Edo-Style Starbucks in Kawagoe

Starbucks is ubiquitous in the developed world. Wherever you go, you’ll more likely than not find a Starbucks to sell you coffee and treats for a nominal fee. There was some cheering and grumbling when a new Starbucks opened in Kawagoe’s historical district, steps away from a historic bell tower. Many were upset about corporate […]

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Vanitoy Bagel: Bagels in Japan

Bagels are a unique baked good, if you stop and think about it. They have become very ingrained in many parts of American culture and society, so much so that we seem to have them mentally categorized as essential as bread. You see them everywhere and can enjoy them at the drop of a hat, […]

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Japanese Mascots (Yuru-kyara)

Everywhere you go in Japan, you’re sure to stumble into a sign, poster, or merchandise with a cute character emblazoned on it. There seems to be a mascot arms race here in Japan and with good reason: The right mascot can bring prestige, popularity, and a boatload of money with it. Let’s take a look […]

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The Shinkansen

One of the most famous modes of transport from Japan is the Shinkansen, or bullet train, which has lines that stretch all over Japan. It seems almost like a rite of passage to ride one, being almost mythologized by those outside of Japan. Well, here’s a brief glimpse into my experience and some tips so […]

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Kawagoe Antique Market

Once a month on the 28th, next to the County Government Office, the city of Kawagoe allows vendors to set up shop to sell various antiques. I’ve been lucky enough to visit it a few times and wanted to share some of the pictures I’ve taken of some of the incredible goods they have for […]

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Daruma Festival

Kita-in Temple hosts many events through the year, but the one that caught my eye the most was the Daruma Festival, held on January 3rd of each year. I could already see hints of the impending Daruma flood on the evening of December 31st as temple-goers flooded the main building to offer prayers. Touted as […]

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My Best Nine of 2017

Every year, Instagram users can view their top nine liked posts and share them via the latest iteration of (year)bestnine.com. This year, I kind of fell off of the Instagram train, failing to post anything in November and December. However, I still like the collage I generated, as it contains a lot of memories and […]

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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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