Writer: Bjorn Koolen
Although he has lived in both Tokyo and Kyoto for quite some time now, Bjorn continues to explore Japan's less well-known corners for the country's endless beauty and delicious local dishes. By sharing his experience he hopes to inspire others to create their own cherished memories of Japan.
Like many art forms, wagashi making is an effort of practice and instructions, two things you can experience yourself in some of Japan’s most renowned wagashi shops. In Kyoto you have the chance to do make tradition with your own hands at Kanshundo Honten.
July 20, 2016
According to some, had it not been destroyed by bombardments in World War II, the Nagoya Castle would have surpassed Himeji Castle, as Japan’s most impressive feudal castle. Nonetheless, its current ferroconcrete reconstruction from 1959 and surrounding Meijo Park with over 2,000 cherry trees makes for a marvelous sight in early spring. But the castle is a picturesque vision throughout the year with a variety of blooms.
July 4, 2016
Fishing is deep-rooted in Japanese culture and fishing trips to the countryside are quite popular during the weekends and holidays, but for those living in the heart of Tokyo or for those who do not really want to have to go out of the city, Ichigaya Fishing Centre is an amazing alternative.
June 15, 2016
Said to be one of the finest examples of Japanese architectural and design tradition in its purest form, Katsura Imperial Villa truly is a sight to behold for those who love architectural and traditional arts. As one of Japan’s most cherished treasures, a visit to Katsura is a truly enriching experience.
May 30, 2016
Daikakuji is what one would consider “slightly off the beaten path” as although it is located near Kyoto’s popular Arashiyama district it hardly attracts any visitors outside the autumn and spring season. Featured in the Tale of Genji, the first Japanese novel, Daikakuji was originally a palace for Emperor Saga from which it derived its second name “Saga Imperial Palace”.
May 25, 2016
Navigating around a city or region you have never been to can be quite tricky and knowing about the special discounted passes used for the public transport is one of the first steps to learning how to get around. Within Kansai there are numerous options for bus, train and subway lines that will help moving around a lot easier and significantly cheaper.
April 8, 2016
When people think of Japanese food, sushi is one of the first that comes to mind. A little known fact about sushi, however, is that it has various regional styles, such as the Kyoto-style sushi offered by the restaurants Izuju and Izuu in Kyoto`s famous Gion district.
March 25, 2016
Tucked away in the Kitayama Mountains north of Kyoto, lies the small mountain temple and onsen village Kurama. It truly is a hidden retreat for pilgrims, hikers and onsen, hot spring, enthusiasts alike and is a popular half-day trip out of Kyoto.
January 9, 2016
Mochitsuki is something that requires both staff members to be perfectly in sync in terms of speed and order of actions as one wields a massive hammer while the other continuously needs to add glutinous rice into a wooden mortar.
January 6, 2016
Throughout Tokyo you will be able to find small Christmas markets popping up around this time of the year, but none other attracts as many visitors as Yokohama’s Christmas Market. Located between Yokohama’s famous Red Brick Warehouses within its bay area, the Christmas market it is by far the best time excuse to visit Yokohama.
December 12, 2015