Great Gardens: Makino Botanical Garden

Japan is well-known for its traditional gardens but I've recently discovered that its botanical gardens can be equally impressive. On a recent trip to Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku in late March, I spent an afternoon exploring the vast grounds of the Makino Botanical Garden, which enjoys a superb location on Mt Godai just a short... 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 →

Friday Photo: June 2014

I always try to go to Tokyo in June. It's one of my favorite times of year, flower-wise, and Tokyo has the best concentration of gardens I know of where one can enjoy irises and hydrangeas in their rainy season glory. I wanted to visit the Harajuku and Omote-sando neighborhood to get more pictures and... Continue Reading →

Experience: Koyo in Kyoto

Whew! What a busy week and a half it has been. For those of you who follow me on Facebook (simply search Uncover Japan), you'll know that I've spent the last ten days exploring central Japan. I got to revisit Takayama, one of my favorite small towns in Japan, and ventured to Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Ginkaku-ji (Kyoto)

I'm just back from a lovely weekend in Kyoto where I thankfully managed to miss the worst of the masses of cherry blossom viewers. The blooms weren't out yet, except for a few lovely trees in Gion and at the Imperial Palace, but the city still looked as attractive as ever. I haven' t touched... Continue Reading →

Good Eats: Okutan (Kyoto)

Japan is a seafood nation and rightly so. Being made up of over 4000 islands, we kinda have a lot of water here. But Kyoto is a landlocked city and for centuries, the transport of truly fresh fish from Japan’s coasts through the country’s mountainous interior was impossible. As a result, Kyoto was forced to... Continue Reading →

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