Inside the Seikan Tunnel (Longest Tunnel in the World) - Feb. 25, 06

The tour took approximately 2.5 hours

The train left Hakodate at 8:48am and I arrived back in Hakodate at 12:04pm.

The train to Aomori, from Hakodate, only on special runs, does it stop inside the tunnel.

Nagasaki Part 2: A-Bomb Site and Others: April. 2, 2006

(Updated: May 24, 2013 with high resolution photos)

From the Glover Garden:

(All descriptions courtesty of, because I am **too lazy** to type the descriptions)

"Glover Garden is an open air museum, exhibiting mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. It is located on the hill where Western merchants settled down after the end of Japan's era of seclusion in the second half of the 19th century.

The exhibited buildings include the mansions of British merchants Frederick Ringer and William Alt and the former residence of Thomas Glover, a Scottish merchant. A nice panorama of the city can be enjoyed from the garden. "

Interesting animal shaped shrubs in horrible morning weather, it was already humid in April in Nagasaki.


Liberal Democratic Party Gift Shop at Nagatacho

(Updated: July 11, 2013 with high resolution photos)

On July 11, 2006, my friend and I were walking around Nagatacho in Tokyo which is the government nerve centre of Japan (kind of like Capitol Hill in Washington, DC or Whitehall in London, England) and by chance we stumbled upon the headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party...

What happens when you visit the headquarters of the party that has ruled Japan for 50 years straight (excluding a few months in the 90s)?

You go straight into the gift shop to buy Japan-style propaganda...

(Background story: My friend said, since this is Japan, there *must* be a gift shop in there, so after some hesitation, we asked the police officer in our broken Japanese if there was a gift shop and he said yes and let us in!)

Prime Minister Koizumi plush doll, 500 yen...


Koizumi 2006 Calendar, 100 yen...Koizumi propaganda posters (2x), 70 yen each...


Owning the most "unique" Japan souvenir there is...Priceless.

(Actually the people who worked at the gift shop were quite surprised to see foreigners shopping at the Liberal Democratic Party gift shop and some of the gifts were actually quite good. I bought some Made in Japan woman's pocket make-up mirror for family members which had a nice Imperial family crest on it and as a bonus for all the things that we bought, the staff gave each of us a 2006 Imperial family calendar!)

Nagasaki Part 1: April 1, 2006

(Updated: May 24, 2013 with high resolution photos)

Introduction (courtesy of

Nagasaki Chinatown, also known as Shinchimachi, is Japan's oldest chinatown, established as early as the 17th century, due to the fact that Nagasaki's port remained the country's only major port opened to Chinese trade during the era of isolation.

Over the centuries, Shinchimachi's residents have given the city of Nagasaki a Chinese touch not seen in any other of Japan's major cities.

Today, Nagasaki's chinatown is well known for its many restaurants, specialized in champon, the famous local noodle dish and other Chinese or Chinese influenced dishes.

Nagasaki's Chinatown, the 3rd and last one in Japan. I can't believe that I have visited every Chinatown in Japan. They are all so clean and full of restaurants but very few "real Chinatown" shops like dirty vegetable shops and medicine shops.


Kobe - The World's Longest Suspension Bridge, City Walks

(Updated: June 1, 2013 with high resolution photos and new descriptions)

On March 31, 2006, I visited Kobe for the second time. The first time was when I visited Kobe on my first trip to Japan in 2004.

The first stop I made was to the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge. The bridge connects the main island of Honshu (where all the major cities of Japan are located) with the island of Shikoku.


Osaka - Modern Transportation Museum and Harbour

(Updated: June 1, 2013 with high resolution photos and new descriptions)

On March 30, 2006, during the morning and afternoon I visited the Modern Transportation Museum and the Osaka waterfront.

My first destination was the corporate museum of West Japan Railway Company, more commonly known as JR West. Their Modern Transportation Museum was located in Osaka. This was my first time visiting a railway museum in Japan.

Although the museum was quite old, it still had many interesting things for me to spend the whole morning there.

One of their highlights is a display of the original rolling stock of the 0-series first generation Shinkansen (high speed rail).

The world's first high speed line, the Tokaido Shinkansen, opened between Tokyo and Osaka in 1964 and this was the original high speed trainset.