Spotlight: Kinchakuda Park

It's nearly Tsukimi (moon viewing) here in Japan and we've just celebrated the autumnal equinox today. I've been praying for a lessening of the near constant rain lately so I can make the trek out to Kinchakuda in Saitama. If you're a flower lover (or just someone who appreciates stunning natural scenery), this out-of-the-way park... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Namahage Museum (Akita)

**Bear with me in this post, as I am trying to be respectful of the Namahage Museum's wish that visitors do not use photos taken inside their establishment for any sort of commercial or social media presence. I feel this sight is definitely worth highlighting, but my photos may not make it look as interesting... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Beppu Jigoku

Beppu is one steamy city. Seriously. Poke a hole almost anywhere in the ground in this seaside city and you'll release a massive amount of hot air. Oita is considered the onsen capital of Japan and Beppu is arguably the place with the highest proliferation of hot springs per square kilometer. But the most famous... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Taketomi Island

Last weekend, my family and I returned to Okinawa. It was a surprisingly emotional trip in a way. We left Okinawa when my daughter was 1.5 years old and returned twice when she was around two years old. But this was the first time that she could form actual memories of the island and she... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Akiyoshi Cave and Plateau

What landscapes come to mind when you think of Japan? For me, mountains are the first thing that come to mind, followed by volcanoes and the ocean. And then gleaming megacities, of course. But caves? I know there are a few scattered around the islands but one worth visiting is Akiyoshi Cave and its nearby... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Matsuyama Castle

While Japan boasts dozens of castles dotted around its islands, only twelve of them are considered "original". Of those dozen, four are located on the little-visited island of Shikoku. Matsuyama Castle (also known as Iyo-Matsuyama) is one of Japan's hilltop fortresses, perched on a peak in what is now the downtown area of the capital... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Koyasan (Mt Koya)

The other weekend, I had the pleasure of making the journey into the heartland of Wakayama Prefecture to the snowy precincts of Koyasan. Koyasan, or Mt Koya, is home to a temple complex that is celebrating its 1200th year in 2015 and ranks among travelers' favorite destinations in Japan. The temples of Koyasan were founded... Continue Reading →

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