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Worth Experience

Temples are one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous sites in Japan, but did you know that big temple complexes have smaller sub-temples?  Just as you’d guess, a sub-temple is a smaller temple on a larger temple ground. In fact, some temple complexes do not have a main temple, but rather are a group of sub-temples on temple grounds. This is actually quite common for many of the larger temples, such as Daitoku-ji Temple....

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February brings some of the most fun holidays to celebrate to the world: Setsubun in Japan, the Lunar New Year in China, Presidents Day, and of course Valentine’s Day. What better way to celebrate your love for Japan than to learn about traditional Japanese weddings? Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is a shrine complex with a rich history just a few minutes away from the Kamakura Station. Indisputably the most important shrine in the city...

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The Meiji Restoration Period of Japan (1868 – 1912) was the first major step away from the tradition and culture of Old World Japan. Japan had achieved tremendous accomplishments at the price of several crippling drawbacks. Embracing their Western contemporaries, Japan had great economic, militaristic, and technological growth as well as many Japanese immigrating to America in the late 1800’s, where my ancestry in America began. The...

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Kanazawa is easier to get to than ever with the new bullet train line. Seisonkaku is more than just an important national cultural asset, it’s a must see site, distinguished with a rich history of the Maeda clan, rulers of the Kaga territories of the Edo period until the Meiji Restoration period. Constructed in 1863, Maeda Nariyasu, the Daimyo of Kaga had this villa created as a retirement home for his mother. To this day, some...

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When you set foot in the Land of the Rising Sun, you’ll notice the ubiquity of temples. Temples, temples, temples everywhere; from the heart of Urban Tokyo to the depths of Kyushu’s jungles, from the rustic country side to the scenic mountains, temples are everywhere. These historic monuments are all unique and rich with history and culture, but each one tells a different story— what’s your favorite?   Tofuku-ji’s story starts in...

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You’re probably wondering what could be so controversial about a Zen temple, just like I was. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ryoan-ji Temple (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) is home to one of the most famous “Karesansui,” or Zen rock gardens; the origin and meaning of this garden are still contested by historians. The garden still remains today; the only plant life being the moss around the rocks. Sitting on an...

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