on earth with more than 300 inches of snow falling every year. It is the last mainland bullet train stop before Hokkaido.
It is eight in the morning and we are a few blocks from the hotel at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan’ largest. More than 15,000 people work here; international tourists line up in the early hours of the morning for the chance to watch the famous fish auctions,
Listen up parents and grandparents. If you think great sites are the reason you are treating your children and grandchildren to a cruise, think again. A lot of what they learn about the world takes place right on board in the kids’ and teen clubs, especially when they are meeting so many youngsters from different cultures and countries.
I’ve got chills as Amber Whaley, 12, and her friend Miko Uno, 11, lead us into their elementary school’s basement. This was all that was all that remained of the Honkawa Elementary School when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima 70 years ago this past August 6.
There’s shop after shop of kitchen wares—ceramic sake cups, wooden bowls for miso soup, colorful bowls for rice, all varieties of chop sticks and of course hand-made Japanese knives that will be engraved on the spot with your name in Japanese. And everything is a bargain!
If you think a 14-course dinner might be a little much to handle, come sample Chef Kenichiro Ooe’s fare at Kozue on the 40th floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo with stellar views of the city.
The Honkawa Elementary School is in the heart of Hiroshima and when the Atomic Bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, all but one of the 420 students and teachers perished. Today is a again a bustling school and a memorial to those who died.
These aren’t just any comics. These are the enormously popular and traditional Manga, the basis for Anime, at the Kyoto International Manga Museum which is run by Kyoto Seika University and the Kyoto City Government. The University teaches aspiring Manga artists and writers in its design and fine arts department.
Welcome to the traditional Japanese Riokan. There are these hotels all around Japan, some in the mountains, which offer the chance to try the Japanese hot springs baths called onseng
Kyoto is famous for its Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. This morning, we’re cycling a 14-mile loop with Kyoto Cycling Tour Project with stops at the Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji Temple with its world-famous rock garden – two of the city’s and Japan’s top tourist attractions.