‘The City of Stone’ Oya, Tochigi

The town of Oya, near Tochigi Prefecture’s capital, Utsunomiya, is relatively unknown but is an excellent day trip from Tokyo. Oya-ishi, a porous stone created from ash and lava, has been quarried in the area for centuries. It is mostly extracted from underground, so the town’s landscape has not been scarred. However, man-made arches, holes, … More ‘The City of Stone’ Oya, Tochigi

Kyoto ‘Must See’                Kodaiji Night Illuminations

Kodaiji is one of Kyoto’s best temples, established in 1606 by Kita-no-Mandokoro in memory of her late husband, the feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Kita-no-Mandokoro’s nickname was ‘Nene’, and the cobblestone street lined with traditional shops and restaurants that runs just below the temple bears her name ‘Nene-no-michi’ (Nene’s street). Kodaiji is open daily from 9:00 … More Kyoto ‘Must See’                Kodaiji Night Illuminations

Musashi Kosugi’s                Grand Tree Mall

Musashi Kosugi is an area of Kawasaki that has recently been redeveloped. There are a number of giant high-rise apartments surrounding new shopping complexes built just outside the train station. The Grand Tree Mall is especially impressive and is just 30 minutes by direct train from Azabu Juban.  Shopping there is relaxing and enjoyable.  Here … More Musashi Kosugi’s                Grand Tree Mall

Kyoto ‘Top 3’ Recommended Courses for First Time Visitors

I’ve walked these areas again & again – and never get tired of them! However, with the overseas tourist crowds these days, I just skip the really famous temples (Ginkakuji, Kiyomizudera…) and focus on exploring everything else. Gion’s Kenninji Temple 1) Philosopher’s Path Take a taxi to Ginkaku-ji Temple. They will drop you off at … More Kyoto ‘Top 3’ Recommended Courses for First Time Visitors

Fukushima City & Nihonmatsu City           Overnight Sightseeing Tour

Goshikinuma The Tokyo American Club has been supporting Fukushima through volunteer projects over the past few years. In appreciation, the locals encouraged us to return as tourists. In May 2016, I co-led a tour for the TAC Women’s Group to highlight some of the prefecture’s wonderful sightseeing spots. If you really want to support the … More Fukushima City & Nihonmatsu City           Overnight Sightseeing Tour