Gatchapon and My Quest for Glory

There are so many things in Japan that it can be a bit of a sensory overload. You have neon lights, seasonal good flying off of shelves, and so many pieces of clothing and merchandise that it seems like you’re drowning in options. One small corner of the Japanese toy market is Gatchapon, or capsules […]

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Lake Yamanaka

The area surrounding Mt. Fuji is known as the five lakes region, mainly because of the five lakes that surround the base of Fuji. One of these lakes is Yamanakako, and we went there for a brief weekend trip towards the end of summer to enjoy some relaxing nature and steamy hot springs bathing.

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Ramune

So, you think you know soda? Think again! Ramune is the summer soda of choice and is the defacto soda flavor in the country of Japan. It’s not the taste of Pepsi or Coke, oh no! Those are cola flavors, not soda! The fun drink gained popularity overseas for its novel marble seal and the […]

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Coedo Beer Festival 2019

Every year, local brewery Coedo throws a little shindig to celebrate the joys of craft brewing. They invite tons of local vendors, do some interesting collaborative brews, and offer all sorts of entertainment for the fine people of Kawagoe.

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Namahage

If you think Krampus is the only tradition involving frightening figures teaching children to be good people, think again! On the peninsula of Oga on the main island of Honshu in Japan, there are the terrifying Namahage, who come in search of troublesome children and… uh… lazy wives to bring good fortune to the households […]

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Sendai Tanabata Festival

Tanabata can fall on one of two sets of dates: Either July 7th or August 7th. One or the other depends on if you follow the solar calendar or the lunar festival. In the northern part of the main island of Japan, an area called Tohoku, there are three famous summer festivals that fall around […]

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Akita Kanto Festival

Akita prefecture is known for its Akita dogs, Namahage, and the Kanto festival. Not to be confused with the Kanto Region (which encompasses Tokyo), these Kanto are large poles that carry a large number of lanterns. They require great balance and strength to handle, and when held expertly, provide a stunning sight for onlookers. Every […]

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Gekkeikan Sake Museum

Gekkeikan is a very popular sake brand in Japan, and near Kyoto in Fushimi, you can visit a very nice little museum they’ve put together to show visitors the process of making sake, a bit of sake history, and an exhibit dedicated to the history of the Gekkeikan brand.

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