Kawachi Wisteria Garden: A Purple Paradise The first time I Googled Fukuoka, I saw the most incredible images of long purple flowers forming a majestic tunnel. What was this beautiful plant? Where could I see it for myself? Soon I was researching all the best places to view wisteria near Fukuoka, Kyushu... April is wisteria... Continue Reading →
Sumo Wrestling: Japan’s National Sport Japan's National sport is.... sumo wrestling! Yes, the sport of large men wearing minimal clothing fighting to push each other outside of a small circle. While simple in theory, there is actually so much more to the sport than first meets the eye. I had the opportunity to attend the... Continue Reading →
A recent visit to the Chikugo region of Kurume brought me to the steps of a workshop specializing in the production of indigo textiles. The most highly regarded products are called Kurume Kasuri which feature intricate, handcrafted, dual tone patterns. Kurume Kasuri Textiles To be considered true Kurume Kasuri (an official national handicraft of Japan),... Continue Reading →
I didn’t realize I was such a flower lover until I came to Japan! If there is one thing I’ve learned about spring time here, it's that there are always beautiful flowers in bloom. Bright pink plum flowers As one variety starts to wither and fade, another is just beginning to show its beauty. Maybe... Continue Reading →
Following an afternoon of exploring the Beppu Hells, I decided to end the day with an herbal steam bath (mushiyu). I made my way to an ancient traditional sauna that had been in use for over 700 years! Here at Kannawa Steam Bath, I was able to relax atop a bed of fresh sekisho herbs and let the aromatic heat wash the day away. The entire experience was highly relaxing and different than any other I had done before. This kind of herbal steam bath is a must try for anyone visiting Beppu!
In the spring, large fields of nanohana can be found blooming all over Japan. Eager to frolic amongst the beautiful colors, I planned a trip to see this special plant for myself.
A weekend visiting Yanagawa, "the Venice of Japan". Yanagawa is famous for its canals and punting tours, unagi dishes (like seriomushi), beautiful cherry blossoms, and the hina-matsuri (Girl's Day or Doll Festival)!
Sakurajima is the iconic symbol of Kagoshima and is a great place to visit as it is just a short ferry ride away. When I visited, I rented a bike and explored the 36km (22m) perimeter of the island in a challenging yet fulfilling adventure.