Category: Travel

  • Visit Tohoku! Hiraizumi

    Last weekend, we went on another trip to Tohoku, this time to Hiraizumi, in Iwate Prefecture. Hiraizumi was the base of a powerful regional family in the twelfth century, and is particularly famous for its Buddhist temples and gardens. Indeed, in June those sites were registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a bit of […]

  • Visit Tohoku! Aizu

    I’ve been to Tohoku again, this time on a family trip in the middle of July. We spent two nights and three days in the Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture. Yes, that is the Fukushima Prefecture that has the broken nuclear power station. However, it’s one of the largest prefectures in Japan, and the Aizu […]

  • Visit Tohoku! Sendai and Shiogama

    According to a recent article in the Guardian, the number of tourists coming to Japan has fallen sharply. This is, perhaps, because they imagine that Japan is a post-apocalyptic wasteland, glowing with radioactivity and, quite possibly, roamed by gangs of mutant bikers. And Godzilla. Obviously, this is not the case. There is no problem with […]

  • A Wedding and The Grand Shrines of Ise

    Last weekend we went on a little trip. One of Yuriko’s cousins was getting married in Gifu (near Nagoya), so we went to that, and then extended the trip a bit to go to Ise and visit the shrines. The wedding was on Sunday, so Yuriko and Mayuki went to Nagoya on Saturday to stay […]

  • Nara, Day Three

    The third day was our last day in Nara, and the main stop was Horyuji, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan. It was Japan’s first World Heritage Site, and it is said to be the oldest wooden structure in the world. The temple is slightly older than Nara as a capital city, so […]

  • Nara, Day Two

    On the second day of our visit to Nara, we started by visiting Todaiji, home of the largest bronze Buddha statue in Japan. Todaiji was founded in the mid-eighth century, to get the protection of Buddha for the Japanese state, but it was burned down a couple of times in civil wars, and the head […]

  • Nara, Day One

    We visited Nara in early November, when my mother came over for Mayuki’s Shichi-go-san. Nara was basically the capital of Japan from 710 to 794 (with some breaks), before the capital moved to Kyoto. As a result, it has a number of very important shrines and temples built in those years, although many of them […]

  • Edosan Ryokan in Nara

    At the beginning of November, when my mother came over for Mayuki’s Shichi-go-san, we all went to Nara, one of the ancient capitals of Japan. I do plan to write about our whole visit, which was very good, but first I want to write about where we stayed for the first night. We stayed at […]

  • Shiobara Onsen

    Last weekend (from Sunday to Wednesday) I took a trip by myself, to Shiobara Onsen. The idea was to recharge, and it seems to have worked. Shiobara is in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, a little north of Tokyo. It takes about four hours on “normal” trains, but it’s not expensive, and you only have […]

  • Kanazawa, Day One

    So, last weekend we went to Kanazawa, and had a really good time. Mayuki was good, and apparently enjoying herself, for most of it, with only one tantrum, and that on the last day. Kanazawa is a lovely city, well worth a visit. In particular, Yuriko and I both thought that my mother would really […]