Travel Goals for 2017

Every January for the past few years, I've started off the new calendar with a list of my travel goals for the upcoming months. I just took a glance back at the last few lists and I am pleased to say, I've covered a lot of what I set out to do. We did indeed... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Ouchijuku (Fukushima)

Back in the Edo Period (1603-1868), the city of Edo (now called Tokyo) became the de facto capital of Japan. While Kyoto remained the cultural capital, the administration of the Tokugawa Shiogun operated out of Edo. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun, had already unified much of Japan; his descendants strengthened the ties between the various... Continue Reading →

Festival Focus: Kanto Matsuri

We're in June now, and that means summer is around the corner. We have a bit of a reprieve at the moment with the advent of rainy season this week (the humidity is luckily taking a backseat at the moment), but come July, the heat will be on ... and pretty unbearable, in my opinion!... Continue Reading →

Tohoku and 3/11: Looking Back and Ahead

Five years go, I was sitting in my kitchen in Okinawa, playing cards with a friend while my infant daughter slept at our feet, when the messages started coming through: "Are you alright?" "Oh my word, how devastating!" "Is everything ok????" "PLEASE tell us you're alright." They had every reason to be concerned. A 9.0... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Towada

This past summer, part of my sojourn through Tohoku took me to Lake Towada. This large lake sits at the southern edge of Aomori prefecture and is a popular summer and autumn destination. It was where we arrived after our three-hour amble down the Oirase stream trail. When we finally got to the shores of... Continue Reading →

Great Gardens: Fujita Teien (Hirosaki)

Aomori, on the northern part of the Japan's main island of Honshu, is not the most likely locale for one of Japan's top 50 traditional gardens. The Tohoku region is more known for its exuberant festivals and its wild ruggedness than any carefully cultivated beauty. Perhaps that makes a visit to the Fujita Teien in... Continue Reading →

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 →

Spotlight: Namahage Museum (Akita)

**Bear with me in this post, as I am trying to be respectful of the Namahage Museum's wish that visitors do not use photos taken inside their establishment for any sort of commercial or social media presence. I feel this sight is definitely worth highlighting, but my photos may not make it look as interesting... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