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Awashima Shrine: Home to the Spookiest Dolls
Awashima Shrine: Home to the Spookiest Dolls
Awashima Shrine in Kada, Wakayama may be one of the most unique shrines in the Kansai area. Located about a 20-minute walk from Kada Station through a picturesque country town, the brightly colored vermillion shrine is most famous for the Girls Day Festival, or Hina Matsuri, held every year on March 3rd.
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Top 10 Places to See Autumn Colors in Kochi Prefecture
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Colors in Kochi Prefecture
Autumn is one of the best times of year to visit Japan. The climate is still warm, but without the humidity of the summer months. From late October, you can experience ‘momiji’;the changing colors of leaves. Kochi has many wonderful places to see autumn colors, but here are ten of the top spots.
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A Wonderful Day in Narita City and Sakae Town, on the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program
A Wonderful Day in Narita City and Sakae Town, on the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program
Narita Airport Transit and Stay Program is a free tour covering the sightseeing spots around Narita Airport, designed for long layovers. There are two plan options available: Volunteer Guide Tours and Self Tours. The Volunteer Guide Tours are accompanied by one or two volunteer guides while Self Tours are self-guided.
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Half or Full Day Guided Tours of Narita, on the JR Narita Select Bus Tour
Half or Full Day Guided Tours of Narita, on the JR Narita Select Bus Tour
Narita Select Bus Tour is the tour run by JR in cooperation with the Narita Airport Transit and Stay Program. Accompanied by a tour guide, the short tourist bus excursions cover several top destinations near Narita Airport. Visitors can choose from a half day tour (AM Bus Tour or PM Bus Tour) for 2000 yen, or combine them for a full day tour for 3,500 yen.
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Top Things to Do in Shirahama, Wakayama
Top Things to Do in Shirahama, Wakayama
The town of Shirahama is located on the southern coast of Wakayama prefecture, about an hour and a half from Osaka. If you’ve traveled in Japan before you probably know that 90 minutes by train can take you seemingly worlds away from the metropolis from which you began your journey, and Shirahama is no exception.
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Science Fun at Shirahama Energy Land in Wakayama
Science Fun at Shirahama Energy Land in Wakayama
Yes, at Shirahama Energy Land the family can learn about renewable energy and see a model town powered by solar energy in a vision of the future. But the theme of energy doesn’t stop there; in fact, it goes way beyond, and one of the park’s goals seems to be to offer as many ways possible for kids to use up their boundless energy.
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Hands On with Japanese Lacquerware
Hands On with Japanese Lacquerware
At the Kishu Lacquerware Cooperative in Kuroe, Wakayama Prefecture, you can learn all about this traditional Japanese handicraft, including its history in the Kishu region. The town of Kuroe has been producing Kishu lacquerware for over 400 years.
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A Trip to Serene Shibayama, on the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program
A Trip to Serene Shibayama, on the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program
A memorable trip can start anywhere and one of my journeys began at Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture when I joined the Narita Transit and Stay Program, a free guided tour designed for layovers at Narita Airport.
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Cycling and Tranquility in Tako, on the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program
Cycling and Tranquility in Tako, on the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program
Layovers are often regarded as the dreaded compatriot to air travel. No one would ever volunteer for a layover…right? Well that’s exactly what I did in order to participate in Narita International Airport’s Transit Program.
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Matsuyama Itinerary: Two Days of Castles, Cats, and Hot Springs!
Matsuyama Itinerary: Two Days of Castles, Cats, and Hot Springs!
Matsuyama is a vibrant city that is off the usual tourist path. Located on the southern island of Shikoku, locals are friendly and the city’s atmosphere is welcoming.
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Shinmei Shrine ー the Shrine that Grants Women One Wish
Shinmei Shrine ー the Shrine that Grants Women One Wish
Ise-Shima in Mie Prefecture is home to the largest population of female divers, known as ama, in Japan. Ama freedive from small boats without the aid of oxygen tanks or other equipment to collect mollusks, seaweed, and other resources from the sea, including (more rarely) pearls. This is a dangerous line of work, and, over the centuries, ama have visited Shinmei Shrine to pray for protection.
