Festival Focus: Karatsu Kunchi

Most people rave about Japan's summer festivals (and admittedly, there are some spectacular ones) but being rather partial to the cooler weather, I am a fan of the nation's autumn festivals. Both Kumamoto and Okinawa had some exciting ones (massive tug of war, anyone?) but my favorite will always be the Karatsu Kunchi in Karatsu,... Continue Reading →

Friday Photo: May 2015

For the first time in a while, picking this month's photo was a challenge. It's really due to the fact that we spent most of this month back in the US for a family wedding and a visit with our relatives. We only returned in the past few days and jet lag - as well... Continue Reading →

Good Eats: Gallery Arita (Arita)

I find I have a strange fascination as of late with the pottery town of Arita. It's not that I am even all that into porcelain, which is what Saga Prefecture's Arita has been producing - to perfection, some might say - for the past 399 years. But when a town takes as much pride... 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 massive breakfast in Karatsu, I was driven up the northern coast to the port town... Continue Reading →

Good Eats: Kawashima Tofu (Karatsu)

The seaside city of Karatsu in northern Saga prefecture might not seem like the place to come on a tofu pilgrimage but if you love soy in all its incarnations, you shouldn't miss a meal at 200-year-old Kawashima Tofu. Chef Kawashima keeps baker's hours, in the kitchen by 3am every morning to start boiling and... Continue Reading →

Friday Photo: January 2015

Whew, what a month. Actually, it was a fairly quiet few weeks until I ended up with two trips back-to-back at the end of January. One trip was up to the mountaintop temple complex of Koyasan, which I'll be blogging about in greater detail in the next week or two. The other trip was to... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Karatsu

Though the Culture Day weekend was a bit of a bust weather-wise this year, my family and I did manage to make it up to Karatsu (about a two hour drive from our home in Kumamoto) for their annual autumn festival, the Karatsu Kunchi. The streets were packed and we had to park a good... Continue Reading →

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