Ajisai-Yashiki: A Spectacular Hydrangea Garden in Chiba

The rainy season in Tokyo typically kicks off in the first week of June, bringing about 20 days of rain in one month. The humidity is a killer but along with the rain, comes one of my favourite flowers: hydrangeas!

Last year, I went on a massive hydrangea hunt around Tokyo. The highlight was a little place in the middle of nowhere that I found advertised on a local Japanese website. Continue reading “Ajisai-Yashiki: A Spectacular Hydrangea Garden in Chiba”

Southern Kyushu: Shrines, Volcanoes and Unusual Sea Views

The Golden Week holiday in Japan is the perfect time to get out of the city and explore the country. A few years ago, I spent early May on a road trip around Kyushu, Japan’s southern main island. I was lucky to have the trip planned for me, but that also meant I had no idea what sights we were going to see. Continue reading “Southern Kyushu: Shrines, Volcanoes and Unusual Sea Views”

Spring Day Trips from Tokyo

After the whirlwind cherry blossom season has swept across Tokyo, leaving only fond memories of streets blanketed in pink and perhaps a throbbing head from one too many drunken hanami parties, we remember that a world does indeed exist outside of our beloved city. Continue reading “Spring Day Trips from Tokyo”

Starting a Goshuincho at the Wedded Rocks

On the seashore not far from Japan’s most important Shinto shrine, is a cluster of towering rocks. Rising from the water like giant sea monsters, two rocks in particular stand out. Connected by thick, braided straw ropes, they represent a husband and wife couple, bound together till the end of time. Continue reading “Starting a Goshuincho at the Wedded Rocks”

Winter Paradise at Takaragawa Onsen

Being the volcanically-active country it is, Japan is teeming with natural hot springs. Though these onsen are everywhere from cities to the seaside, the best ones are always found in the mountains, in my opinion. There are few things more relaxing than soaking in an outdoor onsen (rotenburo) alongside a river in the middle of a forest. Continue reading “Winter Paradise at Takaragawa Onsen”