All About Japan

The Coexistence of Old & New

One unique aspect of Japan is to respect traditional culture and let it grow alongside new customs in today’s society. And Kamakura is a great place to see both.

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.

5 Stunning Walks in the Japanese Countryside

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

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!

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.

Hokokuji: The Bamboo Temple of Kamakura

Hokokuji is a fascinating old Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple located in the eastern hills of Kamakura.

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!

5 Stunning Temple & Shrine Videos

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

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?

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

Chocolates Molded into the Head of Buddha

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

UNESCO's Historical Monuments of Ancient Nara

Once the capital of Japan, the historical monuments of Nara include temples, a shrine, a palace, a forest and lots of deer!

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.

Revered Animals at Japan's Temples & Shrines

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

Our 5 Favorite Tours in Kamakura

Not sure what to do and where to go in Kamakura? Let us give you some options for an unforgettable tour with a qualified guide.

Battle of the Big Buddhas

Kamakura defends itself against rival Nara in the Battle of the Big Buddhas!

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