Next Stop, Japan

Onomichi City

Onomichi City was an important port town historically and its recent history has seen it save itself from being just be an unappealing industrial city compressed between the coast and mountains by leveraging this cultural wealth. In the Edo period, the city flourished as a result of its official trading port status.


Shibuya (渋谷) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo. The area northwest of Shibuya Station emerged as a major fashion district for youth during the 1980s and it has remained so ever since. During the weekend, the sidewalks become saturated with young shoppers. It is often said that in front of Shibuya Station is one of the world's busiest pedestrian crossing.

Shibuya's raw popularity comes from its status as a major train junction (two private railways, two subways and many JR lines). Shibuya Station is the 2nd most popular station in Tokyo.

Shibuya Ward


Shimokamagari (下蒲刈) or lower Kamagari is the first island in a chain that starts at the western base of Mount Noro, the second largest mountain on the Seto Inland Sea.

Shimokamagari is smaller than Kamagari, the second in the chain, but arguably more important historically. The rulers of western Japan used it for a military outpost to watch over ocean traffic and as a secure location to conduct diplomacy with visiting dignitaries from Korea and beyond in the Edo era.

Kure City
Hiroshima Prefecture

Shimonoseki City

Shimonoseki City (下関市) is located beside the historic Kanmon Straits which separates Kyushu and the western end of Honshu. The city has benefited tremendously since ancient times from controlling this junction and from trade with nearby mainland Asia. Daily sailings travel from Shimonoseki Port to Pusan in Korea.

Shimonoseki City
Yamaguchi Prefecture


Shinagawa (品川) is one of 23 special wards of Tokyo. The area around Shinagawa Station is generally thought of as Shinagwa, however, it is not actually in the modern Shinagawa City. It was the first post town on the ancient Tokaido Road from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Shinagawa has a number of attractions and historic sights but is mainly a business district. It is a popular place to stay because of its proximity to Haneda Airport and to other major districts of Tokyo. A number of high class hotels like that Shinagawa Prince Hotel are located around the station.

Shinagawa Ward


Suidobashi (水道橋) is a loosely defined section in Chiyoda City and Bunkyo City to the north of the Imperial Place where drinking water for central Tokyo once crossed over the Kandagawa River. Its name literally means aqueduct bridge. Today, JR's Suidobashi Station is located in the general area where the bridge once stood.

Chiyoda Ward

Takehara City

Takehara City has the rather romantic literal meaning in Japanese of bamboo-field city. Form doesn't quite follow name but the area's outskirts do have large bamboo forests. Takehara developed, like Onomichi, as an important focus of sea traffic on the Seto Inland Sea. From the Muromachi era (1336-1573) to the Edo era (1603-1868), salt industries thrived in the area. Today, it is a small sedate coastal city with around 32,000 people living in the area.

Takehara City
Hiroshima Prefecture


Ueno (上野) is a short distance north east of central Tokyo in the Taito City which is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo. Ueno, along with Asakusa to the east, was part of the historic downtown district of Tokyo called Shitamachi. Ueno hill (now Ueno Park) was where the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868 made their last stand against the new Meiji government.

Taitō Ward

Yokohama City

Yokohama City, the second largest city in Japan, is located 30 km south of Tokyo along the western side of Tokyo Bay. Some half-dozen rail connections, expressways and streets connect the two urban areas. Unlike Tokyo, Yokohama is an actual city and is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Tokyo and its surrounding cities like Yokohama are often considered as being part of an unofficial metropolitan area with a population of around 41 million people.

Naka Ward
Kanagawa Prefecture


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