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Festival Floats Show Off Traditional Craftmanship at Takayama Yatai Kaikan
Festival Floats Show Off Traditional Craftmanship at Takayama Yatai Kaikan
The Takayama Yatai Kaikan is located next to Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine in the northern part of Takayama’s historic old town, about a 15-20 minute walk from Takayama Station.
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The Sake Breweries of Takayama
The Sake Breweries of Takayama
Takayama, with its picturesque mountain location, cold weather, top quality rice and pure mountain water, produces some of the best-tasting sake in Japan. This area has been famous for its sake production for over 400 years, with around 56 breweries at one time during the Edo Period (1603-1868).
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The Dunes of Tottori
The Dunes of Tottori
Japan remained isolated for centuries and has carried many unique developments into the present day. It conjures images of castles and Shinto shrines, sushi and sake, animation and martial arts. What most people don’t think of is the desert. Deserts belong to the Middle East and Africa, and to imagine one in Japan is bizarre.
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The Black Castle: Centuries-Old Symbol of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture
The Black Castle: Centuries-Old Symbol of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture
Matsue Castle is a Japanese National Treasure, built in 1611 by Yoshiharu Horio. Unlike many Japanese castles, Matsue Castle is no modern reconstruction, but one of only twelve castles countrywide still standing as originally constructed. It was engineered for war, not tourism, and behind its beautiful outer face, the castle tower conceals a host of precarious stairways and hidden gun ports.
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Try Fresh Fish – Including Kochi’s Famous “Katsuo no Tataki” – at the Kure Taisho Town Market
Try Fresh Fish – Including Kochi’s Famous “Katsuo no Tataki” – at the Kure Taisho Town Market
Kochi Prefecture is known for its fresh, delicious food such as yuzu (citrus fruit), green tea, sugar tomatoes and, of course, katsuo no tataki. Katsuo no tataki is bonito fish that has been grilled on the outside, but is still raw on the inside like traditional sashimi. The small fishing town of Kure is the source for much of the bonito that goes into making Kochi’s signature dish, and at the Kure Taisho Town Market visitors can taste bonito and other fish at their freshest.
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Limited offer - take a free cool photo at National Treasure Matsue Castle in Japan!
Limited offer - take a free cool photo at National Treasure Matsue Castle in Japan!
This April 1st and 2nd, come to the National Treasure - Matsue Castle in Shimane Prefecture, Japan to take photo from a unique angle. Shoot photos of yourself standing in the balcony at the top floor of the castle tower, just like a samurai lord!
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Kanazawa: Much More Than Just Kenroku-en
Kanazawa: Much More Than Just Kenroku-en
As soon as you step off your train at Kanazawa Station you get the feeling you’ve found something special. The countless geometric lines of the glassy roof lend a feeling of vast open spaces, matched in grandeur only by the striking dark wood torii that comprises the station’s main entrance. The scene makes for a dramatic welcome to a city with a subdued but rich personality.
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Brighten Up Winter at Nikko’s TOBU World Square
Brighten Up Winter at Nikko’s TOBU World Square
Japan is famous for lighting up its parks and city squares with fabulous light displays every winter. Nikko’s own TOBU World Square is no exception! We took a break in the weather as a chance to see how TOBU lights up the world.
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After the Morning Market: What to Do in Wajima
After the Morning Market: What to Do in Wajima
The village of Wajima in Ishikawa Prefecture is best known for its asa-ichi, the morning market with a history dating back a thousand years to the Heian Period. With the majority of the stalls along asa-ichi dori run by elderly women peddling a variety of seafood, fruits, vegetables, local sake and a smattering of lacquerware crafts, the market’s allure is easy to grasp.
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Kanazawa’s Kitchen! Ohmicho Market
Kanazawa’s Kitchen! Ohmicho Market
Ohmicho Market is located in central Kanazawa, and a short 15 minute stroll from Kanazawa Station. It is the absolute one-stop-shopping experience for visitors to the area looking to find what’s in season in the local waters and fields, or even better yet, to have a taste!
