Manhole Monday: Minakami Onsen

Autumn is in the air in Japan. Typhoon season has been pretty wet this year, I heard, but cool temperatures and clear skies are starting to make their appearance. The first foliage reports from japan-guide are out and Hokkaido has started off the season with brilliant colors. Last year, looking to vary things a bit... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Photos of 2015

It's the end of 2015 and in a few hours, the year will wrap up and roll over into another one. Such is the way of time, and there's no stopping it. (Much as I want to. Can we roll back to autumn? 🙂 ) This year has ZOOMED, more so for the fact that... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Beppu Jigoku

Beppu is one steamy city. Seriously. Poke a hole almost anywhere in the ground in this seaside city and you'll release a massive amount of hot air. Oita is considered the onsen capital of Japan and Beppu is arguably the place with the highest proliferation of hot springs per square kilometer. But the most famous... Continue Reading →

Friday Photo: April 2015

The countdown until our move date to Tokyo is starting to feel real. With only a few months left in Kyushu (and with a trip back to the US for a family wedding thrown in the mix for part of that), I am now in that stage of an impending change where I want to... 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 →

5 Faves: Onsen Towns

Winter is the perfect season to enjoy Japan's warm waters. (And man, has it ever turned into winter practically overnight here.) I personally love hot springs and like nothing better than to plan an evening's escape to a small onsen town in the middle of nowhere. While Japan also boasts big tour-focused towns where tons... Continue Reading →

Experience: Sand Baths in Ibusuki

Alright, a show of hands. Who out there doesn't mind being buried alive? Now that I have your attention, let's talk about sand bathing. No, not sunbathing. And not bathing in an onsen, my preferred type of bathing here in Japan. Nope, sand bathing is pretty much what it sounds like - being covered from... Continue Reading →

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