A Little Adventure

Okay, so I owe all of my fine traveling experiences to my partner of 23 years, Bonnie

Bullet Train

I had heard about these bullet trains but they are something else when you experience them.

Bamboo

Once when I was in Switzerland, I had the occasion to be taken by good friends to a restaurant carved into the side of a mountain. I didn’t know the name of the place but I was awestruck when we approached it. I had a picture of it. I had that picture for at least…

Temple Walk

Up behind the Hoshinoya was the heart warming Senkoji Temple.

Edosan

Founded in 1907, EDOSAN has the Japanese traditional guest room which is designed as Sukiya-style in Nara park.

Todaiji Temple

Tōdai-ji (東大寺, Eastern Great Temple) is a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Though it was originally founded in the year 738 CE, Todai-ji was not opened until the year 752 CE.[1] Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden) houses the world’s…

Naramachi Traditional Townhouse

The Nigiwai-no-ie is a traditional townhouse with over 100 years of history in central Naramachi. The interior has been decorated to reflect the 24 seasons of the year according to the traditional almanac, and visitors can experience the changing seasons as well as appreciate traditional architecture. japan-guide.com

Mia’s Bread

This bakery and cafe in a slightly ramshackle collection of wooden shacks has been a local institution since opening 20 years ago. The owner, Miwa Morita, was a graphic designer before turning to baking, and the space reflects a keen eye for design. visitnara.jp

Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Kasuga Grand Shrine (春日大社, Kasuga-taisha) is a Shinto shrine in Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan.[1] Established in 768 CE and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it is the shrine of the Fujiwara family. The interior is famous for its many bronze lanterns, as well as the many stone lanterns that lead up the shrine. The…

Paket / JA Mahoroba Kitchen

Kayoko was responsible for our visiting two supermarkets. Well I have to confess we always visit supermarkets. We love markets of all kinds but always make time for the Migros or the Coops and their equivalents. We always provision and eat in a lot when we stayed somewhere. We asked Kayoko where she shopped and…

Koyasan

Mount Kōya (高野山, Kōya-san) is the common name of a huge temple settlement in Wakayama Prefecture to the south of Osaka. In the strict sense, Kōya-san is the so-called “mountain name” sangō (山号) of the Kongōbu-Temple (金剛峯寺, Kongōbu-ji), the ecclesiastical headquarters of the “Koyasan Shingon School”.[1] First settled in 819 by the monk Kūkai, Mt….

Danjo Garan

From Wikipedia Danjogaran (壇上伽藍), at the heartland of the Mt. Kōya settlement. Garan[3] is a name for an area that has the main sacred buildings: a main hall, several pagodas, a scripture storage, a bell tower, a lecture hall, and other halls dedicated to important deities. Here we also find a shrine dedicated to the…

Joiikin

Bodhisattva Temple Jokiin was founded by Doukou Daishi Jikkei Shonin, who was well known as the first pupil to come up to Mt.Koya with Kobo Daishi as well as top excellent pupil of Kobo Daishi. When Kobo Daishi founded Mt. Koya, he ordered his pupils Jikkei Shonin and Taihan Shonin to build this temple as…

Okunoin

Okunoin (奥の院) is the site of the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism and one of the most revered persons in the religious history of Japan. Instead of having died, Kobo Daishi is believed to rest in eternal meditation as he awaits Miroku Nyorai (Maihreya), the Buddha of…

Naoshima

Naoshima (直島) is an island in the Seto Inland Sea that is known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. Part of Kagawa Prefecture, the island with its Mediterranean atmosphere, sandy beaches and sunny weather, combined with a laid back, rural feel is a relaxing getaway from Japan’s large urban areas such as Tokyo…

Miyanoura

This is the port town on the west side of Naoshima. It has a funky look informed by its industrial history. Think of it like Soho, only on an provincial island.

Honmura

Honmura Port is on the east side of Naoshima and is quite different from Miyanoura. It is prettier and has a suburban feel. We thought it might be a very nice place to stay next time.

Needle Factory

An abandoned sewing needle factory, which closed in the late 1980s, stands in the village of Ieuraoka on Teshima. Installed within its space is a wooden hull-form used in the manufacturing of red snapper net fishing boats, neglected for some 30 years, and never serving its original purpose after it was built in a shipyard…

Karato

The Karato area is located in the northeast of Teshima. There are several artworks in the Karato-oka and Karato-hama areas. Karato-oka is an area where a sacred spring, “Karato-no-shimizu” wells up, around which a village has developed. The Karato area has much to offer, with scenery of the village that retains the original Japanese landscape,…

La forêt des murmures

Halfway up Mt. Danyama on Teshima island, countless wind chimes are installed in a forest, tinkling in the breeze. On strips of transparent material hanging from each bell are the names of loved ones written by past visitors. The sound of the wind chimes summons up the mystery of the soul, paying homage to the…

Dan-yama

Dan Yama is a mountain in Kagawa and has an elevation of 340 meters. Dan Yama is close to La Forêt des Murmures.

