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: Okayama

Some cities just seem to have fun with their manhole covers. Okayama was one of them. Who wouldn't smile at this cute cartoonish tableau? The cover art in Okayama is actually based in an old folktale, one that is known throughout Japan. This tale revolves around Momotaro, a boy who was born from a giant... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Korakuen Garden (Okayama)

Japan is known for its "lists of three" - the top three views, the top three mountain castles, the top three onsen towns. Surprisingly, for as much as I love Japanese gardens, I had never set foot in one of Japan's top three gardens. Thankfully, on my trip to Okayama prefecture early last month, I... Continue Reading →

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