Category Archives: Japan

Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine- Traditional Starting Point for Climbing Mt. Fuji

In the midst of a dense, old growth forest at the foot of Mt. Fuji, sits a small shrine complex with a special connection to the sacred volcano. Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine (Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine) is the traditional starting point of the Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail. Pilgrims would come here to pray before beginning their […]

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Saiko Iyashi no sato Nenba- A Charming Open Air Museum of Japanese Crafts and Culture

On the northwest side of Lake Saiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes, is a charming village called Saiko Iyashi no sato Nenba. This traditional Japanese village was once a small farming community until it was destroyed by a typhoon in 1966. It has since been recreated and turned into an open air museum where […]

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Exploring the Fuji Five Lakes- Things to Do Even When You Can’t See Mt. Fuji

Perhaps no other place in Japan is iconic as Mt. Fuji. The allure of this sacred volcano attracts many tourists to the Fuji Five Lakes, an ideal area for viewing Mt. Fuji’s perfect cone. There’s just one problem. Mt. Fuji is notoriously shy, often hiding behind low hanging cloud. Where are you Mt. Fuji? I’ve […]

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Visiting the Edo-Tokyo Museum

It’s not very often that I go out of my way to visit museums when I travel, but once in a while I find one that interests me enough to pay a visit. The Edo-Tokyo Museum was one of those that caught my attention. Even though this was my second trip to Tokyo, I still […]

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Climbing Mount Mitoku- The Trek to Nageiredo

Walking up a smooth, well-worn stone staircase to Sanbutsuji Temple, I instantly hoped the whole trail up Japan’s Mount Mitoku wasn’t going to be this steep. Looking back now, that was the easiest part of hiking Mitokusan. My adventurous hike (or should I say climb) up Mount Mitoku began simply enough. I met with the […]

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How to Spend 3 Days in Tottori, Japan- My Itinerary

Stretching along the Sea of Japan, in the San’in region of Western Honshu, is a coastal prefecture that’s largely untouched by foreign visitors, at least for now. But once the secret gets out, I’d expect that to change. Tottori prefecture is an ideal area of Japan to visit for people, like myself, who prefer smaller […]

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Feeding Deer in Nara Park, Japan

Entering into the heart of Nara Park we are greeted by a small, friendly deer wandering freely throughout the grounds. Approaching us, the deer bows its head down, as if to say hello. “Oh, so cute! Look how she’s bowing her head,” I enthusiastically announced to Mike. “I think she’s politely asking for some deer […]

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A Day Trip to Nikko, Japan

For our last day in Japan, we decided to ditch the hustle and bustle of modern Tokyo, and head to the forested area of Nikko for one last opportunity to experience the traditions, spirituality and natural beauty of Japan. Nikko is a Buddhist-Shinto religious centre, its shrines and temples scattered among the hilly woodlands. At […]

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Photo of the Week: Sake Barrels at Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine

As we travelled around Japan, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful sake barrels that were piled on top of each other at Shinto shrines. Called kazaridaru, these “decoration barrels” are physically empty, but hold immense spiritual significance. Sake (Japanese rice wine) has long been an important part of Japanese culture. Traditionally, sake is seen […]

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