Timeless Fukuoka Ramen Shop Serves Up Good Memories, Cheap Eats

Part the curtains at the simple storefront of Shoryuken, wrestle the creaky, swollen sliding door open, and step back in time to 1972.

A worn, handmade menu at the Fukuoka City ramen shop advertises ramen bowls for 100 yen, and it is clear that that price has persisted through the restaurant’s 39 years of existence. Read More

24 Hour Vending Machine Restaurant Offers Hamburgers And Memories Of The Good ‘Ol Days

It’s no secret that Japan is well endowed with vending machines offering a colorful variety of products. While beverage vending machines are naturally the most common, you may occasionally come across one stocked with hot food products like noodle dishes or hamburgers.

While such vending machines were countless in number during the Show era (1926-1989), they have become remarkably scarce in recent days. When I heard there was such a hamburger vending machine at a drive-in eatery in Saitama prefecture, I didn’t hesitate to hit the road and get a taste of this fading culture. Read More

Our Top 10 International McDonald’s Hamburgers

McDonald’s is one of the most prominent symbols of modern globalization. Yet while it is possible to order a Big Mac in all corners of the world, many travelers seek out the golden arches to see what regional specialties are served in that country.

Throughout my own travels I’ve encountered many a fascinating and exquisite McDonald’s hamburger not available here in Japan. Wishing to share my findings with other potential McTravelers, I have compiled a list of my top 10 regional McDonald’s hamburgers.

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Noboribetsu Onsen is a veritable department store for hot springs lovers, with many different kinds of springs bubbling forth from one of the best onsen regions in Hokkaido. Located in Noboribetsu City, Hokkaido, it is overflowing with sights to see, from Jigokudani (“Hell Valley”) with its spouting gas and high-temperature onsen to the century-old hot spring pond “Taisho Jigoku” and the giant hot spring pond “Oyunuma.”

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Everyone knows JAL and ANA, but have you heard the name “StarFlyer” while strolling through Haneda Airport? StarFlyer boasts a fleet of fashionable aircraft featuring all-black exteriors and cabin interiors. The first sight of a bitchin’ all-black airplane zooming down the runway will take anyone’s breath away.

StarFlyer planes travel most between Tokyo and Kita-Kyushu, but the airline added flights between Tokyo and Fukuoka on July 1. I flew to Fukuoka on business last month, so I figured I’d give StarFlyer a try. Other than the stunning black of the body and interior, I took note of six features of StarFlyer planes:


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Part of the fun of traveling on long-distance trains in East Asia is eating the lunch boxes that they sell within the train network, called ekiben in Japanese. Everyone knows how outstanding Japanese ekiben are, and Taiwanese ekiben are just as delicious. The other day, I hopped on a Chinese bullet train and prepared to find out where the Chinese version stacked up!

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Let’s Fly First Class! (Bangkok to Tokyo)

Previously, I wrote about my first class flight from Tokyo to Bangkok. This time I’d like to share the high points of my return trip with Thai Airways.

I had heard that Thai Airways treats their first-class passengers like celebrities, so naturally I was excited for the trip home. Below is a list of the things that I thought really set Thai Airways apart. Read More

I recently had the opportunity to fly first class with All Nippon Airways (ANA) from Narita International Airport in Tokyo to Bangkok, Thailand. Having never flown anything but economy until then I would like to report on my half day of luxury, detailing the points that put the class in first class. Read More

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