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Tomogashima Island and Awashima Shrine
Tomogashima Island and Awashima Shrine
There is something eerie and mystical about this island. No wonder it is said to have inspired the scenery of the anime 'Castle in the Sky'. Old gun batteries from war-times, scattered on a beautifully green and lush island, abandoned beaches, ruins and a big white lighthouse are only a few of the things you will encounter on your visit to Tomogashima.
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Wakayama's Top Specialties – Mikan and Ume
Wakayama's Top Specialties – Mikan and Ume
To many Japanese the first thing that comes to mind regarding Wakayama Prefecture will be ‘mikan!’ Mikan, or mandarin oranges, are one of the prefecture's signature foods.
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Tobe: Preserving Traditional Japan Through Pottery
Tobe: Preserving Traditional Japan Through Pottery
Tobe is a small town lying on the outskirts of Matsuyama. It is widely famous for its traditional Japanese pottery, also known as Tobeyaki. Tobeyaki features deep blue, intricate patterns on white porcelain pieces and was traditionally famous for tea cups.
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Kushimoto: Pillar Rocks, Marine Life, and More
Kushimoto: Pillar Rocks, Marine Life, and More
Kushimoto, on the way to Nachi Falls, might easily be passed by. Yet this small seaside town offers a wide array of scenic spots: from a rugged and wild coastline with interesting rock formations, to an aquarium where you can come close with marine life, as well as historical sights exploring Japanese-Turkish and Japanese-American relations.
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The Narita Transit Program: The Perfect Entertainment for Long Layovers
The Narita Transit Program: The Perfect Entertainment for Long Layovers
OK. Say you have arrived at Narita Airport and are stuck with a 10-hour layover. You have a lot of time to kill before you need to transfer to your next flight and need something to do. Luckily, rather than spend all day strolling through terminal gift shops and watching planes take off, the Narita Transit Program offers several English language tours through the city and access to huge shopping centers right outside of the airport.
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Gourmet Foods of Ise-Shima
Gourmet Foods of Ise-Shima
As if Ise-Shima’s long history, cultural importance, and picturesque landscapes were not enough reason to visit, the area also boasts an array of culinary delights that are sure to satisfy even the most demanding of food connoisseurs. Below is a list of five foods that can be found throughout the area.
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Top Things to Do in Wakayama Prefecture
Top Things to Do in Wakayama Prefecture
Discover a route which has been walked by pilgrims for hundreds of years. Walk through the thick cedar forest dotted with shrines and temples. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views, soak up the fresh air and be mesmerized by the deep green colors of Japan’s nature.
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Ozu Maple Festival: A Celebration of Autumn's Beauty
Ozu Maple Festival: A Celebration of Autumn's Beauty
Ozu is a small town south of Matsuyama. It and its neighboring town of Uchiko value traditional Japanese living and are not often visited by tourists. During the month of November, Ozu celebrates the changing colors of the leaves in Inariyama Park by hosting a festival and local market known as the Momiji Matsuri, or “Maple Festival.” Inariyama Park features about 3,000 maple trees and some are over 200 years old. The trees are said to have been brought over from Kyoto by a Niiya feudal lord during the Edo Period. The lord had visited Kyoto and was so in love with its autumn colors that he brought the trees’ seedlings to Ozu.
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Chikurin-ji Temple and the Makino Botanical Garden, Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku
Chikurin-ji Temple and the Makino Botanical Garden, Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku
A short 20 minute journey on the MY YU tourist bus from Kochi City will drop you at the doorsteps of Makino Botanical Garden and Chikurin-ji Temple.
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Early Autumn Stroll through Naritasan and Environs
Early Autumn Stroll through Naritasan and Environs
Walking up Omotesando from the west, we spot HOUEI Coffee’s shop, which includes hard-to-find decaf coffee and other beverages. What a delicious way to start our tour!
