Where else could you find the Predator chilling with Double of Kamen Rider W? I especially love the Predator's corderoy jacket (much like Vader's tux). Also, if Double wasn't official, then I think I need to propose to the guy who hand-made that costume.
The grand buddha at Kodaiji in Kyoto. You can see it starting from pretty darn far away, and it's even more impressive up close.
Doesn't look like much, but Okiku's Well is terrifying. Okiku was a servant in Himeji Castle who refused to sleep with the lord of the castle; he accused her (wrongly) of the theft of a plate, then raped, tortured, and killed her and tossed her into the well. Various versions of the legend exist, including one that says her ghost compels others to commit suicide. Legend has it that you can hear her voice, counting the plates from 1 to 9, ending in a wail when she realizes the tenth is missing; if you stick around that long, you'll chuck yourself in after her. Hence the chicken wire.
If you saw "Memoirs of a Geisha" (ugh) or any number of foreign films set in Japan, you've seen Fushimi Inari. The head shrine to the Shinto god Inari (god of rice and, later, business — each torii has been donated, and the back side bears the person or company's name), this is a cultural heritage landmark. If you're in Kyoto and have a few hours, I do recommend the climb, because it is gorgeous. Just be prepared for it to take hours — 4km uphill is not a cakewalk.
One thing Japan loves is mascots. Stores will have them. Cities will have them. Attractions will have them. Himeji is no different. This is Shiromaruhime ("Princess White & Round"). You can buy any manner of toys, keychains, or what-the-heck-ever anywhere in Himeji. I find her a little terrifying, personally.
Another photo from the Osaka cosplay festival. I enjoy this one because the kid was enthusiastic, not just dressed up and dragged around by his parents. If you don't know who he's supposed to be, then shame on you!
It's hard to feel the Christmas spirit over here sometimes. Sure, department stores will play waily female covers of Christmas classics and put up random decorations, but it's not a real holiday. It's an excuse to make things sparkle during the month of December, but that's about it. The real winter holiday in Japan is New Year's Day, so on December 24th, all the Christmas decorations are stripped down. December 25th is just another day.
Say what you want about Japan, but it loves its history, Takachiho town is steeped in it. The town mascot is Tajikarao, a god who featured prominently in the legend of Amaterasu at Ama-no-Iwato shrine. He's painted on buildings, on signs, on merchandise, everywhere.
This is the most common pun in my area. Translation: Bring your garbage home! The frog is there because the word for 'return' is 'kaeru' (帰る), which has the same pronunciation as 'frog' (蛙). Another common one is using the frog on shopping advertisments, because in that case, 'kaeru' (買える) means 'you can buy'. It's at the point where I want to throw things when I see it on the sign.
For the life of me I can't remember what these guardians are called, and Google isn't helping. They guard against fire, though, and if you ask me, they're effective. Himeji Castle suffered a direct hit from a fire-bomb in 1945, but it failed to ignite and the castle remained unharmed.