Autumn Hiking in Western Tokyo

The Okutama region in far western Tokyo is a playground for outdoor adventurers. The pristine waters of the Tama River that flow through the middle of Okutama is one of the most popular spots in Japan for canyoning and white water rafting. The mountains are covered in dense forest and dotted with limestone caves, waterfalls and onsens. Continue reading “Autumn Hiking in Western Tokyo”

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East Meets West at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

The scene of roses in front of the beautiful brick mansion at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens has long been something I’ve wanted to see with my own eyes. Though it pops up often in my Instagram feed, this garden has somehow remained off the tourist trail. Continue reading “East Meets West at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens”

Delicious Japanese Dishes: Monjayaki

Despite being one of Tokyo’s specialities, monjayaki is probably the least known Japanese food outside of Japan. It is often described as a runnier version of Osaka’s famous savoury pancake, okonomiyaki. Monjayaki’s questionable appearance may be the reason it gets looked over, but don’t let that fool you—it’s a delicious and fun dish to make! Continue reading “Delicious Japanese Dishes: Monjayaki”

The Beautiful Red-Crowned Cranes of Hokkaido

My first encounter with a red-crowned crane was many, many years ago. I was probably around six when I first saw the Japanese folktale book, Tsuru no Ongaeshi (The Crane’s Return of Favour). In the story, a red-crowned crane is rescued from a hunter’s trap by an old man. Under the disguise of a woman, the crane visits the man and his wife to repay them for helping her. Continue reading “The Beautiful Red-Crowned Cranes of Hokkaido”

Into the Wild: Akan-Mashu National Park

From the air, the first thing I noticed as we glided over the sea, past the coastline and descended towards the runway, was the vast forest that carpeted the land below. There were virtually no other buildings around the tiny Kushiro Airport. We stepped off the plane, and filled our lungs with Hokkaido’s fresh summer air. Continue reading “Into the Wild: Akan-Mashu National Park”