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Noodles, Noodles, Noodles at Nikko’s 2016 Soba Matsuri
Noodles, Noodles, Noodles at Nikko’s 2016 Soba Matsuri
We took advantage of a beautiful autumn day to travel out to Nikko’s Daiyagawa Park (Map Link) for the annual Soba Matsuri. Dozens of soba makers had set up restaurant tents all through the festival grounds. Rooms made from clear plastic siding let the noodle makers show off their skills while we waited for seats to open up.
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Narita Airport: Gifts, Souvenirs, and Toilets
Narita Airport: Gifts, Souvenirs, and Toilets
With thousands of international travelers using Narita Airport, either as the launching point of their Japan visit or for transit between flights, it’s no wonder there’s a wide variety of shops and facilities. But after a long flight or frantic scramble to finish packing and get to the airport, travelers may wonder where to begin and not have the energy to wander. Here are two suggestions to meet your needs and keep you entertained during your time at Narita Airport.
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White Water Rafting at Happy Raft in Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku
White Water Rafting at Happy Raft in Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku
The island of Shikoku is known for its beautiful and abundant nature: from its lush forests and imposing mountain ranges to its clear rivers and white water rapids. An unmissable Shikoku experience is to brave the white water rapids of the Yoshino River, one Japan's three greatest rivers. This might sound like an intimidating experience for a foreigner, but Happy Raft in Kochi Prefecture has rafting tours designed with foreign tourists in mind.
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Hungry? Journey Along Hidaka’s “Omurice Path” to Discover Eleven Variations of the Popular Dish
Hungry? Journey Along Hidaka’s “Omurice Path” to Discover Eleven Variations of the Popular Dish
Japan is a food-lover's dream and Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku is especially known for serving delicious dishes made from local food. From the famous katsuo no tataki (grilled bonito), to yuzu or eggplant-flavored gelato, to a rainbow of fresh vegetables, Kochi has a lot to bring to the dinner table. One seemingly unremarkable street in the small town of Hidaka is actually home to eleven restaurants each serving its own delicious version of the modern Japanese dish "omurice" – thus earning it the name “Omurice Path.”
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Kanazawa City’s Top 7 Places to Visit!
Kanazawa City’s Top 7 Places to Visit!
Kanazawa City is located on the coast along the Sea of Japan, and is a city rich in both traditional and modern culture, and natural scenic beauty. Travellers to the city will find a wide variety of sights and experiences, and here we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 which are not to be missed!
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What to See at the Takayama Autumn Festival
What to See at the Takayama Autumn Festival
The Takayama Autumn Festival is one of the three most beautiful festivals of Japan and has been celebrated now for close to 400 years. It is held every year on October 9th and 10th and is centered on Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine in the northern part of Takayama City. The festival, also known as the Hachiman Festival, signifies the coming of autumn to the Hida area and prompts the locals to start their preparations for the winter season.
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Behind the Mountain – The Mystic Marsh of Goshikinuma
Behind the Mountain – The Mystic Marsh of Goshikinuma
Less than one hour from the main provincial city of Koriyama (accessible by bullet train), the Aizu region of Tohoku is a world away from urban Japan. Heading west out of the city you immediately notice the absence of tall buildings and expanse of space.
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Nikko’s Autumn Colors Have Arrived
Nikko’s Autumn Colors Have Arrived
Splashes of red dot the mountain sides and patches of yellow have overtaken the lowlands which can only mean that Nikko's autumn colors have arrived! Let's head out for a look, shall we?
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The Four Best Ways to See the Best of Nikko’s Autumn Colors
The Four Best Ways to See the Best of Nikko’s Autumn Colors
Nikko in autumn: mountainsides awash in swathes of red and gold frame serene lakes, majestic waterfalls, and misty mornings. It is beautiful. It is transcendent. It is surprisingly accessible.
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Get Up Close with the Ocean at Sandanbeki Cave and the Senjojiki Rocks
Get Up Close with the Ocean at Sandanbeki Cave and the Senjojiki Rocks
Both these natural formations along the coast of Shirahama in Wakayama are worth a visit for travelers wishing to see and feel the power of the ocean up close.
