While not being a military school per se, the Nisshinkan Samurai School was designed to produce elite members of the Society where sons of Samurai families entered at age ten to master all arts, ranging from the art of war, politics, history, and science. Also, unique for its time, [...]

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Ouchi-Juku is a former post town along the Aizu-Nishi Kaido trade route in Fukushima, which connected Aizu with Nikko during the Edo Period. Restrictions set by the shogunate required travelers to make their long journeys on foot and as a result, post towns developed along […]

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Around 8,000 cherry trees located along the Kawazu River, the Kawazu Sakura Festival is one of Japan’s most famous places for early cherry tree blossom viewing or hanami. Located on the Izu peninsula, Kawazu and its sakura festival attract almost two million visitors each year from mid-February through […]

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Located on the outskirts of the former post town of Ouchijuku near the Aizu Nishi Kaido trade route, the Takaura Shrine is a gorgeous little shrine dedicated to Prince Mochihito who died in June 1180. Near the beginning of the Genpei War (1180–1185) during the Uji battle [...]

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For those who've been interested in traveling to Japan, Nikko needs no introduction. Famous for its magnificent waterfall and many temples, Nikko is definitely a place to visit when in Japan. Less popular yet really worth experiencing is Nikko’s amazing National Park, especially in winter or autumn. [...]

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Located just an hour away from Mt Fuji in Yamanashi prefecture, Minobusan Kuonji Temple is the head temple of the Nichiren Shu sect of Buddhism. The temple was founded in 1275 during the Kamakura period which saw a series of epidemics and natural disasters. [...]

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Kyorinbo Temple (Shiga) is said to have been built by Crown Prince Shotoku in 605 and named as such for being originally a place of teaching ("Kyo") surrounded by a forest ("Rin"). Featuring gorgeous moss-covered stones lined-up all over its garden, Kyorinbo temple is reminiscent of the famous Japanese artist [...]

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Hyakusaiji Temple is the oldest temple in Shiga. It was erected in 606 in what used to be the town of Omi. Omi merged into the expanded city of Maibara in 2005. Portuguese missionary Luís Fróis called Hyakusiji, “Heaven on Earth” when he visited Japan in 1563. [...]

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Tarobogu is a picturesque shrine located about halfway up the 350m high Mt. Akagamiyama in Shiga prefecture. Tarobogu is known by the nickname "Tarobo-san" in Japanese. Said to have been founded around 1,400 years ago, it is connected to warding off disaster and bringing good luck and success in business. [...]

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Known now as Ama or “sea-women”, these ladies have been recognized for their importance in the development of Japan after the Mikimoto Kokichi discovery and unique production of cultured pearls in 1983. [...]

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Donkaiin temple is part of Kongosho-ji which is located on top of Mount Asama, Mie’s highest mountain. Built-in 825 by Kobo Daishi (774~835) who was a Buddhist saint and founder of the Shingon or “True Word” school of Buddhism. [...]

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Having been around since the beginning of the Kamakura period (1192 - 1333) Saimyoji represents beautiful examples of architecture from that time featuring a nail-free structure. Saimyoji is also Japan’s first National Treasure! The temple includes a stunning approach of over 1,000 maple trees and a gorgeous three-tiered pagoda. [...]

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