Okinawa: Things to Do on this Island Getaway

As a late spring vacation, I decided to catch a plane and head on down to Okinawa - a group of islands in the south part of Japan. The islands of Okinawa are famous for its subtropical climate - and is often referred to as 'the poor man's Hawaii'. But don't let that perturb you, …

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Navigating Koburi Pass 顔振峠

With the warmth of spring heating up, I decided to take another hike before the humid rainy season struck Japan. But instead of taking another famous hiking trail, I chose a more rural and uncommon spot: Koburi Pass. Koburi Pass is a relatively easy hike that takes you to many different peaks in Saitama Prefecture - …

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Hiking Southern Kyoto

Waking up early in the morning on Day Three was no accident. I was set to leave Kyoto at around 5 pm that evening - meaning that I wanted to get in as many sightseeing activities as I possibly could. And with this in mind, I went off to Southern Kyoto - to visit its …

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Traveling Northern and Western Kyoto

Waking up early on Sunday morning, I wanted to get in as much sightseeing as possible on my only full day of Kyoto. Luckily for me, the day was perfect - with lovely sun shining strongly and washing away the rain. So, after eating a traditional Japanese breakfast of fish, rice and miso soup, I …

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Exploring Eastern Kyoto

Kyoto is often considered the historical centre of Japan - with plenty of shrines, temples, and other traditional places. In fact, Kyoto was previously the capital of Japan before moving to Tokyo at the end of the Edo period (1868). But even in the present day, Kyoto has maintained its historical beauty and has become …

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A 3 Day Weekend in Kyoto [Video]

Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto (京都), is famous for its Buddhist and Zen Temples, Shinto Shrines and other cultural centres. After Japan moved its capital to Tokyo in 1868, Kyoto remained the country's 'intellectual center' with traditions and cultural practices being kept alive in the city. In recent years, Kyoto has become the most popular tourist …

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An Eerie Hike Up Mt Tsukuba

Spring is a time for flowers and sunshine. A time when the sun comes out and heats everything up - with birds chirping and bees buzzing. But this was not the case when a friend and I decided to undertake a hike up another one of Japan's many, many mountains: Mt Tsukuba. Tsukuba-san is a mountain …

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Japanese Gift Giving Occasions

The gift giving culture in Japan is a huge part of this society, with presents given for all types of occasions. Now, while there are plenty of gift giving etiquette to remember, it's also important to know the different occasions when gifts are appropriate - and the best type of gift for each occasion. So here's …

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Gift Giving Guidelines in Japan

Giving gifts are an incredibly important part of Japanese culture and presents are given for so many different occasions. In fact, gift giving in Japan is taken so seriously that it's not only seen as common courtesy, but a social obligation as well. Of course, like any gift giving culture, there are a certain number of …

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A Field Trip to Shinjuku Gyoen

Before the burst of cherry blossoms hit Tokyo (and thus the burst of insane crowds), I decided to take a trip to the famous Shinjuku Gyoen - a large national garden in the center of Tokyo's liveliest area. A few months ago, it was suggested to me that winter was one of the ugliest seasons …

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