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Best Places to See the Autumn Colors Around Takayama
Best Places to See the Autumn Colors Around Takayama
Takayama has many good spots for viewing the beautiful autumn leaves with the colors typically at their peak from mid October to mid November. The ancient town is bathed in beautiful red, orange and yellow foliage in fall, making it the perfect spot to enjoy the autumn colors in Japan. The following are the best places to see the autumn colors around Takayama.
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Soba, So Close
Soba, So Close
After exploring Nikko’s temples, hiking trails, and waterways, how about a little lunch? After all, no trip to Nikko would be complete without sampling some local fare, right? Luckily, one of Nikko’s tastiest and cheapest dishes is never too far out of reach.
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Top Places to Visit in Narita
Top Places to Visit in Narita
Narita City in Chiba Prefecture is the gateway city for many who are entering Japan or in transit via Japan. For a short visit that encompasses many aspects of Japanese culture, it’s the perfect area to spend a few hours or even a day or two. Most of these Top Places to Visit in Narita are dog-friendly when the animal is carried securely by its owner.
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See the Beauty of Ise-Shima National Park from Yokoyama Observatory
See the Beauty of Ise-Shima National Park from Yokoyama Observatory
Ise-Shima is renowned for its relationship with the sea. However, if one looks inland, the mountains that dominate the region’s interior fill the horizon. The rivers tumbling down from these mountains snake through the landscape, providing irrigation for the rice fields and forests that cover the landscape, creating a symbiotic relationship between the people, land, and sea.
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Experience life in old Japan at Nikko Edo Wonderland
Experience life in old Japan at Nikko Edo Wonderland
Come dress up like a samurai and experience village life in Nikko’s Edo Wonderland. Situated on a beautiful mountainside, Edo Wonderland is a recreation of a feudal village populated by actors in period garb. Here, visitors can learn Japanese history through plays and skits by professional performers, get dressed up in recreations of feudal era clothing, and try lots of local dishes at the many restaurants and food stalls.
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Ino Paper Museum and Paper Making
Ino Paper Museum and Paper Making
Japanese paper is known around the world for its high quality and beautiful designs. Within Japan, Tosa Washi, paper produced in Kochi Prefecture, is particularly famous and has been designated an Intangible Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
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Top Things to Do in Nikko
Top Things to Do in Nikko
Nikko is a spiritual center located in Tochigi Prefecture. Though just a short train ride from Tokyo’s concrete canyons, Nikko’s natural surroundings and holy locations make it seem like travelers have stepped into a different world. It is a registered World Heritage Site that offers temples, shrines, hot springs, and natural beauty.
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Muroto Geopark A Place of Natural Beauty
Muroto Geopark A Place of Natural Beauty
Kochi Prefecture is known for its natural beauty. The coastlines – from Shimanto in the west to Muroto in the east – are stunning, waterfalls abound further inland, and some of Japan's clearest and bluest rivers, namely the Shimanto and Niyodo Rivers, run through the vividly green hills that are dotted with plum or cherry blossoms in the spring.
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What to See in Ise: Okage Yokocho
What to See in Ise: Okage Yokocho
Okage Yokocho is an area next to Ise Grand Shrine that in many ways outshines its more famous counterpart. The district was created in 1993 when old buildings from the pilgrimage routes to Ise Grand Shrine were moved to outside the shrine to create a neighborhood with a traditional feel.
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Experience the Beauty of Rural Japan at the Shikoku Karst Natural Park
Experience the Beauty of Rural Japan at the Shikoku Karst Natural Park
Shikoku boasts one of Japan's three largest karst territories. Located where Kochi and Ehime Prefectures meet, these rippling rock formations and flowing hills are 1400m above sea level but create a landscape that seems to reflect the vast Pacific Ocean encompassing Shikoku.
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The Edo Era Lives on in Fukushima’s Ouchijuku
The Edo Era Lives on in Fukushima’s Ouchijuku
The merchants and feudal lords who once traveled the Shimotsuke Kaido trade route between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Nikko are no longer around, but the tradition and flavor of the Edo Era lives on in the post town of Ouchijuku, waiting for you in the mountains that dominate the southern part of Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizu region.
