To the overzealous, Ryoanji Temple can be underwhelming by its main attraction, the zen-inducing rock garden. Over the years, however, I've found that this temple has touched me in an unexpected way by its serenity. The land used to serve as a villa for aristocrats from the Heian Period. The temple was built in 1450 by the … Continue reading A Kyoto Perspective – Ryoanji Temple, The Temple of the Dragon at Peace (Daiunzan Ryoanji)
Another excellent place to take a day trip from Tokyo is Hakone (箱根). It's only an hour and a half or so from Tokyo and feels more traditional Japanese than the metropolitan Tokyo. Hakone is famous for Onsens, Lake Ashi, and black eggs from Sulfur. As a goodbye trip, we took a very late train … Continue reading A Short Day Trip to Hakone
Another item that has been sitting on my to-do list for years as finally been checked. Hayao Miyazaki is regarded as the Japanese Walt Disney, a masterful animator who has created the best anime in the history of the world. In Mitaka, Tokyo, there is a museum in an artistically designed house-like structure that displays the … Continue reading Visiting Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo
Mt. Takao, the most convenient hiking spot in proximity to Tokyo (50 km away). It is an easy hike for beginners who want a short bit of exercise to spruce up their life. Mt. Takao, or Takaosan, is very popular for those reasons. On National Health and Sports Day, October 10th, Sachi and I took the trip out to Takaosan to … Continue reading Introspecting on Takaosan’s Hike -Tokyo
It seems every time you mention to a Japanese person you are going traveling to "X", they say, "Oh! 'X' has many great hot springs and the seafood is so delicious!" This time, only half of that was true! Well, I mean, of course the seafood was delicious, but since Kusatsu is located inland, between … Continue reading KUSATSU One of the Best Onsen towns in Japan!
Lake Toya is in proximity to Noboribetsu, "the valley of Hell", in the most northern island of Japan, Hokkaido. Lake Toya is a surprisingly nice little town to spend a night or two in. The main sight is the caldera lake, which has Nakajima Island in the middle, home to the Lake Forest Museum, reachable … Continue reading Japan’s Peaceful Onsen Village in Lake Toya, Hokkaido
As vacations go, we woke up when nature naturally woke us. Our couchsurfing host was nice enough to entrust us with her house and key, so we were free to explore on our own schedule while she was at work. "Where should we go for breakfast, and what should we do today?" the golden words of vacation … Continue reading Bali’s Monkey Forest in Ubud – Day 2