Japan through the Eyes of the First Tourists
Enrich your travel experience by adding travelogues from the Meiji and Taisho eras to your reading list.
In Samurai Footsteps: The 47 Ronin Tour
One of the most famous stories of historical times is the saga of the 47 ronin, a group of samurai who avenged their deceased lord in a famous vendetta. Tokyo has several spots where fans of the story can visit to pay homage to the dedicated warriors.
Japan’s Ancient UFO: The Tale of Utsuro-bune
The utsuro-bune legend has has been a source of intrigue in Japan for over 200 years. Read on to discover what is behind the legend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How I Learned to Wield a Samurai Sword
Spending a few hours, or even a day, at Meihodo, a complex of Edo-style buildings and gardens in the Mt. Aso caldera of Kyushu's Kumamoto Prefecture, is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in samurai culture.
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.
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.
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.
In the Footsteps of Japan’s Yamabushi Ascetics
Visit this isolated village in central Japan for a glimpse of Japan's ancient ascetic traditions that are still being practiced today.
Nostalgic Trip to a Beloved Tokyo Neighborhood
The Shibamata neighborhood on the outskirts of Tokyo retains the essence of the city’s “everyman” past. An iconic films series has helped to preserve its charms.
Time Travel with Japan's "Warlord" Clocks
Tokyo's Daimyo Clock Museum showcases unique Japanese clocks and the old way of measuring time used in the Edo period.
Whirlwind Visit to Daisen Oki National Park
YouTuber John Daub from Only in Japan, and Dean Newcombe from runAway Japan visit Izumo in the Daisen Oki National Park for a 2-day taster trip!