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Outside Tokyo: Saitama Prefecture, Japan

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Japan is an archipelago less than 4% the size of the United States yet has the world’s third-largest economy. Tokyo, its capital since 1868, is on the island of Honshu, bordered by Chiba, Saitama, and Tokyo Bay.

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Two days in Chiba, Japan

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Chiba is one of Japan’s forty-seven prefectures (a district similar to a state) in the Kanto region, bordering Tokyo on the eastern coast of Japan. Naritasan Shinshoji, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Japan, is a fifteen minute downhill walk from the train station past little shops in 300 year old buildings along Omotesando (Front) Road.

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Mt. Nokogiri aerial ropeway and the Buddhist temple Nihonji

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About 70% of Japan is covered by forested mountains. We took the aerial ropeway up Mt. Nokogiri, in Chiba’s city of Kyonan, and enjoyed a spectacular view of Tokyo Bay. This was a stone quarry in the Edo period, and for over a thousand years monks trained here.

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A lunch of the morning’s catch at Banya in Awa-gun

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For a meal of the morning’s catch we tried Banya in the Tokyo Bay fishing village Awa-gun. We thoroughly enjoyed the assortment of sashimi, fried fish, salad, soup, pickles and rice and view of the bay– but did pass on the colorful fish...

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Ryugujo Spa Hotel Mikazuki

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Japan is known for its communal bathing in its hot springs. This destination spa just outside Tokyo is a popular one for good reason.

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Naritasan Shinshoji Temple and Omotesando Road, Chiba, Japan

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Chiba is a microcosm of traditional Japan that is easily accessed from Tokyo or the airport. From traditional shops in centuries-old buildings to ancient temples, it’s a place of serenity, excitement, and cultural immersion just outside the bustling city.

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Tokyo: tradition meets the future

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Tokyo, its capital since 1868, is on the island of Honshu in the Japan archipelago, bordered by Chiba and Saitama prefectures and Tokyo Bay.

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