Monday, April 23, 2018
mount haguro climbing guide

Mount Haguro: Walk the Mountain Path to Enlightenment

Experience the ancient shamanistic practices of Yamabushi spiritual training Yamagata has one of Japan’s most well-known sacred places for mountain worship, the Dewa Sanzan or the “Three Mountains of Dewa”. This ancient shamanistic training practiced...
blue cave sappa boat cruise

Iwate, Land of Marvels: Explore the “Blue Caves” of the sea

Let friendly fishermen guide you to the “Blue Cave” on the Sappa Boat Jodogahama is the most spectacular place along the Rikuchu-kaigan Coast of Iwate’s Miyakoshi. In Japanese Jodo means “Paradise”. With the...

Tono: the Enchanting Land of Yokai

Welcome to Tono, home of the most Yokai in Japan Hop on a bicycle and see which ones you can find! Surrounded by 1000-meter-high mountains, the village of Tono in Iwate is the ground zero...
tarai-bune boat ride 1

Rediscover the Charm of Niigata

1. Cycling through the City Visiting the Old Town The city of Niigata is divided into two parts by Shinano River, the longest river in Japan. The district between Shinano River and Niigata Station is called...
Gosen tulip festival

Sakura and Spring Flowers Compete to be the Most Beautiful

During the short spring of the Tohoku region, spring flowers race to catch up with the already blooming cherry blossoms. Once their petals begin to open they blossom all at once, giving the cherry...
Kitakami family time cherry blossom viewing

Kitakami Tenshochi: Sakura Blossom Viewing Means Family Time

Kitakami Tenshochi (Kitakami, Iwate) The Kitakami River is home to quite a few hundred-yearold Somei Yoshino sakura trees. A small hill called Jin-gaoka commands the view of a two kilometer lineup of sakura...
woodworks made out of sakura trees

Woodworks Made Out of Sakura Trees

Senboku, Akita Known as the Little Kyoto of Michinoku, Kakunodate used to be a prosperous city ruled by the Satake-kita clan. The town, featuring well-preserved samurai houses and merchant mansions, always attracts a...
Hirosaki castle cherry blossoms

Guardians of Hirosaki Sakura Trees in Aomori

Hirosaki Park Built more than 400 years ago within today’s Hirosaki Park, Hirosaki Castle is a popular place for sakura blossom viewing. Every spring, the grandeur of the castle tower is accentuated by...
cherry blossoms in Tohoku castle area

Tohoku Scenic Sakura Spots and Their Charming Caretakers

For the Japanese, spring is “the season of cherry blossoms”. This love for cherry blossoms, called sakura in Japanese, forms part of the traditional Japanese culture. This is especially true for the cold northern...

My second minshuku experience with an intense autumn workout in the rice field

There is a Chinese saying which means ‘foreign at first, but familiar the second time around’. If you’ve read the article I wrote previously, you will know that it was my first experience...