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Japan

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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Hosshinmonoji Entrance

History of the Kumano Kodo (Part 2 of the Kumano Kodo Series)

Kumano has been considered a sacred area since prehistoric times. Shinto, the native religion of Japan, started during prehistoric times as nature worship. And it was during this time when the sacred sites of Kumano were first created. When Buddhism was introduced into Japan in the 6th century, Shinto and Buddhism merged together. It was...
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Japanese Driving School

Driver’s License in Japan

Japan has one of the best, if not the best public transportation systems in the world. There are many, diverse means of public transportation in Japan. We can move around by bullet train, train, bus, streetcar, subway and monorail. But still, about 90% of Japanese adults have a driver’s license. We can start to drive...
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Kumano Kodo Nakahechi

Kumano Kodo – Part 1: What is the Kumano Kodo?

The Kumano Kodo is a large and complex subject, and could not be sufficiently discussed in one blog. So this is the first part of three blogs. I have found that few people, even people who are very familiar with Japan, know what the Kumano Kodo is. So this blog will define what the Kumano...
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Arashiyama Monkey Park

Arashiyama Monkey Park

Monkeys are the closest species to humans and they are often portrayed in proverbs and sayings as stupid and incompetent. For example, ‘monkey brain’ means ‘stupid’, ‘monkey about’ means messing around. But are they really silly? Arashiyama Monkey Park is a very rare place where you can observe how monkeys behave, and buy them bananas...
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