5 Faves: Mid-range Hotels

I've been fortunate enough to be doing a fair amount of domestic traveling these past few months. When I travel with my family, we usually pick an accommodation that best suits our toddler - rental apartments, hotel suites, any place that might mean my husband and I don't have to spend an evening sequestered in... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Beaches

Summer is in full swing here and when the mercury rises, sometimes there's no better place to be than at the beach. Being an island nation, Japan has no shortage of sandy stretches, though some certainly outrank others. From Hokkaido's icier waters to the subtropics of Okinawa, here are some of the country's best beaches:... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Children’s Books (Part 2)

A year ago, in one of my first 5 Faves posts, I shared a list of Japan-related children's books. Recently, I've been asked for some additional suggestions, so I thought it warranted a second post. When I started looking into it, I realized there was a sizable amount of Japan-related literature out there. So if... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Specialized Travel Guides (Part 2)

Over a year ago, I wrote one of my first 5 Faves posts on my favorite specialized travel guides. (By specialized guides, I mean books that focus on one specific topic or area of expertise, whether that be the best traditional inns or detailed introductions to a specific neighborhood or prefecture.) Since that post, I've... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Kit Kat Flavors

I'm not a huge candy eater, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for Kit Kats. (For Mounds bars too, for that matter, but coconut is a practically nonexistent flavor here in Japan.) Kit Kats were always my favorite find in the Halloween candy bucket and the perfect "share-able" dessert since they... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Budget Ryokan

In case you missed it, one of this month's posts was a Crash Course on ryokan. The first year I lived in Japan, my husband and I loved to head out from Tokyo and explore the countryside. Not wanting to just have the same humdrum experience time and again of staying in a hotel, we... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Japanese Cookbooks

Many people make a New Year's resolution to either start cooking more or start cooking healthier. I already do both of those, for the most part, so my resolution this year was a tad different. I am attempting to start cooking more "Japanese". I'm lucky enough to live in Japan in a prefecture that's known... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Autumn Foods

Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving and I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. Living abroad for the past four years, far from home and family, has made me crave somewhat of a traditional holiday. I know I won't be enjoying turkey (no oven in most Japanese homes) or the happy sounds of 20+ family... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Towns Off the Beaten Track

Everybody's got a story about Tokyo. And many travelers follow a well-beaten path to the temples and shrines of Kyoto. Even smaller towns like¬†Takayama and Hakone attract more than their fair share of attention. But if you want a travel story that's a little bit different, check out these not-so-celebrated locales. They're definitely worth giving... Continue Reading →

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