Japan

chirashi-zushi also called scattered sushi

Chirashi Zushi | Scattered Sushi

On our travels in Japan we’ve enjoyed chirashi zushi from Osaka all the way up to Sapporo.  It’s a delicious bed of perfectly seasoned sushi rice topped with anything from a layer to a mound of fresh seafood, vegetables and other condiments.   We’ve had…

Styles of sushi

The many forms and styles of sushi

We adore Japanese food and nothing beats fresh sushi whether it’s served up near Omi-Cho in the coastal city of Kanazawa or in a tiny sushi restaurant outside Tokyo’s famous fish market.  To be honest we’ve had some amazing sushi all across the country.  We adore…

Korakuen garden in Okayama

Korakuen Garden in Okayama

The Korakuen Garden in Okayama is rated as one of the top 3 gardens in Japan.  That’s high praise in a country with the so much natural beauty and so many highly prized gardens.  Having visited though I’d have to agree that this garden is…

Hiroshima-peace-park

Exploring the Hiroshima Peace Park

The Hiroshima Peace Park (known as Heiwakinen in Japanese) is the first place most visitors to the city aim for when they arrive.  Whether you’re making an intercity day trip or intend to base yourself in Hiroshima for a few days you’re unlikely to come to town…

Everything you need to know about Shichi-go-san celebrations

Shichi-go-san festival in Japan

There’s not much that’s more adorable, or kawaii I guess, than dozens of young children in traditional kimonos.  It’s a sight you’re likely to see a lot in Shinto shrines during the shichi-go-san festival in mid November.  An excess of cuteness and so many bright colours is a photographers dream…

Hakone cable car

Hakone Freepass | Is it good value?

Hakone is a popular day-trip from Tokyo or an interesting short stay option.  For visitors who want an onsen experience while in Japan but don’t have the time to travel further afield it’s easily accessible in Hakone and there’s so much more to see and…

The gardens of Gion Kaburenjo Theatre

Exploring the geisha districts of Kyoto

Planning to see geisha in Kyoto?  Head into the areas where they live and entertain.  These geisha districts are known as hanamachi and there are 5 in Kyoto. The city of Kyoto is a dream for anyone with an interest in Japanese history.  It’s a…

Osaka Amazing Pass | Is it good value?

We often don’t find city passes or discount passes to be great deals for us because we’re slow travellers.  We like to have a good look around, spend some downtime in a local cafe or tea shop, take time out to eat and wander off…

The Rakan of Daisho-in Temple

Daisho-in temple on Miyajima Island

If you’re planning a visit to Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture you will probably have Itsukushima Shrine at the top of your list of things to see.  The waterfront shine is famous for its ‘floating’ tori gate and shrine buildings and is especially dramatic at…

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle – Ume blooms and a Samurai past

I was drawn to Osaka castle for the ume, a stunning display of 1,250 plum blossom trees that offers one of the best collections within a major city.  Ume have a less dedicated following than the sakura (cherry blossoms) that burst into their dramatic bloom a…

Mt Misen Miyajima

The stunning Mt Misen, Miyajima

Goal for the day?  The top of Mt Misen! I enthusiastically parted the curtains of our room high up in the Hiroshima Granvia Hotel to watch the daylight creeping into the sky across over the city.  The weather was grey and more hazy then would…