Sake Vending Machine, Niigata

Sake On Tap in Niigata

Faster than a speeding bullet train, I am at the Ponshu-kan shop within the Echigo-Yuzawa train station. I slide my 500¥ coin across the counter in exchange for five tokens. Then, giddy-eyed, I scan...
Tottori Sand Dunes

Totally Tottori

Hold on tight! When mounting a camel, as it rises, it can feel like you’re that last piece on a Jenga tower. We begin our trek into the quiet of the desert, accompanied only...
Hoshinoya, Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan

Welcome To Paradise…in Japan

“And then she turned her gaze up toward the heavens” —Dante Alighieri Floating lanterns are lit as the sun goes down. Sipping green tea on the deck of my villa overlooking the water, I...
Snow Monkey, Jigokudani, Nagano

Welcome To Hell…in Japan

“The path to paradise begins in hell” - Dante Alighieri I am on a tour of Hell in the city of Beppu, Oita on the beautiful southern island of Kyushu, Japan. Serene and inviting,...
The Adachi Museum of Art

Matcha Man in Shimane, Japan

When your feudal lord is a tea master, high quality tea is the decree. During the Edo period, Matsudaira Harusato, Lord Fumai, established his own tea school in Matsue, Shimane, his own style of...
Ishikawa

The Japan Sea Side

The rocky shores of the Japan Sea offer spectacular vistas. Paddling, swimming, scenic drives and delicious seafood make a trip to the coast an unforgettable experience. Here are some “don’t miss” experiences along the...
Oku-Iya-Niju-Kazurabashi

Shikoku: A Traveler’s Checklist

1. The Shikoku Pilgrimage follows the 1,400 km route of the 9th Century Shingon Buddhist monk, Kobo Daishi, to 88 temples along the ocean sides and mountains. With staff in hand and donning a...
Bride's Ice Cream, Konpira Shrine

Life At The Top In Shikoku

Soft candy balls of happiness. That’s all I can think about. As I journey up the 1,368 steps of cascading staircases to the Konpira shrine atop Mt. Zozu, I wipe my brow and stare...
Kumano Beef, Wakayama

My Beef With Wagyu

Recently I read “Wagyu Carpaccio” on a restaurant menu. I asked the waitress, rhetorically, cynically, “Where is this Wagyu from?” After checking with the kitchen she returned to tell me, “Canada.” Really? If I...
Kaga Cuisine, Ishikawa, Japan

Hot Springs Eternal

The sign reads: “Japan vegetable sommelier’s vegetable juices bring vitality to your life.” There’s even one to make me more handsome. Okay, I’ll bite. Inside Nakamasa, I browse a veritable garden of impossibly vibrant...
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