Listen, Japan loves paper. It is a very tactile country, and you can find many examples of this all across the culture. One such is the pervasiveness of stamps: You can get stamps from train stations, collect them from special events, and find them on special pedestals in museums. The granddaddy of them all, quite […]
Read More Goshuin: Temple Stamp Books
Kinugawa Onsen is a small town out in Tochigi with a penchant for outdoor paths, hot springs, and trips down the scenic Kinugawa, or Kinu River.
Read More Boats at Kinugawa Onsen
Congratulations! You have just arrived in Japan. The sheen is still bright, you’re riding that high of the newness of everything, and all is good. But now you need to buy a bed. And groceries. And medicine. Uh oh. Where do you go? Well, here’s a short list of (hopefully) helpful chain stores where you […]
Read More Japanese Store Chains: A Primer for Everyday Shopping
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 […]
Read More Gatchapon and My Quest for Glory
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.
Read More Lake Yamanaka
Japan has no shortage of festivals, especially not in a city with lots of history and culture like Kawagoe. Towards the end of July, the city strings up lanterns and other lights all along the historic Coedo (Kurazukuri) district to celebrate the Million Light Festival (Hyakuman Matsuri – 百万灯 まつり ).
Read More Kawagoe Million Light Festival
Aside from washing your hands and praying, there are a few fortune-related activities one can partake in at a traditional Shinto Shrine or Buddhist Temple: Hanging an Ema and braving the Omikuji. For your consideration, here is a brief primer on each as they relate to my personal experiences visiting many, many different Shinto shrines […]
Read More Japanese Fortunes and Luck: Ema and Omikuji
It’s not often that I’ll single out a specific store but this one has so much character and a nice surprise in the back that I couldn’t help but give it its own spotlight. I figured I’d spend a little time sharing about the Kawagoe Warehouse and Tsubakiya Foot Spa Tea Room.
Read More Kawagoe Warehouse and Tsubakiya Foot Spa Tea Room
The peak of cherry blossom season is here, and there are some wonderful areas in Tokyo wher you can enjoy the sakura. We visited two such places: the Meguro Cherry Blossom Promenade and Koishikawa Botanical Garden.
Read More Cherry Blossoms 2019: Meguro River and Koishikawa Botanical Garden
Every year for the past four years, the Tokyo Metro company has put on a bit of a scavenger hunt puzzle that takes you all across the Tokyo metro area on the Tokyo Metro subway lines. Armed with your puzzle kit and a 24-hour metro pass, you zip around Tokyo, finding clues in real life […]
Read More Tokyo Metro: The Underground Mysteries 2018