‘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 ‘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