Tokyo Christmas Market

I had asked the student what they were up to during the weekend and she replied that she was going to a German Christmas market deep in the heart of Tokyo. Intrigued, I asked her about the details and she showed me the website, replete with images of quaint cottages, cooked sausages, and a variety […]

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Hikawa Shrine

If you thought Enoshima Island had a monopoly on love shrines, you would be sorely mistaken! Just a few minutes up the road in Kawagoe is Hikawa Shrine, a famous Shinto Shrine near Little Edo. It brings in many visitors, and while its small size may not make it the most notable shrine, it certainly […]

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Rurikoji Temple

At the start of autumn, I found myself down in Yamaguchi city, on the southern part of the main island of Japan. I was exhausted and unable to motivate myself to do an insane travel schedule to see the nearby limestone caves, so instead, I decided to go to one of the top three temples […]

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Kita-in Temple

Just uptown a little ways from the train station in Kawagoe is a collection of temples and shrines. At one point, it even hosted a castle from the imperial capital. I went one day to check out the grounds and learn a little more about this location, as well as gaze upon the sites most […]

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Kawagoe Festival 2017

One of the three major festivals in Saitama prefecture, the Kawagoe festival is an autumn festival that occurs every year on the third Saturday/Sunday of October. The whole town gets in on the action, with gifts, snacks, drinks, and floats flooding the city streets. Despite threats of bad weather, I was able to see a […]

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Japanese Sweet Potato Treats

Kawagoe is famous for its sweet potatoes, as evidenced by its mascot being the adorable sweet potato. As such, you can find many sweet potato-based dishes, drinks, and treats scattered throughout the city. It’s the start of sweet potato season, and over the past few months, I’ve been slowly trying each of these treats and […]

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Karatsu Castle

Just outside of Fukuoka is Karatsu, a small city with its own castle. I imagine this will be a common theme with many places I go in Japan, but, finally, I got to visit my first castle. The trip was a bit of a whirlwind, having only an hour before a work function to tour […]

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Bukchon Hanok Village

When in Korea, I met a new friend who told me that south of the Han river was the new Seoul, while north holds the more of the history and tradition of old Seoul. In the northern part of Seoul is a nifty little neighborhood by the name of Bukchon Hanok Village where I spent […]

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Hachi-Mangu

In Kamakura, there is a very large Shinto shrine, Hachi-Mangu, where you can really engage with some very cool cultural activities. When I visited Kamakura with my colleague, we were able to visit the shrine and spend some time wandering its grounds.

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Yasukuni Shrine

August 15th marked Japan’s surrender during World War II. One place that was conspicuously unvisited by Shinzo Abe and his cabinet was Yasukuni Shrine. If you haven’t heard of Yasukuni Shrine, here’s a brief run-down: This is where Japan commemorates all of those who died in service to the Japanese empire. While Yasukuni did not […]

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