May 7, 2020travel
Stay at Home and Explore Japan
As we all shelter in place during the global Coronavirus pandemic, the desire to travel and experience the world likely grows stronger than ever. I know I want to get...
Apr 15, 2020travel
Ojiya: seasonal events and festivals

At some point, Ojiya decided that just the year-round attractions don’t make it interesting enough. This is very lucky for us, because that means it has a lot of seasonal events for us to go through as well.

Mar 26, 2020travel
The Top Ten Dreamy Japanese Ryokan – Part 1

Ryokan (旅館) are traditional Japanese inns which are often located in rural resort areas and set amidst beautiful natural scenery. Usually they feature such elements as tatami flooring and futon bedding in the guest rooms, and communal bathing areas.

Mar 4, 2020travel
The Ten Best Places to See Cherry Blossom in Kyoto
It is not long now before the hanami (花見, cherry blossom viewing) season is upon us. One of the most famous locations to view the sakura (桜, cherry blossom) is...
Feb 13, 2020travel
Ojiya: beautiful any time of the year
Ojiya (小千谷/おぢや) is a bit of a special city to me. Even before I lived anywhere in the same prefecture, it was a family destination for several trips. A few...
Jan 22, 2020travel
Kyushu Leg One: Fukuoka, Saga, Oita
Kyushu is off the southwest tip of the main island of Honshu, and is separated from the mainland by the Kanmon Strait, a narrow strip of water you can actually...
Jan 8, 2020travel
Dining in Kyoto: A Short Guide to the Best of Kyō-ryōri – Part 2

This is the second part of our introduction to the main elements of Kyō-ryōri; the traditional cuisine of Kyoto, and the best Kyō-ryōri restaurants. In Part 1, we looked at some key ingredients such as tofu, fu, and fish. In Part 2 we will look briefly at matcha sweets, before examining some of the main styles of Kyoto cuisine from homely obanzai side dishes to high-grade kaiseki multi-course meals.

Dec 25, 2019travel
Jigokudani: Monkeys on Ice

Tourism is a funny thing, and recommending it, doubly so: A place’s name can sometimes be all the advertisement it really needs.

Dec 11, 2019travel
The Beauty of the Tokamachi Snow Festival

This may come as a surprise to you (it will not, I’ve mentioned it too many times), but it snows a lot where I live.