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Matsuya, The Blue And Yellow Beef Bowl Place

When you first come to Japan, either as a tourist or a new resident, there are so many things you miss out on or you simply don’t notice. One of these things are the fast food and chain restaurants of Japan. Another...

Backpacking Through Japan – An Overview

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In the spring of 2019, my fiancée and I spent three weeks backpacking from Tokyo to Okinawa. Traveling over 2000 kilometers using a mix of almost two dozen local trains, five buses, and one boat, we managed to traverse more than half...

The Churaumi Aquarium: Okinawa Without a Car Day 5

The largest water-tank at the aquarium is home to hundreds of Okinawa's underwater denizens.
On the last day of our Okinawa trip, we decided to commune with sea life at the Churaumi Aquarium. About Churaumi Taking its name from the Okinawan word for beautiful (chura) and the Japanese word...

The Okinawan Resort Life: Okinawa Without a Car Day 4

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For many travelers to Okinawa, lazing around at a resort is their main purpose. Okinawan resorts line much of the mainland coast, and several more dot the smaller surrounding islands. Whether you want to use them as a base to explore, or...

The High Walls of Shuri Castle: Okinawa Without a Car Day 1

The bright colors and ornate exterior of Shuri castle is frequently compared to the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Its frequently said that a car is the perfect way to experience Okinawa. It lacks the dense interconnected rail system that dominates the rest of Japan. We, however, were in no position to rent a car and so had to rely on...

The Okinawa Ferry Voyage: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 14

The top deck was the only escape from the sometimes claustrophobic space below decks.
This is the last day of our trip from Tokyo to Okinawa, but the journey doesn’t stop with the Okinawa ferry. To keep up with the last portion of our trip, checkout the Okinawa Without a Car series here.

The Many Eruptions of Sakurajima: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 13

At the southern tip of the Japanese mainland and the island of Kyushu, the port of Kagoshima is home to one of the most startling sights in the country: a towering volcano that erupts daily. Sakurajima dominates the city skyline, and chances...

Riding the Isaburo-Shinpei : Tokyo to Okinawa Day 12

Our last day of train travel didn’t disappoint. On the way down to Kagoshima, we rode the Isaburo-Shinpei line, which takes passengers on a trek through the forests and mountains of Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures. The dark wooden interior and primarily rural...

The Healing Waters of Hitoyoshi: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 11

On day 11 of our trip, we left Fukuoka and after a brief and unexpected ramen lunch, found ourselves in the small town of Hitoyoshi. Owing to its rich history and culture, Hitoyoshi touts itself as the “Little Kyoto” of Kyushu. The...

Frittering About in Fukuoka: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 10

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Sometimes, the best days of a vacation are the ones where things fail to go as planned. When an amusement park turned out to be defunct, and an art gallery closed, we ended up on a self-guided tour of Fukuoka. Instead of...