Japanese vending machines – a closer look at Japan’s love of convenience

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

What to expect from a stay in a traditional Japanese Ryokan

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: an illustrated guide to Japan’s spa city

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

Miyajima – A Day Trip Exploring One Of Japan’s Most Scenic Islands

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

Which Is The Best Okonomiyaki? Tokyo Monjayaki vs. Hiroshimayaki

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

New year’s eve in Dotonbori, Osaka

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. It was new year’s eve in the high-rise cacophony of neon billboards, crushing crowds and outrageously decorated restaurants, and the perfect place to … More New year’s eve in Dotonbori, Osaka

Visiting Nara – is it best as a day trip or overnight stay?

Nara might be the perfect day trip. Easily accessible from Kyoto and Osaka, friendly and quaint, with plenty to see on foot in a just a few hours. But what are day trippers missing out on? Dinner menus unique to Nara, for one, and excursions out of the city. So is it worth extending a … More Visiting Nara – is it best as a day trip or overnight stay?