The Old Town of Sawara: The Ideal Day Trip from Narita Airport
From centuries-old buildings to botanical gardens and picturesque canals, the Edo-era town of Sawara is a joy to discover—and a short distance from Tokyo’s Narita Airport.
The Japanese Island that Inspired the Action-adventure Game: "Ghost of Tsushima"
A visit to the remote border island of Tsushima, a place full of fascinating history and natural beauty that inspired the Ghost of Tushima video game.
A Walk Through Tokyo History: Yotsuya to Shinjuku on the Koshu Kaido Road
A guide to walking through the center of Tokyo on the course of the Koshu Kaido road, one of the five routes that connected the old city of Edo with the provinces. Among the modern buildings and bustling streets are remnants of a remarkable past.
A Perfect Weekend in Kobe
Kobe is Kansai's best-kept secret. Its foreign influence is a great attraction, while often overlooked is its ancient history and natural beauty. This guide sets you on track for an awesome weekend getaway.
Japan's Himekuri Calendars: Amazing Almanacs
Japan's traditional page-a-day himekuri calendars are fascinating windows into traditional ways of keeping track of everything from seasonal events to festivals and lucky days.
Shimbun Nishiki-e: The Meiji-era Origins of Japan’s Lurid Tabloids
In the Meiji Era (1868--1912), some enterprising woodblock artists used their traditional skills to bring a mix of news and entertainment to the masses.
Warrior Portfolio: From “An Illustrated Guide to Samurai History and Culture”
With the vividly illustrated pages of this new book, author Gavin Blair takes a deep dive into depictions of the legendary samurai warrior class.
Discover Japanese Woodwork Traditions at Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum
This Kobe museum features the traditions and technology of Japanese carpentry and tool artisanship that are used in buildings from simple tea houses to complex temple designs.
Five Women Warriors from Japanese History
Samurai, street fighters, and shamanesses--Japan has its share of fighting women over the centuries. Here are five of the country's most celebrated warriors.
Savor Local Japanese Life in Hiroshima
Attractive accommodation options in nature-rich Shobara and the port city of Onomichi make ideal bases for savoring the charms of Hiroshima prefecture at a leisurely pace while connecting with the local culture.
Learning Japan's Ancient Horseback Archery
Yabusame is a traditional samurai martial, involving shooting an arrow at a target from the back of a horse galloping at full speed. I attempted to learn this in one day. And so can you.
7 Must-Visit Spots in and around Matsue
Experience Japan's rich culture and history without the crowds of major tourist destinations in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture.
Ketchup and Cabbages: In Search of Japan’s Most Unusual Monuments
Should there be a monument to cabbages? How about eyeglasses? Well they already exist in Japan, along with many other unusual tributes.
Highway to the Gods: In the Footsteps of Oyama Pilgrims
Mt. Oyama, a peak to the southwest of Tokyo, has long been the goal of pilgrims eager to pay their respects to the gods. Today, visitors can follow in their footsteps on a short, fun trip out of the city.
Takigyo: Japanese Waterfall Meditation
Takigyo, or waterfall meditation, is a rare practice that samurai and ascetic Japanese Buddhists and Shintoists engaged in for centuries. There are several places around Japan where visitors can join the breath-taking training.
Four Japanese Women Who Changed History
Meet four Japanese women who were pioneers in education and medicine. Tsuda Umeko, Oyama Sutematsu, Ogino Ginko, and Kusumoto Ine fought the status quo and created new opportunities for the generations of women who followed.
The Perfect Weekend Tour of Fukuoka City
A long-time resident shares her knowledge of mouth-watering local food spots, great shopping and open green space in one of Japan's most fascinating regional capitals.
Tokyo Corners: The Unique Style of Sculptor Asakura Fumio's Museum
A visit to sculptor Asakura Fumio's former studio and residence, now a museum, in historical Yanaka, offers a look at one man’s vision of art and life
Be the Lord of the Domain with a Luxury Stay in a Japanese Castle!
Two unusual programs offer accommodations that are fit for nobility—or an Edo-period ruler of one of Japan’s feudal provinces.
Picturesque Waterfall Country (and Ninja) in Central Japan
Few places offer as many accessible waterfalls in one area as the Akami 48 Waterfalls, in Mie Prefecture.