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The Curious Dosojin Statues of Nozawa Onsen

Walking around Nozawa Onsen village, you might start to wonder what’s up with all the statues. It seems like everywhere you turn, you’re met by two crudely drawn faces upon wooden poles. Though they look a little...

Gundam the Giant Space Robot Arrives in Yokohama

The Yokohama Gundam statue A “life-sized Mobile Suit Gundam” space robot was unveiled to media gathered at Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier on November 30 by Evolving G, an otaku entertainment facilities operator under the umbrella of Bandai Namco...

The Jizo Statue: Japan’s most helpful Buddhist icon

As you journey across the Japanese countryside, riding the rails or walking the forest paths, there are a few things you’re likely to see time and again. One is the iconic torii, a red-painted wood or stone gate which marks the entrance...

Ryozen Kannon Temple: One of Kyoto’s Best Kept Secrets

Kyoto’s Higashiyama district may be jam-packed with countless temples and shrines, but in terms of aesthetic difference, the Ryozen Kannon Temple is quite literally head and shoulders above the rest. Sharing a carpark with Kodaiji Temple—my intended destination—I mistakenly walked toward the...

A Thousand Glittering Treasures at Kyoto’s Sanjusangendo Temple

Not far from Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Taisha lies the temple famously home to 1001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Its name—Sanjusangendo— however, refers to an old method of measurement, literally translating to ‘hall with 33 spaces between columns’. 

These Adorable Knitted Hats Are Unmissable on Miyajima

A popular tourist destination in Japan is Itsukushima, a small island near Hiroshima City. Known colloquially as Miyajima, its claim to fame is the iconic giant torii gate that seems to float when the tide comes in and submerges the base of...

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