My bowl of udon tempura was so small, it fit into the palm of my hand. I couldn’t eat it either, because the chopsticks were the size of toothpicks. It was, however, extremely fun to make. In Mayuka’s Bonchi studio of miniature plastic food, we sliced tiny clay noodles, painted little shallots, and poured epoxy … More Kyoto in sketches: Japan’s cultural heart
Anyone who’s been to Japan has surely noticed the incredible number of vending machines on offer. They’re found everywhere, from neon-lit city intersections to shady forest walks, and even on trains. Vending machine culture is everywhere! Japan is the perfect home for so many vending machines. Vandalism and crime is low, and the demand for … More Japanese vending machines – a closer look at Japan’s love of convenience
Staying in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, is one of the quintessential cultural activities that everybody should enjoy in Japan. More than just a simple place to sleep, a stay in a ryokan is an experience unto itself. With particular room styles, dress codes and meal sets, it can be difficult to know what … More What to expect from a stay in a traditional Japanese Ryokan
Beppu is the perfect destination in Japan for bathing. This city on Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, is famous for its geothermal activity and range of hot spring bathing options. Clouds of steam rise from dozens of vents in the earth, creating a very unusual cityscape. There are large public bathing houses built of wood, private … More Beppu: an illustrated guide to Japan’s spa city
Itsukushima (aka Miyajima, which translates to ‘the shrine island’), is a small, romantic island in Hiroshima Bay. It is known for its magnificent torii gate, an 800-year old monument standing in the middle of the bay, appearing to float on the waves. Miyajima has a lovely small town which is perfect for exploring, a World … More Miyajima – A Day Trip Exploring One Of Japan’s Most Scenic Islands
Okonomiyaki is the ultimate winter comfort food in Japan. A heavy savoury dish, it might be described as a fried cabbage pancake with additional meats, vegetables, or noodles. When translated, it means ‘cooked/fried how you like it’, giving away okonomiyaki’s status as the classic meal of many variations. Okonomiyaki is one of my favourite things … More Which Is The Best Okonomiyaki? Tokyo Monjayaki vs. Hiroshimayaki
Hiroshima is a vibrant, friendly and charming city. Of course, Hiroshima is best known for the atomic bomb which destroyed the city. But there’s a lot more happening in this city than just a tragic past. Hiroshima is amazing for foodies. Long shopping arcades seem to be endless. There’s a castle to explore, a museum … More Why A Visit To Hiroshima Should Not Be Missed
For anyone comparing Osaka to Tokyo, Tokyo is the busy, responsible sibling, while Osaka is the laid back younger one relaxing with a cup of tea. Tokyo has the non-stop energy of a city that never sleeps, people rushing around the city on crowded trains to and from work. Osaka is a large metropolis in … More Osaka – tourist traps and favourite gems
With a splash, the first crazy reveller jumped into the icy canal from the arching bridge. A laughing cheer rose from the huge crowd in Dotonbori, the centre of Osaka’s entertainment district, a high-rise cacophony of neon billboards, crushing crowds and outrageously decorated restaurants.
Koyasan, a secluded temple town in the mountains, has a quiet, charming sense of mystery. The centre of Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi’s tomb, the surrounding cemetary, and the temple complexes are a lovely trip away from modern Japan.