Nokogiriyama and an Encounter With Chiba’s Great Stone Buddha

The journey from Yokosuka to Nokogiriyama (Mt. Nokogiri), home of Chiba Prefecture’s great stone Buddha, is one of THE best day trips you can make. Nokogiriyma and Japan’s largest Buddha…

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Cerezos of the World Unite – Cheering Japan’s Tier 1 Football

It was by accidental online search that I found my last name (Cerezo) was shared with Cerezo Osaka; a professional team competing in Japan’s Tier 1 Football league. In Spanish,…

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Exploring Gero Onsen – One of Japan’s Top Three Onsen Towns

The lovely mountainous town of Gero Onsen has a long-standing reputation as one of the top three onsen towns in Japan. For a country that takes their onsen seriously, that’s…

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Visiting Nishio – the Glorious Capital of Matcha Tea Production

Many regions in Japan grow the country’s iconic green tea. However, Nishio, the capital of matcha tea, is the only city in Japan to specialize in Matcha production. Over 90%…

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Izumo – Land of the Gods

Izumo is an area known by the Japanese as being the “Land of the Gods”. Had it not been for my Sensei’s recommendation, I would never have made it here.…

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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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