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TRAVEL November 23, 2017

The Whimsical Treehouses of Koyabashi

credit: Takashi Kobayashi / Treehouse People Interest in tree houses continues to grow, to the point that builders even have an annual conference in Oregon, U.S.A. celebrating the form. Photo spreads of treehouse dwellings have graced numerous magazines and travel websites, documenting ingenious arboreal habitations from Costa Rica to England, Mozambique to Sweden, Bali to […]

TRAVEL November 15, 2017

A Closer Look at Itsukushima: Japan’s Mesmerizing Floating Shrine

Photo by DozoDomo If you have any interest in Japan and its most popular sites, you’ve likely heard of the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture. After all, Miyajima is one of the top three scenic spots in Japan. But, there is much to learn about this hallowed site, and we’re here to […]

TRAVEL October 11, 2017

7 Stunning Train Rides in Japan You Don’t Want to Miss

Photo by Alex Chen If you’ve started your research about getting around in Japan, you’ve discovered that trains are the most popular mode of transportation, both in major cities and between them. Although they can be a bit complex to use, they are notorious for being punctual and are the most efficient way to traverse […]

TRAVEL September 13, 2017

A Guide To Tokyo’s Coolest Neighborhoods

Tokyo’s sheer size can make planning a visit to the expansive metropolitan area seem like a daunting task. Apart from popular tourist destinations like Shibuya and Ginza, where are the best neighborhoods to discover chic cafes, modern museums, artsy boutiques and creative bars and restaurants? Wonder no longer; we’ve compiled a guide to Tokyo’s trendiest […]

TRAVEL April 5, 2017

The Grand Shrine at Ise

Japan’s original, pre-historic religion was a form of nature worship that centered around a number of gods associated with certain natural elements and processes. Chief among them was Amaterasu, the sun god. Unlike most other sun gods around the world, Amaterasu was a female deity. She is the most important Shinto god, and the Japanese […]

TRAVEL February 27, 2017

The Subtle, Confounding Zen Koan

The Zen koan is one of the least understood of Japanese creations, by either foreigners or even many Japanese – but that is by design. The essence of a koan is that it is not comprehensible by the rational mind, but instead works subtly, over time, on the subconscious. The koan – based on the […]

TRAVEL February 22, 2017

Four “Little Kyotos” in Japan: Kanazawa, Nara, Takayama and Kamakura

After a few days or so in Tokyo, most visitors to Japan find great relief in visiting Kyoto, which offers many contrasts to the modern megalopolis. Where Tokyo is huge and sprawling, Kyoto is smaller and ringed by mountains, which help a visitor feel oriented. Where Tokyo is all lights and traffic and modern architecture, […]

TRAVEL February 6, 2017

Nikko and the Area

In the early 20th century, foreigners such as Albert Einstein, Helen Keller and Frank Lloyd Wright discovered first hand what the Japanese have known for centuries: That you should never say kekkou – a word that means “I am satisfied” – until one has seen Nikko. Though still little-known outside of the country, within Japan […]

TRAVEL December 19, 2016

Japan’s Delightful, Traditional Ryokan

Although the traditional Japanese lodging known as the ryokan is often described as a country inn, or as Japan’s version of the French Auberge, many ryokan are more, being beautiful, elegant places that offer a total hospitality experience that is a must-do for any visitor to Japan. Less common in big cities like Tokyo and […]