Spotlight: Koyasan (Mt Koya)

The other weekend, I had the pleasure of making the journey into the heartland of Wakayama Prefecture to the snowy precincts of Koyasan. Koyasan, or Mt Koya, is home to a temple complex that is celebrating its 1200th year in 2015 and ranks among travelers' favorite destinations in Japan. The temples of Koyasan were founded... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Daitoku-ji (Kyoto)

Temples in Kyoto without the crowds? Seems an impossible task but yes, they can be found and I did just that on my last trip up to the city in April. The temple complex of Daitoku-ji sits in northern Kyoto, a short bus ride from the Golden Pavilion but worlds away from the tourist masses.... Continue Reading →

Experience: Koyo in Kyoto

Whew! What a busy week and a half it has been. For those of you who follow me on Facebook (simply search Uncover Japan), you'll know that I've spent the last ten days exploring central Japan. I got to revisit Takayama, one of my favorite small towns in Japan, and ventured to Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa... Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Jizo

You've probably noticed them at┬átemples around Japan - silent rows of miniature statues, some clad in red caps or bibs, some with candles burned to stubs at their feet. Who are these tiny guardians? They're jizo, protectors of travelers, women and - especially - children. Jizo, also known by their longer title of O-jizo-sama, are... Continue Reading →

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