Touring Shikoku’s Kagawa Prefecture (after Naoshima)

The Seto Inland Sea’s ‘art island’, Naoshima, is now on the bucket list of many tourists. Most visit the island and then head off to another famous location on the Japanese main island of Honshu. Unfortunately, they miss the opportunity to explore many fantastic lesser known sightseeing spots in the rest of Kagawa Prefecture. If … More Touring Shikoku’s Kagawa Prefecture (after Naoshima)

Morinji Temple & the Tanuki Tea Kettle

Morinji is a Zen Temple located in Tatebayashi City, Gunma Prefecture. It was established in 1426 and is famous for its connection to a shape-shifting tanuki. Tanuki are dog-like raccoon animals, and they are often depicted as mythical creatures.  If you walk from Morinjimae Station to Morinji Temple, you can see picture signboards that tell … More Morinji Temple & the Tanuki Tea Kettle

Day Trip:  Environs of Kawasaki Station

Kawasaki is only ten minutes by train from Shinagawa Station, but it seems worlds away. As one of the largest industrial areas of Japan, the city is not known for its sightseeing spots. However, the area around Kawasaki Station is well worth visiting, especially for anyone who enjoys bargain shopping. In addition, famous Kawasaki Daishi, … More Day Trip:  Environs of Kawasaki Station

‘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