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Hiroshima’s Many-Layered History: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 7

Amongst the different regional varieties of the savory pancake-like concoction known as okonomiyaki, connoisseurs frequently tout Hiroshima’s version as one of the best. In other regions, the cabbage, batter, vegetables and meat that form okonomiyaki get mixed together prior to cooking. In...

Shimanami Kaido – Island Wave Sea Highway: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 6

I’ve never been much of a bicycle rider, but the course along the Shimanami Kaido (Island Wave Sea Highway) makes me wish I was. Every year in late fall, the highway that connects Shikoku to the mainland floods with cyclists. Participants travel...

Overheating at Dogo Onsen: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 5

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The celebrated novel Botchan by Natsume Soseki tells the story of a grumpy young man and his teaching experiences in the town of Matsuyama in Shikoku. Convinced he is better than just about everyone, he finds his only calm in the warm...

Dizzying Heights at Takeda Castle: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 4

Often billed as The Machu Picchu of Japan, the ruins of Takeda Castle are perched precariously on the top of a mountain in Hyogo prefecture. In the early morning, blankets of clouds roll in and obscure the base of the structure. The castle...

The Kyoto Scramble: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 3

With approximately 1600 temples (Silver Pavilion etc), 400 shrines (Yasaka Shrine), 5 castles (Nijo Castle etc), and numerous other picturesque sites, Kyoto offers enough to keep sightseers occupied for weeks. If you’re on a tighter schedule, however, it’s also possible to tackle...

Ise to Kyoto in the Cheap Seats: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 2

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After a night in the tea fields, our party rose at dawn and drove the 30 minutes from Odai to Ise. It was the beginning of cherry blossom season, and the mountains were lush with small pink flowers. It was beautiful, but...

Starting Up and Breaking Down: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 1

Follow our road trip from Tokyo to Okinawa; fourteen days, multiple forms of transport and plenty of tips for a great holiday. If you’re planning to travel around Japan, the fastest and most convenient forms of travel are typically planes...

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