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Fall foliage

Resting in the holy mountain island of Miyajima the Daishoin Temple is just at the base of the mountain, surrounded by beautiful trees. Miyajima Island is most well-known for UNESCO World Heritage Site, Itsukushima Shrine and the “Floating” Torii Gates, which appear to float in the water during high tide. Daishoin Temple is a hidden gem in the emerald green sea of maple trees. This quaint shrine was established in 806, the first year...

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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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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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Like temples and shrines, the ubiquity of gardens is something you’ll notice when you visit Japan. Gardening culture stretches far back in time and nations from all over the world have their own gardening culture and aesthetic.  Japanese gardening culture breaks down into a few categories, often influenced by Shinto and Zen, as well as influence of other Asian gardens, such as Chinese gardens. Here are three types of gardens that...

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Day 1/2 Honolulu – Kansai Airport We arrived at the Kansai Airport smoothly and the line at Immigration wasn’t long at all for a change. We met our English tour guide, Makoto Fukuda, at the arrival exit.  He would be our guide till we get to Tokyo on Day 9.  Since we arrived in Kyoto around 8pm, most of us were able to eat at restaurants near Kyoto Station or Aeon Mall.  Great start!   Day 3  Kyoto – Arashiyama...

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