Matsue: Celestial Sparks, Matcha Tea Culture and a Castle

After the quiet remoteness of Yunotsu, Matsue was a shock. Hesitating before a wall of tourism brochures, I made selections: Matsue's castle, some matcha tea culture, and the Adachi Museum…

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Onsen and Iwami Kagura: The Magic of Yunotsu

The remote fishing village of Yunotsu is anything but flashy. These days Yunotsu is most well-known for its onsen and Iwami Kagura performances. Not many foreigners make it to this…

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Striking Gold at the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

It was my Sensei who recommended I travel to Shimane, known in Japan as the "land of the gods". This less-traveled to destination is bursting with culture and historical treasures.…

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Good Times, Sun and Sunflowers at Soleil Hill

I was in a field of more than 100,000 sunflowers set against a cloudless blue sky. The last time I saw this many sunflowers, I lived in Kansas. Clearly, I…

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Finding Cool At The Kawasaki Daishi Wind Chime Festival

Outside it was a sultry 98 degrees Fahrenheit and still climbing. I could either stay in an air-conditioned apartment. Or I could experience cool a traditional Japanese way - by…

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2 Culinary Icons of Yokosuka: Kaigun Curry and Navy Burgers

Journey to Yokosuka for a sublime taste of iconic Navy Sailor food. Kaigun curry and the Navy burger are two delicious classics with a fascinating backstory. Iconic Navy Sailor Food…

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Island Getaway to the Dragon of Enoshima

One hot Sunday in July I left for an island getaway on a day trip from Yokosuka. It was time to see the dragon of Enoshima. Enoshima, a five kilometer…

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It’s Not Just About The Sakura

Don't get me wrong - I love cherry blossoms! How can I not? My last name means "cherry tree" in Spanish. I think the shade of pink is one of…

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From Sea Level To The Top of Mt. Fuji

A friend and I felt an intense, burning motivation to climb Mount Fuji. ALL OF IT: from sea level to the top. The lure of the Fuji City 3776 meter…

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The Curious Wonder That Is The Cup Of Noodles

All hail the curious creation that is the Cup of Noodles. How many have not had a cup at some point? Japan is known for many things: Karaoke, emojiis, Shinkansen,…

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