Great Gardens: Ashikaga Flower Park

A few years ago, wisteria wasn't even on my radar. Sure, it's a historical and hugely popular flower here in Japan, but having spent so much time in Okinawa up to that point, my flower knowledge mostly comprised hibiscus ... and that's it. Alright, and cherry blossoms. Everybody knows cherry blossoms. 🙂 Then I moved to... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Golden Week 2016

The craziest time of Japan's travel calendar is almost upon us. Who's ready for Golden Week 2016?? Golden Week is made up of four individual holidays. Starting off the spree on April 29th is Showa Day. This date marks the birthday of the late Emperor Showa (known to most non-Japanese as Hirohito, Japan’s Imperial ruler during... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Children’s Day

We're coming to the meat of Golden Week right now, with Greenery Day (Midori-no-Hi) drawing to a close today. Tomorrow, May 5th, marks Children's Day, one of the more visually exciting holidays of this period. For many years, Children's Day exclusively honored the male offspring of a family. After all, girls already have their own... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Golden Week 2014

In Japan, the week of April 29-May 5 is practically labeled "national vacation week". Last year, having just returned from a two week trip to Italy with my inlaws, my husband and I stuck pretty close to home for Golden Week. But I have notoriously itchy feet and on May 3rd, I made the mistake... Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Tea

Though Starbucks has indeed invaded the Japanese archipelago, this country has traditionally run on tea. Since its importation from China sometime in the 9th century, tea has become the drink of choice, the gatorade of the samurai class and the Miller Lite of the masses. Certain prefectures in Japan are known for their tea production,... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Golden Week

In my life, I have lived in two societies that had set vacation times. In France, everyone would hightail it from the cities to the coasts for nearly the entire month of August. And in Japan, the week of April 29-May 5 is practically labeled "national vacation week". Golden Week is made up of four individual... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