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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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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Yoshimi Hundred Caves

Saitama, often thought to be a very boring prefecture, actually contains an incredible out-of-the-way, well-worth-visiting historical site: The Yoshimi Hundred Caves (吉見百穴 Yoshimi Hyakuana). Excavated in the 1880s, the tombs were originally thought to be the dwellings of pre-Japanese little people - maybe the Koro-pok-guru of Japanese folklore. But after this claim was refuted, it was …

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Kawagoe Festival: An Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property

After having used my fool-proof methods of discovering places in Japan, I decided one weekend to go to Kawagoe - a city in Saitama famous for its traditional style buildings and candy penny street. In fact, the whole town is known as Little Edo due to its traditional feel from the Edo Period (1603-1868). Little …

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A Field Trip to Little Edo, Kawagoe

Kawagoe, otherwise known as Little Edo, is a small city in the Saitama Prefecture. It not only boasts Kitain (a famous temple and shrine), but it's also famous for its unagi (eel), Candy Street, October festival, and preserved buildings from the Edo Period. After hearing about this quaint historical area, I grabbed my camera and headed out. …

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Flower Fires: Toda-shi, Saitama

One hot and sticky night a few weeks ago, I was calmly making supper when a loud bang caught my attention. Forgetting for a moment that I was not back in South Africa (where gunshots can occasionally be heard), I didn't think anything of it until a second, even louder bang rang throughout the air …

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