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Worth Experience

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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Hiraizumi Chusonji 2016 is a commemorative year for Chusonji Temple and Hiraizumi; it has been nearly 5 years since this location was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established by the Fujiwara clan, rulers of northern Japan during the Heian Period (794 – 1185), Hiraizumi is Tohoku’s first World Heritage Site. Before the establishment of Chusonji Temple, there is no historical or archaeological evidence of...

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