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Ukai: A 3-in-1 Truly “U”-nique Experience

To enjoy Japan’s culture, cuisine and scenery, try a Ukai river cruise. “Ukai” literally means the rearing of cormorants and refers to a traditional fishing method deploying these long-necked aquatic birds to hunt for river...

Nostalgic Pottering in Yanesen Part 1

Shitamachi roaming by bicycle Don't worry if you've never heard of pottering. It is a so called waseieigo (和製英語), which is a Japanese word created out of one or more English terms. Calling it an English word that...

A Taste of Sh旬n: Catch Some Sliding Somen

Where I come from (sunny Singapore), it's summer all year round, and so even if it's hot and humid in the hawker center, we don't think twice about ordering a steaming hot bowl of...

Aomori’s ancient festival of floats

Larger than life lanterns at the Aomori Nebuta Festival Ready to celebrate Japan’s ancient traditions at a matsuri of massive proportions? Grab your geta, and head up to the Aomori Nebuta Festival on Aug. 1-7, one...

A Taste of Sh旬n: Much Ado About Mochi

Recently, a major convenience store chain in Japan came up with a summer version of dango (mochi, or rice cakes, usually on a stick) meant to be eaten cooled. Presumably this is to make...

A Lavender lover’s wonderland

Fragrant fields in the heart of Hokkaido For the scents, sights, and even tastes of this beloved purple flower, escape the summer heat and head to Hokkaido's Farm Tomita. Two hours by train from Sapporo by the rustic Furano...

Hiraizumi: Representing Heaven on Earth

Hiraizumi, created as a Buddhist heaven on earth over 1,000 years ago, celebrates its third year as a World Heritage site this June. Its temples, gardens and buildings were recognized as a rare example...

A Taste of Sh旬n: Serious about shirasu

  This small fry is not to be trifled with. The shirasu, or whitebait of sardines, is serious business in Japan. Once the annual fishing ban from January to March is lifted, both fishermen and fish lovers...

3 Lovely Lavender Spots Around Tokyo

Updated: 2018 Even if you're not headed to Hokkaido around July-August, there are plenty of places around Tokyo where you can get your fill of purple fields and natural aromatherapy - and the season is...