Collected by Michael Soncina
Tōno, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
Tono is one of the few places in Japan that still maintains its natural agrarian atmosphere. Rolling hills, rice fields, old Japanese houses and a never-ending forest make you feel you've gone 100 years back in time. So why was I surprised to see...
Kinashicho Kinashi, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture 761-8026, Japan
Okayama Prefecture is famous in Japan as being the birthplace of one of their national heroes: "momotaro", or the Peach boy. This hero was sent to earth by the gods to defend his loving parents and save his village from evil demons. Since...
1 Chome-4-16 Chūō, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken 710-0046, Japan
I love the novelty of Japanese tourist towns; how they take an idea such as Old Edo, a forgotten trade or a local dish and make it the theme in the entire village. The Town of Kurashiki is no different – these perfectly maintained buildings from...
Naoshima, Kagawa District, Kagawa Prefecture 761-3110, Japan
Nao-shima is a small island in Shikoku, Japan, that is most easily reached by ferry from Takamatsu, the capital of the region, which is famous for its Udon noodles (rightfully so by the way). Nao-shima was part of a huge re-beautification project...
Oga, Akita Prefecture, Japan
Japanese towns are famous for their ability to incorporate local ingredients into any food, even if the mixture should not exist! As I was being guided around Oga in Akita, my guide suggested we stop for the salt ice cream. I should've known...
Akita, Akita Prefecture, Japan
One very valuable lesson I learned about Japan is that every town has tourist potential; so should I have been surprised when my host in Akita suggested going on a toilet adventure? To be honest though, Japan's oldest toilet was very cool. Leave...
Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
I love Japanese folklore, with its stories of Samurai, demons, and spirits. One of my favorite characters from Japanese lore is the Tengu, a mountain nymph of sorts, who likes to tempt Buddhist priests to break their vows, and to teach devoted...
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