All About Japan

Saiho-ji: Kyoto's Rainy Season Gem

The rainy season brings gray clouds and inclement weather to Kyoto each June, but all that moisture leaves Saiho-ji moss temple glimmering like an emerald!

Clear Your Mind & Fill Your Stomach in Toyama

Try your hand at this Buddhist meditative activity at Oiwasan Nissekiji Temple in Toyama—then try the food!

Visit an Eerie Grove of Buddhist Statues

This village of Buddhist statues is either the beginning to a really good Miyazaki film—or a really terrifying Japanese horror film.

5 Vital Temple & Shrine Etiquette Tips

While going to a temple or shrine simply to observe is satisfactory on its own, it's well worth learning how to fully participate to get the most out of the experience.

Revered Animals at Japan's Temples & Shrines

How can a cow heal your knee? Find out at these Tokyo-area temples and shrines!

Swiss Priest Guides Visitors at Koyasan

Coming to Koysan 18 years ago, Swiss national Kurt Kubli Genso became a Buddhist priest, and now guides visitors around this three-star World Heritage Site in five different languages.

Curious About Buddhist Cuisine?

If you've ever wanted to try 'Shojin Ryori' and experience the way monks eat in Japan, we know just the place!

Follow the Footsteps of Poet Matsuo Basho

Pack your hiking boots and get ready for an adventure as we take you to the most fascinating and beautiful spots of Japan's deep north by way of the poet Matsuo Basho.

The 3 Dragon Gates of Tokyo

Who needs Dragon Balls? There are three Dragon Gates in Tokyo said to grant the wish you make while touching them!

Brush Up on Your Japanese Buddhism Knowledge

Impress your friends by showcasing your knowledge of the differences between Japan's two main religions, Shinto and Buddhism—or wow them with the origin of those cute, one-eyed, red 'daruma' dolls.

5 Stunning Walks in the Japanese Countryside

Locals share secret trails with incredible views of the Japanese countryside!

5 Stunning Temple & Shrine Videos

These five videos will instantly transport you to some of the most vivid temples and shrines in Japan!

The Custom of Communal Cleaning

While the spirit of cleaning is taught in Japanese schools, the principle very likely originated in Zen Buddhism, and continues on into adulthood.

Chocolates Molded into the Head of Buddha

This Buddha-shaped head isn't the only surprise Cacao Magic has in store!

10 Iconic Japanese Gods

Between its traditions of Shinto and Buddhism, Japan has a rich pantheon of gods and goddesses. Here are 10 that you're likely to encounter while shrine and temple hopping around the country!

Ofuna's Giant Kannon

There's something huge peeking over Kamakura's hills.

The Secrets of the Daruma Doll

The Daruma doll symbolizes good luck and perseverance in modern-day Japan. But how did a tumbler toy come to have such cultural significance, and what are the reasons behind its peculiar customs?

6 Foreigners Making Waves in the Countryside

Most of the subjects of this story didn't see themselves where they are now—but all of them found something incredible in the Japanese countryside, leading each to develop a unique and indelible bond to the local community.

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