Magome

The central feature of Magome is its restored row of houses along the former post road, which runs at a slope between the town’s low and high ends. Most were built for common people in the mid-18th century, with shops and inns for travelers along the Nakasendō. A quiet portion of the original highway has…

Walk To Tsumago

The trail between Magome and Tsumago is a well-maintained section of the former Nakasendo, the route that ran along the Kiso Valley and connected Tokyo with Kyoto during the Edo Period. The trail is relatively gentle and is well marked in English and Japanese. It is about 8 kilometers long and takes around 2-3 hours…

Tsumago

During the Edo period, Tsumago was the forty-second of the sixty-nine post towns, which connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) with Kyoto. Prior to becoming part of the Nakasendō, it was the tenth of eleven stations along the Kisoji, a minor trade route running through the Kiso Valley. As such, it was a relatively prosperous and cosmopolitan…

Matsushiro-ya

Matsushiroya is a very cozy Minshuku and it first opened for business in 1804. With 8 Japanese-style rooms, Matsushiroya can accommodate up to 25 guests. All washroom and bathing facilities are shared among the guests. Traditional Japanese cuisine such as carp sashimi, grilled river fish, Japanese koya-dofu, (freeze-dried tofu), and Japanese tora soba (soba noodles…

Doll Masku

This is the Tsumagojuku Fureaikan or the Tsumago Community Center. Here you can see the traditional decorations for the recently held Hinamatsuri (雛祭り, Hina-matsuri), also called Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day– festival of the sacred dolls. Celebrated on 3 March of each year, platforms covered with a red carpet-material are used to display sets of ornamental…

Fujioto

Fujioto is conveniently located on the main road in historic Tsumago. Fujioto prides itself on serving its guests delicious meals and offering traditional Japanese style accommodation. Other highlights of Fujioto are the Japanese wooden bath and the beautiful Japanese style garden. All bath and toilet facilities are shared among the guests. ImportantFujioto does not accept…

Ginmokusei

This tree has been kept by the Yazaki Family, the oracle, for generations. It blooms from mid-September to early October

Matsumoto

Matsumoto (松本) is the second largest city in Nagano Prefecture. It is most famous for Matsumotojo, one of Japan’s most beautiful original castles. Mingei Spirit is rooted in the land of Matsumoto The art of Mingei is not ‘owned’ by any specific artist. It was born and cultivated through an everyday lifestyle and refers to…

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle (松本城, Matsumoto-jō) is one of Japan‘s premier historic castles, along with Himeji Castle and Kumamoto Castle.[1] The building is also known as the “Crow Castle” (烏城, Karasu-jō) due to its black exterior. It was the seat of the Matsumoto domain. Wikipedia

Nakamachi-dori

Nakamachi-dori (中町通り, Nakamachi-dōri) is a small section of Matsumoto‘s town center with streets lined by nicely preserved, old buildings. The buildings include a number of warehouse-type buildings (kura) with large white-painted walls. The area is where the city’s merchants used to live during the Edo Period, and today, the types of buildings here reflect this…

Baum Kuchen

Baumkuchen is a German variety of spit cake. It is a traditional pastry of many European countries, and also a popular snack and dessert in Japan. The characteristic rings, which resemble tree rings when sliced, give the cake its German name, Baumkuchen, which literally translates to “tree cake”. Wikipedia

Karuizawa

Karuizawa (軽井沢) is an upmarket mountain resort at the foot of the active volcano Mount Asama in Nagano Prefecture. Located at an altitude of roughly 1000 meters, the town provides a pleasant escape from the summer heat. It was promoted as a mountain resort by Western residents of Japan in the late 1800s, and today…

Delicia / Tsuruya

Yes, another supermarket post. Our dear friend Reiko, who has a summer house in Karuizawa, emphatically recommended Tsuruya to us, as a unique place to shop. She particularly wanted us to see their vast variety of fish. But first we discovered Delica. It was only a five minute walk from our hotel and we thought…

Hoshinoya Karuizawa

Hoshino Resorts’ original property is located in Karuizawa, an area of Nagano Prefecture, under Mount Asama, first deemed fit as a resort and villa spot in the late 19th century by foreign missionaries like British/Canadian theologian Alexander Croft Shaw in (1886). Emperor Akihito met his wife Michiko in the area, and it is the only…

Hiroshi Senju Museum

Hiroshi Senju (千住博, Senju Hiroshi, born 1958) is a Japanese Nihonga painter known for his large scale waterfall paintings. Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa opened 10 October 2011 in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture. The museum was designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa, and consists of windows which make up the walls, a gently sloping concrete floor which naturally…

Tokyo

We began to have reservations about going to Tokyo. The news was that instances of the virus were on the rise in certain sections of the city. Lock down was a real possibility. We talked with Reiko, who lives in Tokyo, and she gave use some hope that situation was not that bad yet. After…

Ueno Park

We really grew to love the Ueno neighborhood. Big train station, lots of convenience stores, all the sizzle of the Ginza and all the charm of small back streets. And I can’t say enough about the park. Dozens of museums, temples, a zoo, and reportedly one of the best locations for the cherry blossoms. All…

Senso-ji

Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a five-story pagoda, the Asakusa Shinto shrine, as well as many shops with…

Yanaka

The Yanaka sector of Taito is one of the few Tokyo neighborhoods in which the old Shitamachi atmosphere can still be felt. Yanaka Cemetery (谷中霊園, Yanaka Reien) is a large cemetery located north of Ueno . The cemetery is famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms that in April completely cover its paths, and for that…

Nikko

Nikkō (日光市, Nikkō-shi, IPA: [ɲiꜜkkoːɕi]) is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 80,624 in 36,590 households, and a population density of 58.1 persons per km2[1]. The total area of the city is 1,449.83 square kilometres (559.78 sq mi). It is a popular destination for Japanese and international…

Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chūzenji (中禅寺湖, Chūzenji-ko) is a scenic lake in Nikkō National Park in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It was created 20,000 years ago when Mount Nantai (2484 m) erupted and blocked the river. The lake has a surface area of 11.62 km² and a circumference of 25 km. Its elevation at the surface is…