ocated an hour or so up north of Tokyo, in Chichibu Saitama, Chichibu Distillery is Japan’s next generation of whisky distillery. It was founded in 2004 by Ichiro Akuto and the first new Japanese distillery opened since 1973! Ichiro Akuto and his team are, despite the small size of the distillery, winning rave reviews from […]

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eatured on every single 10-yen coin found across across Japan, Byodoin or Byōdō-in/Byōdōin is one of the most striking examples of Jodo, Buddhist Pure Land sect, architecture! Together with its small, yet beautiful garden, Byōdō-in represents the Pure Land Paradise and was very influential on later temple construction. Unlike many other temples, Byōdō-in was in […]

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oyasu Pier is an old fisherman’s pier located in Yokohama’s busy industrial complex. Despite looking like a “ghost town” with its many shipwrecks and what clearly seem to be heavily polluted waters, Koyasu Pier is in fact a thriving fishing spot with many fish swimming around. The pier is well-known as it is used for […]

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reated in the seventies, COEDO is a craft beer made in Saitama prefecture, and more precisely in Kawagoe, one hour north of Tokyo by train. The peculiarity of COEDO beers, is that they are made of Japanese sweet potatoes! COEDO was not always in the beer-brewing business, starting instead as an agricultural company specializing in […]

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stablished in 768 and rebuilt several times over the centuries, Kasuga-taisha is the shrine of the Fujiwara Family and famous for its many bronze and stone lanterns. Alongside the Kasugayama Primeval Forest near it, the Kasuga-taisha is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”. The shrine […]

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art of Todai-Ji, Migatsu-dō also known as Nigatsudo Hall, stands for “Second Month Hall” where in fact the Shuni-e ceremony is held during the second month of the lunar calendar. The hall is considered to be one of the most important additional structures of Todai-Ji. Founded by a monk by the name of Sanetada in […]

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eing one of Japan and Nara’s most famous landmarks and temples, Todai-ji attracts thousands of worshipers and tourists each year. It was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan. Todai-ji (also known as Todaiji) Daibutusden (Big Buddha Hall) not only features one of Japan’s largest bronzes statues of […]

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ara Park, or Nara Koen in Japanese, is a large park in the heart of Nara. Established in 1880, the Nara Park features many of Nara’s most important points of interest like the amazing Todai-ji, Kasuga Taisha, the Nara National Museum and…its many deer! Considered in the Shinto religion to be the messengers of the […]

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anjo Garan is another important place of worship in Koyasan and where Kobo Daishi is also worshipped. The legend has it that Kobo Daishi himself, when studying in China, threw his Sankosho (a pestle with three prongs at each end, usually made of gilt bronze) toward Japan and landed in a pine tree. It was […]

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oya-san or Koyasan is a mountain located in Wakayam prefecture and in the center of the Shingo Buddhist sect introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi (see Ōsu Kannon – Nagoya), one of Japan’s most important religious figures. It was then natural that such an important and well-respected figure would have to rest in […]

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rected on top of Gujō Hachiman’s nearest hill, the Gujō Hachiman Castle was built in 1559 by a local feudal lord. Destroyed during the Meiji Period, the castle was only rebuilt in 1933. Unfortunately it was not rebuilt as the original, but the Gujō Hachiman Castle comes with a wooden foundation rather that the usual […]

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ocated in central Gifu, Gujō Hachiman seems to be one of those small towns where time passes by ten times slower than usual. At the confluence of the upper Nagara-gawa (river) and the Yoshida-gawa (river), this town, founded in the 16th century following the construction of the Hachiman Castle, is known for two main things. […]

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