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Yuasa Soy Sauce Factory
Yuasa Soy Sauce Factory
The small town of Yuasa in Wakayama Prefecture claims to be the birthplace of soy sauce production in Japan. These days, few traces of the once numerous factories remain, yet in the Yuasa Soy Sauce LTD factory visitors get the chance to see the traditional production process firsthand and buy one of their delicious soy sauces.
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The Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route: Spiritual Walks for Any Fitness Level
The Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route: Spiritual Walks for Any Fitness Level
The Nakahechi Route is the most popular and accessible route of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.
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Marina City: Fish Market, European Theme Park and More
Marina City: Fish Market, European Theme Park and More
Marina City offers several different entertaining places to visit, and is located within easy travel distance from Osaka and Kansai International Airport.
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From Natural Disaster to Natural Beauty: Exploring Ura-Bandai
From Natural Disaster to Natural Beauty: Exploring Ura-Bandai
North of Aizu’s iconic Mount Bandai lies Ura-Bandai, a spectacular playground formed in 1888 when Bandai erupted, covering the area around the Nagase River with millions of tons of earth and lava. The resultant change in the land’s topography created the many lakes, ponds and marshes we enjoy today.
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The Shinane Festival: Experience Kochi City’s Most Important Shinto Festival at Tosa Shrine
The Shinane Festival: Experience Kochi City’s Most Important Shinto Festival at Tosa Shrine
People in Kochi say that summer begins with the Wanuke Festival in June and ends with the Shinane Festival in August. Held on the third day of the seventh month according to the lunar calendar (around August 24-25),
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Top Things to Do in Iseshima - The Beautiful Land
Top Things to Do in Iseshima - The Beautiful Land
Legend says that 2,000 years ago Princess Yamato hime no mikoto traveled Japan in search of a suitable and permanent location to build a divine palace for Amaterasu omikami, Japan’s guardian deity.
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The Gourmet Food of Hida Takayama
The Gourmet Food of Hida Takayama
Takayama is known for having one of Japan’s most atmospheric old townscapes and most famous festivals, but it is also home to some of the best gourmet food in all of Japan. Come along on this journey as we explore some of the must-try gourmet food of Hida Takayama.
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Kochi Castle – Four Hundred Years of Tosa History
Kochi Castle – Four Hundred Years of Tosa History
Located near Hirome at the end of Otetsuji Street where the weekly Sunday Market is held, Kochi Castle has been watching over Kochi City since the Edo Period – close to four hundred years.
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10 Things to Do in Kumano Kodo, Wakayama
10 Things to Do in Kumano Kodo, Wakayama
Accredited as a World Heritage Site in 2004, the Kumano Kodo, the sister pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in Spain is still an off-the-beaten-track destination in the southern end of Wakayama prefecture.
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Kochi City’s Historic Sunday Market – Providing Visitors with Fresh Produce for Over 300 Years
Kochi City’s Historic Sunday Market – Providing Visitors with Fresh Produce for Over 300 Years
With the growing interest in local food and concern for the environment, farmer's markets are becoming more and more common, even in large cities. Kochi City's Sunday Market is far from new – it began in 1690, making it the oldest continuously-operating market in Japan – but it has become increasingly popular amongst local residents and tourists alike.
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Dance Through Kochi’s Streets and History at the Yosakoi Dance Festival
Dance Through Kochi’s Streets and History at the Yosakoi Dance Festival
There is no end of interesting festivals to attend in Japan. Every prefecture, big city and small town has its own festivals that reveal much about the culture and history of the places where they are held.
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Kumano Hongu Taisha: Grand Shrine at the Center of the Kumano Kodo
Kumano Hongu Taisha: Grand Shrine at the Center of the Kumano Kodo
Kumano Hongu Taisha is the destination point for most visitors on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes. It is the central point, where the different routes of the Kumano Kodo meet.
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Shirahama Fireworks Festival 2016
Shirahama Fireworks Festival 2016
July 30 is a fixed date in my calendar. It is the date of the yearly Shirahama fireworks festival (白浜花火フェスティバル). On that day, Shirahama features a one hour fireworks spectacle starting from 8pm. The fireworks are lit from a special 'base' which is set up in the ocean right in front of the beach allowing for a great view.
