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Japan

Hiroshimayaki

Hiroshimayaki – A Taste of Hiroshima

In Hiroshima, it is called “okonomiyaki”. But everywhere else in Japan it is called “Hiroshimayaki” to differentiate it from the Osaka-style okonomiyaki. While there are similarities between the two, there are also differences. For those who do not know what okonomiyaki is, it can best be described as a savory pancake. Other than the basic ingredients...
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Onsen Symbol

Onsen (Part 1) – Enjoy the “Good Life” Japanese-Style

As with many words in Japanese, the word “onsen” (温泉) has different meanings. The two main meanings are either a hot spring, or a group of traditional inns and hotels that have been developed around a hot spring. For the purpose of this blog, we will use the latter meaning. Since it is a geothermally-active...
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Kii Katsuura Tun Auction

Tuna – A Taste of Kii-Katsuura

The Kii-Katsuura port boasts the largest tuna catch in Japan. There are several reasons for this. The port is close to the Kuroshio ocean current. Because the port is deep and can easily accommodate the larger boats needed for tuna fishing, Kii-Katsuura is only one of two ports in Japan that receive tuna all-year. And...
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Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

In Japan, we are so in love with cherry blossom flowers that we have used scientific technology to accurately determine what exact day these flowers will blossom in what area and what exact their petals will fall in what area. We are crazy about cherry blossoms! There are researchers and meteorologists who monitor the temperature...
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Nyuto Onsen

Nyuto Onsen – Historic and Remote Hot Springs

Nyuto Onsen is a collection of seven popular and remote hot spring inns, located in the Towada Hachimatai National Park in north-central Tohoku. The name Nyuto Onsen means “nipple hot spring” and comes from the suggestive shape of nearby Mount Nyuto. With a history of over 300 years, many of the springs were visited by...
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10 Small Things Japan Has To Be Proud Of

The Japanese love to create lists of different things. There are the Nihon Sankei (Three Scenic Views: Miyajima Island, Amanohashidate and Matsushima), the Nihon Sanmeien (Three great gardens: Korakuen, Korakuen and Kairakuen), the Hyakumeizan (100 great mountains), etc. Most lists contain the largest or greatest. But since Japan is a small country, I thought it might be interesting...
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Kumano Kodo Nakahechi

Kumano Kodo Trek – Day 2 – Takahara to Tsugizakura

Total Elevation Gain: 1,650 Feet (500 meters) Total Elevation Loss: 1,300 Feet (400 meters) Net Elevation Gain: 350 (100 meters) Total Distance: 8 1/4 Miles (13.2 kilometers) During the night it rained heavily, which meant one thing for today’s walk. It would be very humid. After having an excellent breakfast at the minshuku, I set...
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Kumano Kodo Nakahechi

Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Trek – Day 1

  I set out for my Kumano Kodo trek from Kyoto as did pilgrims more than 1,000 years ago. At that time, it was common practice to visit Jonan-gu Shrine just south of Kyoto near Fushimi. Here, pilgrims would stay for about a week and perform “misogi” (Shinto water purification rituals) and maintain a strict...
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Tokyo Sky Tree

Tokyo Sky Tree

The Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) is a digital broadcasting tower and a new landmark of Tokyo. At a height of 634 m, Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world. It is the core of the Tokyo Skytree Town, near Asakusa.
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Akihabara Maid Cafe

Akihabara Maid Cafes

Akihabara is a paradise for electric appliance and anime subculture fans. Akihabara started as a place where radio parts were sold just after the Second World War. Today Akihabara is famous as the cheapest place in Japan for electric appliances. It’s also well-known as a place of ‘otaku’ (Japanese word for geeks) including comic-book devotees,...
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