Spotlight: Nachi Taisha (Wakayama)

While my rainy weekend on the Kumano Kodo earlier this month changed our itinerary quite a bit, that change was actually a blessing in disguise. One of the highlights of the Kii Peninsula is the Nachi Shrine (Nachi Taisha) and the Nachi Waterfall right next to it and as our original itinerary stood, we wouldn't... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Oura Church (Nagasaki)

As you can tell from both this and my last post, I've recently been to Nagasaki. My in-laws were in town at the beginning of October and they expressed an interest in seeing Nagasaki. My husband and I, having spent the two weeks prior to that driving back and forth to Sasebo (quite near Nagasaki)... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Tsujunkyo (Kumamoto)

My in laws are currently in town for a few weeks and this past Sunday, we took them out to what has become one of my favorite spots in Kumamoto Prefecture - the Tsujunkyo (Tsujun Bridge). Tsujunkyo is on a lot of tourism posters and billboards around Kumamoto and yet no one outside of the prefecture... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Udo Jingu (Miyazaki)

Miyazaki prefecture (on the island of Kyushu) is known for its long coastline, so it's no surprise that the Udo Shrine sits squarely in the middle of that coastline, facing out to the waves. On a drive of the Kyushu coast, this makes for an excellent stop. The Udo Shrine (or Udo Jingu) is a... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Yamadera (Yamagata)

Happy August! My family and I are on our annual summer holiday in Japan, which we try to arrange so that it never falls with that OTHER summer holiday in Japan (Obon), a time of year that makes travel around the island nearly unbearable for a period of 3-7 days. This year, I had high... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Fukushuen Garden (Okinawa)

Bear with my continued Okinawa obsession this week. I really don't know where it's coming from. It's enough to even make me trot off to the grocery store for some goya (bitter gourd) to make champuru (stir fry). If you've ever tasted goya, you know just how serious this obsession is becoming. 🙂 Anyway, in trying to... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Poroto Kotan (Hokkaido)

Hokkaido is Japan's final frontier, a vast (VAST) island of mountains, lakes and stretches of emptiness that seem otherworldly in a country so densely populated as this one. It is also the home island of much of Japan's only remaining indigenous culture, the Ainu. Pushed to the far northern reaches by the race that became known... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Daitoku-ji (Kyoto)

Temples in Kyoto without the crowds? Seems an impossible task but yes, they can be found and I did just that on my last trip up to the city in April. The temple complex of Daitoku-ji sits in northern Kyoto, a short bus ride from the Golden Pavilion but worlds away from the tourist masses.... Continue Reading →

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