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I spent a whole week in Japan in June 2003. It was fun and interesting. I went to Tokyo, Osaka, Hakone, Kyoto and Nara. I also visited a Japanese family. For better description, please visit


Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is a shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. In Shinto, it is not uncommon to enshrine the deified spirits of important personalities.

Emperor Meiji was the first emperor of modern Japan. He was born in 1852 and ascended to the throne in 1868 at the peak of the Meiji Restauration when the power was switched from the feudal Tokugawa government to the emperor. During the Meiji Period, Japan modernized and westernized herself to join the world's major powers by the time Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912.

Delicious dinner at a ryokan

Hakone National Park is famous for its many hot springs, and the bath tubs of most ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) in the area are directly connected to hot springs. Trips to hot spring resorts such as Hakone are very popular among all age groups.

Colorful street next to Shinjuku station

Shinjuku is one of the modern downtowns of Tokyo. It is a large and extremely busy entertainment and shopping district. Many futuristic skyscrapers have been constructed in Shinjuku; among them is Tokyo's new city hall.