Kitayamazaki

Summer Trip to the Sanriku Coast

Ever since leaving Fukushima prefecture after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, I’ve wanted to go back and explore more of Tohoku and in some way support the local people. I’d never been to the Sanriku Coast before the earthquake, so I’d never seen the villages that once lined the shores. It wasn’t until I was there this August, driving through…

Kawagoe Matsuri

WPC – Chaos

When you think of the Japanese way of life, words that typically come to mind are orderly, calm or disciplined. Then there are matsuri, or Japanese festivals… My first taste of a ‘chaotic’ festival was the Sanja Matsuri, famous for the yakuza who walk around freely showing off their tattoos. Men and women heave portable shrines through…

Hotel for Day 1

Island Hopping in Japan’s South (Part 1)

To be completely honest, for the longest time I really didn’t have much interest in going to Japan’s southernmost prefecture. From what I’d seen in pictures, Okinawa looked pretty similar to Australia’s east coast – white, sandy beaches and clear, blue water – and I thought what would be the point of travelling to the other side…

Tokyo Plaza

WPC – Mirror

Omotesando and Harajuku is an area that’s known to push the boundaries. In terms of fashion, basically anything and everything goes. People want to be noticed. Girls get scouted by modelling agencies. What’s seen on the streets here often turns into the next trend. Not only fashion, but the sleekest pieces of modern architecture are found…

Tama River

Summer Fun on the Tama River

The water was fast flowing and icy cold, the round stones on the river bed clearly visible. Tiny fish swam freely below the surface while ducks paddled by above them. On either side of the river, lush greenery overflowed the banks and the dense forest created the illusion that the rest of the world was very far…

Tamareien

Visiting Graves for Obon

It’s currently Obon in Japan, a few days dedicated to honouring your ancestors. People often go back to their hometowns to visit cemeteries and pray for relatives who have passed away. They bring flowers, wash the grave stones and burn incense. For many salarymen in Japan, Obon and New Years is the only time of…

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WPC -Narrow

One of my favourite things about Japan are the narrow, atmospheric ‘yokochos’ filled with bars and restaurants. People wander these dimly-lit backstreets in search of a quiet (or loud) corner to drink and often stay til the wee hours of the morning. Some bars are so tiny that they can only seat 5 or 6…

Mt Fuji

WPC – Cherry On Top

It’s been a while since I joined in on the Weekly Photo Challenge, but I’ve been enjoying everyone else’s photos over the months. When I saw this week’s topic Cherry On Top, I thought of one thing: Mount Fuji. Besides the fact that it’s the symbol of Japan and a World Heritage Site, there’s something just so powerful…