Manhole Monday: Takeo Onsen

Last week, I was lucky enough to be hosted by the Saga Prefectural Government for a three-day tour of the prefecture just northwest of Kumamoto. Charged to write an advertorial for them for The Japan Times, I was chauffered around to at least two dozen locations in Saga. And let me just say - I... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Hongu

Ohhhhh, winter. I am really looking forward to the snow you've been dumping on the surrounding prefectures but at the moment, your frigid temperatures are unwelcome. At least it will make this girl from the northeastern US feel right at home come Christmas morning. I've never been one to do the Christmas holiday in hot... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Minoh (Mino-o)

Before my trip to Wakayama prefecture earlier this month, I had a bit of time to kill when my flight arrived in Osaka super early. Luckily, the Minoh Waterfall was only a short 20 minute train ride away from the airport and I had high hopes of catching the start of the autumn foliage without... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Nagasaki

I'll close out the run of posts on Nagasaki with the city's manhole cover. Nagasaki is known for a number of things - its trade ties, its mix of culinary styles, its sad history as a target of the second atomic bomb. And yet here is what the drain cover looks like: That's right. Hydrangea.... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Miyazaki

I was in Miyazaki City back in July and I have to say, from the brief time I spent in the city, there doesn't seem to be much there. Now before anybody gets up in arms and leaves me nasty comments, I'll be the first to admit that - aside from our pretty awesome castle... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Ishinomaki

It was a jarring juxtaposition to find this manhole cover in downtown Ishinomaki earlier this month:   Colorful, isn't it? Ishinomaki is known for its summertime fireworks display, where 15,000 rounds light up the night sky over the city's bridge. Aside from the Sendai Tanabata fireworks, it is one of Tohoku's best-known hanabi festivals. But since... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Nichinan

There's a lot going on in this manhole cover but I guess that's fitting, since there's a lot going on in Nichinan. You wouldn't think it, from a quick glance at the map. This sprawling city lies on the coast at the southern end of Miyazaki Prefecture. There's not much of note around it and... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Uto

Kumamoto is a surprisingly big prefecture. I live in Kumamoto city, which is on the western coast of Kyushu and practically touches the Ariake Sea. A solid hour's drive to the east brings me to the Mt Aso region and the border of Kumamoto, Oita and Miyazaki prefectures somewhere in central Kyushu. A solid hour's... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Nara

Nara, Japan's first capital, is known for quite a number of things - its massive Buddha  in the Todaiji Temple, its sprawling parkland and its delectable rice-and-tea dish. But let's face it. Most people come for the deer. Yup, the deer. All 1095 of them - living that is, not counting the ones that grace... Continue Reading →

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