A Beautiful Autumn Walk Through Tokyo

The autumn hues have finally hit central Tokyo! This year the warmth has lingered longer than usual. I remember the first cold snap happening at the end of October last year, but we’re already in the third week of November and it’s only now beginning to get chilly. On the plus side, we’ve had lots of opportunities to soak up the colours without having to take out our winter wardrobe. 

Continue reading “A Beautiful Autumn Walk Through Tokyo”

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”

Summer Bliss at the Izu Peninsula

The Izu Peninsula was beyond anything I had ever imagined. For most people in Japan, Izu is synonymous with beaches and onsens. It’s a popular weekend trip from Tokyo, but I’d only been to the area once before, to see the early-blooming cherry blossoms in Kawazu. Continue reading “Summer Bliss at the Izu Peninsula”

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”

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”

Oshogatsu: the Beginning of a New Year

Hello, 2018!

This was the first time since I moved to Tokyo that I have stayed in Japan over the winter break. It was so nice to spend time just catching up with friends, relaxing and getting up without an alarm, rather than packing suitcases and catching planes. Another great thing is that I was able to fully experience Oshogatsu, the Japanese New Year period, from beginning to end. Continue reading “Oshogatsu: the Beginning of a New Year”