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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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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My First Snow Day in Tokyo

It's late one chilly winter's eve, a young boy glances outside his window before crawling into bed, only to see that the first snow of the season is falling. Excited, he yells out to his mother and tells her the exciting news. "It's late, darling, you can play in the snow in the morning!" she …

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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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My Japanese House

Let me introduce myself.... This video is my official introduction - but that's not all... Take a tour with me around my Japanese-style house. See what makes Japanese toilets and bathrooms so special. Find out what a Japanese house is like in modern-day Tokyo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRfGRk_k2ww Please note: This tour is not extensive, there are plenty …

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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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