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Japanese Cuisine (1)

Until recently, UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage included only one traditional cuisine – French.  However, there are now two cuisines listed; French and Japanese. The traditional Japanese cuisine known as “washoku” was recently added to this exclusive list. We are all familiar how good chefs around the world have frequently turned to the foundation…

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Free WiFi in Japan for travellers got Easier

One of the most frustrating things about travelling in Japan has been the difficulties associated with communicating home. With 10+ million foreign tourists a year going to Japan, the pressure for change has had some effect. Free WiFi in Japan for travellers  just got easier. There is now a free app (pc, iphone/ipad and Android…

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Four seasons in Japan

You often hear that Japan is blessed with a beautifully distinct four seasons. But you’ve got to experience one or more of the seasons to actually know what it means. We have just completed our signature spring ‘Cherry Blossom Spectacular Tour’ and comments we received from the members of the tour demonstrate that the experience…

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Takayama Festival

The Takayama Spring Festival starts mid April and runs for two days. The centuries old festival apparently started about  the  17th centuries. There is little documented history about the start of the event, it is held to commemorate a good harvest. One of the largest festivals in Japan, it is a spectacle not to miss. The Takayama…

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Kyushu – Less Travelled Path

Kyushu

Speak of Japan and places likes Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Takayama spring to mind. All these places are on the main island of Honshu. There is an island in Japan that is steeped in history, has wonderful natural wonders (like volcanoes), is renowned for food & festivals and yet it is less visited. You may…

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Choosing the Right Tour

Geisha & Rickshaw

Choosing a right tour is tricky because each tour company presents their tours differently. This blog aims at helping you to select the very best tour given your preference and situation. 1)      Mode of transport – There are cruises, coach tours, private vehicle tours and ones that use local public transport. 2)      Physical activity level…

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Snow Monkeys – A Summer treat

Snow Monkeys

The Japanese Macaque (commonly known as the ‘Snow Monkey’) is unique in its behavior. Best known because it takes to the geothermal spring waters in winter as a way to get warm. So the story goes, it is only a little over 50 years ago when a female monkey first started soaking in the spring…

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Leisurely hiking in the Japanese Alps

Kamikochi - Japanese Alps

On our research trip to Japan this July we were lucky enough to visit Kamikochi, one of the most scenic spots in Japan. Kamikochi approximates to ‘where gods decend’. It is an area surrounded by 3,000 meter-class mountains of the Japanese Alps, that stretches for roughly 10 kilometers along Azusa River. It was originally a…

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Star Festival

At the Star Festival in July

July 7th is called Tanabata or Star Festival in Japan. The star festival is celebrated in the streets of cities and towns all over Japan. We were fortunate enough to be in Asakusa (Tokyo) on the 7th of July and experienced the fun and colour of a parade and decorated streets. In some regions, where…

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Mountain Passes open with 20m+ snow corridors

There are a number of mountain passes in Japan that close during winter that have started to re-open.  Some passes have massive snow walls. The highest public road is Norikura Skyline Road. It’s snow corridor is often 10m+. This road is only open for half the year and was opened again this year on the…

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