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The Most Stylish Buddha in Japan gets a Fashionable Upgrade during Sakura Season

The 18m tall Great Buddha (daibutsu) statue in Konan, Aichi prefecture is somewhat affectionately known as the “Great Buddha with Sunglasses”. That’s because when viewed from just the right angle from behind the Nagoya’s Railway Co.’s Inuyama Line train crossing, the Great...

Aomori’s Takayama Inari Shrine: Senbon Torii and Cherry Blossoms

Takayama Inari Shrine, in the northern Prefecture of Aomori, is famous for its Senbon Torii gates, framed with cherry blossoms in spring. Since ancient times the shrine has been a popular place for local people who pray for a...

Take a Refreshing Pause at Shizuoka’s ‘Tea Room in the Sky’

shizuoka tea fields
Green fields of tea ー almost ready to be harvested ー extend out across the mountain at an altitude of 350 meters. Seat yourself on a wooden terrace built right into the middle of the Shizuoka tea field, and enjoy your own...

The Famed Oto Fire Festival of Wakayama Prefecture

Wakayama Shingu Fire Festival
Men of all ages – dressed in white with a thick rope tied around their waist – congregate at the shrine carrying wooden torches. At Kamikura Shrine in Shingu city, every year on February 6, the Wakayama Oto...

Hokkaido Events: Lake Shikotsu Winter Ice Festival

Hokkaido Ice Festival
If we could recommend just one winter festival in Hokkaido, it would definitely be the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, held in late January, through February. Once you reach Lake Shikotsu, you will be astonished by its breathtaking beauty. The lake's surface is...

Fukushima UFO Museum: Have You Seen a UFO Lately?

Japan's UFO Museum in Fukushima
Fukushima's UFO Fureaikan, or UFO Museum, is a public facility that opened its doors in 1992. Thousands of UFO-related materials, such as classified CIA documents containing records of UFO research, are archived at the museum. The museum is located halfway...

Exploring Amano-Iwato, the Celestial Cave, in Miyazaki Prefecture

Imano Iwato Shrine
Entering the cave at Amano Iwato Shrine The story of Amano Iwato Shrine and its celestial cave begins with the tale of the divine couple Izanagi-no-kami and Izanami-no-kami who give birth to the Japanese islands and various other...

Trams Through the Blossoms: Discovering Tokyo on the Arakawa Line

tokyo tram line arakawa
Roses line this Tokyo tram line At its peak, Tokyo had an extensive public tram network that covered 213 kilometers of routes and a private tram operation (Tokyu Tamagawa Line) with 18.4 kilometers (km) of routes. Only a...

Lanterns Over the Dark Sea Create Dreamlike Kiriko Festival on Noto Peninsula

kiriko festival noto peninsula
A glow from festival lights fills the air with excitement. As the warm days of summer arrive, the Noto Peninsula begins celebrating the Kiriko Matsuri, which continues until the early days of autumn. Colorful hanging lantern floats called kiriko are...

Enjoy the Summer Cheer at the Multicoloured Nebuta Matsuri

'Tis the season to be jolly! In Japan’s case, that means the season of summer festivals. One of the most striking festivals in the whole of Japan is the Aomori Nebuta Festival. Kicking off in early August, it takes place in Aomori...

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