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Yunomine Onsen: Hot Springs for Pilgrims and Visitors Alike
Yunomine Onsen: Hot Springs for Pilgrims and Visitors Alike
Yunomine Onsen is a quaint town located in a small valley in the mountains of the Kumano Kodo. Its hot spring is one of the oldest in the Japan. In the old days pilgrims would often travel to Yunomine Onsen to take a bath in the hot springs before making their way to Hongu Grand Shrine.
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Top 5 Things to Do in Aizu-Wakamatsu
Top 5 Things to Do in Aizu-Wakamatsu
As the oldest and strongest castle in the Tohoku region, Tsurugajo Castle was the centre of power in the region for almost five centuries until its fall in 1868 during one of the final battles in the Boshin War.
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Mount Koya: Center of Shingon Buddhism for 1200 Years
Mount Koya: Center of Shingon Buddhism for 1200 Years
The town of Koyasan (Mount Koya) is one of the most important places of Japanese Buddhism. One of the Buddhist sects that shaped Japanese Buddhism as it is today, Shingon was brought to Japan by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) in the 9th century, and this is the site of the first monastery he established.
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What to Eat in Kochi City
What to Eat in Kochi City
Kochi City has no shortage of top quality restaurants. From local specialities like katsuo no tataki (seared bonito), yuzu-flavoured beverages and Tosa green tea, to the Japanese staples noodles and sushi, to vegetarian desserts and sustainably-grown coffee, and even mile-high hamburgers named after a famous revolutionary, your taste buds will never be bored.
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A Route with a View – Cycling along the Pacific Coastline in Kochi
A Route with a View – Cycling along the Pacific Coastline in Kochi
One of Kochi Prefecture’s best features is the stunning coastline that runs from east to west. There are many scenic spots that visitors can access by car, but to really appreciate the natural surroundings, cycling along the coast has to be the best way to experience them.
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Nachi Taisha Shrine: A Pilgrimage Destination with Japan’s Tallest Waterfall
Nachi Taisha Shrine: A Pilgrimage Destination with Japan’s Tallest Waterfall
Nachi Shrine is one of the Kumano Sanzan 3 Grand Shrines and a major pilgrimage destination.
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Discovering Traditional Japanese Kabuki in Kochi
Discovering Traditional Japanese Kabuki in Kochi
Once a year on the third weekend in July, the sleepy town of Akaoka comes to life with thousands of visitors to its famous Ekin Festival. Many stalls line the town’s streets, selling food and drink; there are games for children to enjoy and a beer garden with live music. Akaoka is a small town with many traditional buildings, situated on the east coast of Kochi, and facing out onto the Pacific Ocean.
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Spend an Afternoon Reading Manga for Free at the Yokoyama Memorial Manga Museum
Spend an Afternoon Reading Manga for Free at the Yokoyama Memorial Manga Museum
Fancy spending an afternoon reading a library full of manga for free? The Yokoyama Memorial Manga Museum in Kochi City's Culture Plaza "Culport" includes a large manga library that is open to everyone, even if they haven't paid to enter the museum. Full of both popular manga and the works of lesser-known Tosa artists, it is the perfect spot to relax with an old favourite or discover something new.
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Discover the Hidden Charm of Takayama: Top 5 Things to Do
Discover the Hidden Charm of Takayama: Top 5 Things to Do
Takayama is a beautifully preserved Edo period castle town situated in the picturesque Hida Mountains of Gifu Prefecture. Takayama’s remote location has helped it retain its traditional atmosphere and charm, offering you the chance to feel and touch the atmosphere and spirit of old Japan. The following are my top 5 things to do in Takayama.
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Shirarahama Beach: Wakayama’s Answer to Waikiki
Shirarahama Beach: Wakayama’s Answer to Waikiki
Shirarahama literally means white beach, and is a popular beach resort town in southern Wakayama Prefecture.Its main attraction is the 640m long beach with quartz sand.
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