The Travel Trolley

A five-minute guide to Japan

TOKYO — Japan is a wonderful country to visit, but limiting what attractions to see over the course of a week can be a bit challenging.

Here are a few suggestions for starters, but this is by no means a comprehensive guide.

In Tokyo, visit the Tsukiji Fish Market, a place like no other in Japan or the world. Located in central Tokyo’s Tsukiji district, the market is the world’s largest wholesale fish and seafood market.

Visit Hiroshima, where at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, during the closing weeks of World War II, that the first atomic bomb was dropped on a city

In addition to seeing the many attractions related to the bombing, be sure to ride a streetcar.

Hiroshima streetcar

While a number of other Japanese cities with streetcar systems eventually replaced them with a subway system, Hiroshima did not. Although, the Hiroshima Electric Railway has over the years modernized its streetcar fleet, there are still a number of older trolleys, prompting railfans to dub the streetcar system a “Moving Museum.”

Interestingly, in the 1960s, the city started buying streetcars from other cities. So, the older streetcars that operate over the Hiroshima Electric Railway today once carried passengers in any number of cities throughout Japan.

While in the area, be sure to take a boat ride to Miyajima.

Back in Tokyo, be sure to visit Yasukuni Shrine.

The shrine was created to honor the spirits – or “kami” in Japanese – of the soldiers who died in the Boshin War of 1868-9. Soldiers who fought and died in subsequent wars until World War II have been enshrined here. However, no one who died in combat since the Second World War has been enshrined. To date, 1,068 people who were convicted of some classification of a war crime have been enshrined here; 14 are so-called “Class A” war criminals.

As a side trip, also consider taking a train ride to Atami to enjoy an onsen.

IF YOU GO: Delta Air Lines offers a direct flight to Tokyo Narita International Airport. The airline also has direct flights to Narita from Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul and JFK in New York.

About The Travel Trolley
Hop on board. The Travel Trolley is aimed at capturing the history and charm of roadside attractions.