‘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

Nokogiriyama, Chiba           ‘The Sawtooth Mountain’

There are many wonderful hikes in and around Tokyo, but my favorite is Nokogiriyama in Chiba Prefecture. Nokogiri means ‘sawtooth’ and is so named due to jagged rock face that was exposed in the Edo Era when it was a quarry. If you prefer an easier hike, travel by ropeway to the top of the … More Nokogiriyama, Chiba           ‘The Sawtooth Mountain’

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