For many people, being buried up to the neck in hot, black volcanic sand doesn’t seem like a pleasant way to relax. But in parts of southern Japan, sunamushi (sand bathing) on a volcanic beach is a popular form of bathing that helps rest the mind and refresh the body. For those who have not … More Sunamushi Onsen – Volcanic Sand Bathing in Southern Japan
The Motomachi area of Hakodate is the city’s historic neighbourhood, where Japanese and Western architectures are uniquely blended into a mish-mash of styles. Hakodate, located on the northernmost Japanese home island of Hokkaido, was one of the first ports in the country to open its doors to international trade in 1854. Traders, consuls, and government … More Soaking Up Hakodate History In The Photogenic Motomachi Area
Hakodate is a historic port city in the south of Hokkaido, known for its fresh seafood, European-style architecture, and one of the best panoramic night views in Japan. It is built on a narrow strip of land that reaches out to sea, culminating with the dramatic Mount Hakodate at the peninsula’s end. Its history revolves … More Visiting Hakodate, Hokkaido’s Port City Of Squid, Forts And Mountain Views
Scooping up the mud from the bottom of the onsen, it slips through your fingers like goopy cream. It drops back into the milky-white water and disappears back into the hot springs in a dispersing cloud of whiteness. While a traditional Japanese onsen (a hot spring designated for bathing) is typically done in clear hot … More Beppu Onsen Hoyoland – Taking A Dip In Japan’s White Mud Bath
It’s the very picture of serenity – Japanese snow monkeys soaking in a hot spring, eyes closed, groomed by their family members, steam rising, safe from snow drifting softly through the sky. It’s one of the most iconic images of winter in Japan, and one of the most fascinating and endearing (not to mention, adorable!) … More See Japan’s Snow Monkeys Bathing At Jigokudani Monkey Park
Nikkō is one of Japan’s most beautiful towns to visit and explore. Visitors will probably notice a food called ‘Yuba’ on the menu everywhere they go. Indeed, this is one of Nikkō’s specialty foods. But what exactly is Yuba, and why is it so popular in Nikkō? Yuba is essentially tofu skin, the protein and … More Yuba Tofu – The Local Delicacy of Nikko, Japan
Japan is known for producing some interesting and expensive fruit. But none is as iconic as the square watermelon, a simple yet beautiful specially grown fruit. Perfect for decorating and gift-giving, the square watermelon is prized as a status symbol (though its taste is not so great). How are Square Watermelons Produced? Square watermelons come … More Why Do Japanese Farmers Grow Square Watermelons?
Japan has earned a reputation for creative and unusual dining establishments. Cat cafes, themed restaurants, and stand-up sushi bars all cater to people looking for a new dining experience. But what about using a fishing line to catch your dinner, in the restaurant? In the heart of Osaka’s nightlife district Dotonbori is Zauo, a restaurant … More Zauo: The Japanese Restaurant Where You Catch Your Own Fish
Japan has lots of wonderful sweet treats that you can find in markets and shops. Glutinous mochi with red bean paste, leaf-shaped momiji manjū, humble dorayaki. But there’s one which is my particular favourite – the fish-shaped taiyaki. Taiyaki translates to ‘baked (yaki) sea bream (tai)’, hence the way it is traditionally served in the … More Taiyaki – Japan’s delicious fish-shaped street food!
Something strange happened when the clocks hit 5pm in Nikkō. The town suddenly fell quiet, the people disappeared, the shops shut their doors, and restaurants turned their ‘open’ signs around to ‘closed’. The sun went down in a haze of muted oranges and purples, a chilly evening began to creep in, and we were left … More Sketching Nikkō, Japan’s UNESCO Temple Town