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Travel Japan brings you the best of Japan travel tips, Japanese culture essentials and Japan travel experience stories. By doing some research you can travel in Japan as economically as you can anywhere else in the world.

Shikoku mountains reflect in a river as seen from your train.

Japanese Train Etiquette—You feel more comfortable and confident traveling on Japanese trains when you understand some of the etiquette. No one expects perfection.

Shikoku mountains reflect in a river as seen from your train.

Kochi Japan—Take a Limited Express train from Okayama over a series of bridges to cross the Inland Sea dotted with dozens of small, steep islands. On Shikoku, you leave congestion behind as you head toward Kochi City.

Tugboat spouting water arches on Sumida River welcomes cruise ship to Toyko Japan.

Sumida River—Escape the crowds of Tokyo. Take to the river for a serene view of the city in a relaxed setting. You will likely be one of a handful of international passengers. The rest will be Japanese.

Tokyo Maps in English and Japanese in a Hip Pocket.

Tourist Maps for Japan—The most efficient and effective maps display the names of streets, parks, and buildings in Japanese. Local maps usually provide the most colorful, accurate and useful information.

Students chat with American at Hiroshima Peace Park.

Hiroshima—While her numerous peace memorials draw visitors worldwide, international travelers also visit this city in western Japan for her natural beauty and rich culture.

School children approach O-Torii at Miyajima.

Miyajima—A 10-minute ferry ride from the mainland 30 minutes south of Hiroshima, Miyajima offers a wide array things to do and things to see on a beautiful small island in Japan.

Cute soufflés at Tsutsumi in Osaka predict a good day trip to Mount Yoshino.

Mount Yoshino—Yoshino-yama in the Nara Prefecture operates as a natural organic tranquilizer. Even hyper-A-type, anxious, imperative and wound-up folks decompress at least a little when visiting this mountain.

Kintaikyo is one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.

Iwakuni—An hour from Hiroshima, Iwakuni claims one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. You also might like the harmless white snakes with red eyes, the mountaintop castle, the cormorant fishing and the famous food.

Kaminarimon Gate is the iconic symbol of Asakusa.

Asakusa—Small restaurants, side-by-side shops, a beautifully-bridged river, an ancient temple and the tallest ultra-modern structure in Japan mix together with traditional culture to create this human-scale community in Tokyo Metropolis.

Ueno Park Cherry Blossom Viewing Party

Ueno Park—The oldest public park in Japan, Ueno Park hosts more than 20 museums, Japan’s premier zoo and over 1,200 cherry trees, plus many additional natural, historical and cultural attractions.

Hamarikyu Garden Soften Tokyo Skyscrapers

Hamarikyu Garden—This Edo-era garden creates a peaceful oasis of green in the midst of Tokyo skyscrapers. The park softens the high-rise towers, making them appear as designed to blend with the garden.

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Kochi Sunday Market—One of the oldest street markets in Japan, the Kochi Sunday Market started in 1690. You find here high quality products, smiley-face prices and friendly people.

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Riding the Japanese Shinkansen—At time when most countries expected the demise of passenger rail service, Japan developed the Shinkansen. Be sure to ride it when visiting Japan.

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Amish Country, Holmes County, Ohio—Visit one of the largest Amish communities in North America. Holmes county is home to both Old Order and New Order Amish. Take your camera, but respect local beliefs.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is a free half-day feel-good attraction within the Atlanta, Georgia, neighborhood where Dr. King was born, grew up, played, attended school and gained his ideals about human relationships.

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Photos

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Temple Worship in Taiwan provides a view into two temples — one in Taipei, the other in the Dajia District of Taichung. Idol worship is common in Taiwan. The religion mixes the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, Taoism and native ancestor worship.

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Melbourne Beach Florida. Melbourne Beach is a wonderful place to escape the pressures of life for a day, a week, a month or a season. Located on the east coast of the Sunshine State, it has hotels, motels and houses for rent.

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Books, Movies, History

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The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter. Subtitled Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, this tale describes the efforts to protect European art during WWII and recover works stolen by the Nazis.

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Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks. Fictional account of unselfish sacrifice when a British community willingly cuts itself off from outside contact to prevent the spread of the plague.

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Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story and Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki. Two books for children gently address some harsh events during World War II—assistance to Jews escaping the Nazi and internment of Americans with Japanese ancestry.

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Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome. Follow the adventures of three British men as plan who escape domestic live for a short by traveling to Germany. This is a sequel to Three Men in a Boat and fun reading for travelers headed to Europe.

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My Backyard Jungle by James Barilla. Wildlife enthusiast and first time homeowner certifies backyard as wildlife habitat and learns about living in peaceful coexistence with the neighborhood animals.

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Railway Man: A POW’s Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness by Eric Lomax. One man's lonely journey from embittered World War II POW to freedom from the hatred through reconciliation with a former Japanese translator-interrogator.

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Henry is Chinese. Keiko is Japanese. Both are first-generation Americans who find themselves outcasts at school because of their heritages. This is Seattle in the 1940s.

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Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese P.O.W. by Mary Breu. Etta Schureman migrated to Attu Island in the Aleutians, taught school, married Foster Jones and went to Japan as a POW in 1942 after the Attu invasion.

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Emperor, a film based on the book His Majesty's Salvation by Shiro Okamoto. Brigadier General Bonner Fellers helps General Douglas MacArthur save the Shōwa Emperor — Emperor Hirohito — from war crimes prosecution.

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Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley and Ron Powers—The flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, is one of the most famous photographs in history. It also started a hot dispute shortly after it was published in February 1945.

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USS Montpelier CL-57

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Browse the Cruise Book of the USS Montpelier, CL-57, Legend of the Solomons, condensing her WWII actions from 1942 through 1945.

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Read the War Diary of the USS Montpelier CL-57 as maintained by her deck officers from September 9, 1942 through March 31, 1943.

USS Montpelier CL-57 Project

General Writing and Publishing

Village Hiker is a writing and publishing services company, helping companies and individuals write almost anything — from love letters to memoirs to annual reports.

How To Write for Website Crowds

village-hiker-write-for-web-how-to Google, Bing and Yahoo all recommend the same methods to keep the crowds returning to your website. Read about the most important.

How To Write a White Paper

village-hiker-white-paper-how-to What is a white paper? What can one do for you? Learn the basic best practices of writing a white paper, from idea to audience to final copy.