Manhole Monday: Kakunodate

One of the last stops on my trip to Tohoku this past summer was in the old samurai town of Kakunodate in central Akita prefecture. Both the friends I was traveling with and numerous travel sources had touted this town as having one of the most beautifully preserved Edo-era neighborhoods, and I must admit, I... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Kurashiki

Kurashiki is a lovely canal town in Okayama Prefecture that doesn't always get the press it deserves. It has a beautiful neighborhood (the Bikan district) of old rice storehouses that have now been converted to shops, museums, restaurants and comfortable ryokan (traditional inns). Boats drift lazily down the central canal while willows on the bank... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Hagi

For the first time in my over six years in Japan, I finally made it up to the San-in Coast. Don't laugh - it's harder than it sounds. Cities like Hagi and Matsue, up on the northern side of Honshu, are notoriously difficult for most people living in Japan to reach. From here in Kyushu,... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Yobuko

Last month, I mentioned that I was treated to a few days in Saga Prefecture, courtesy of both the Japan Times and the Saga Prefectural Tourism Organization to write an advertorial to promote the prefecture. On my final day, following a┬ámassive breakfast in Karatsu, I was driven up the northern coast to the port town... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Takeo Onsen

Last week, I was lucky enough to be hosted by the Saga Prefectural Government for a three-day tour of the prefecture just northwest of Kumamoto. Charged to write an advertorial for them for The Japan Times, I was chauffered around to at least two dozen locations in Saga. And let me just say - I... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Hongu

Ohhhhh, winter. I am really looking forward to the snow you've been dumping on the surrounding prefectures but at the moment, your frigid temperatures are unwelcome. At least it will make this girl from the northeastern US feel right at home come Christmas morning. I've never been one to do the Christmas holiday in hot... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Miyazaki

I was in Miyazaki City back in July and I have to say, from the brief time I spent in the city, there doesn't seem to be much there. Now before anybody gets up in arms and leaves me nasty comments, I'll be the first to admit that - aside from our pretty awesome castle... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Nichinan

There's a lot going on in this manhole cover but I guess that's fitting, since there's a lot going on in Nichinan. You wouldn't think it, from a quick glance at the map. This sprawling city lies on the coast at the southern end of Miyazaki Prefecture. There's not much of note around it and... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Mifune

For such a small town in the middle of nowhere Kumamoto prefecture, Mifune has some pretty cool manhole covers. The first one I tracked down had dinosuars (dinosaurs!) on it, a bit of an advertisement for the city's Dinosaur Museum. (No, I haven't been yet but it's too intriguing to miss!) The other week, however,... Continue Reading →

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