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Shikoku

Uwajima Castle (宇和島城) is located in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku. Today it is one of 12 original castles remaining in Japan, meaning it still has it’s original Edo period main tower. The castle began construction in 1595. Lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi provided Todo Takatora land in Uwajima, and being the excellent castle-builder he was, he decided to construct Uwajima Castle. It took almost 6 years to complete the main tower and...

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Every August since 1954, the city of Kochi in southern Shikoku is filled with excitement as the Yosakoi Festival is on the way. As a modern twist of the popular Awa Odori dance festival, the four-day Yosakoi festival happens typically between the 9th and 12th of August. Although the festival name, Yosakoi, is literally translated as “come at night,” the festival runs all day. Yosakoi features more than 20,000 costumed performers...

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(Day 1 & 2) Honolulu – Fukuoka Despite the typhoon approaching on its way to Japan, we didn’t have much turbulence also no rain in Fukuoka. Yay!! First meal in Fukuoka – tonkotsu ramen (pork base soup).   (Day 3) Fukuoka – Imari – Arita – Nagasaki We are in Saga pref. today and visit Imari and Arita town where it’s known for porcelain. As I get older I find myself admire and...

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Summertime in Japan means one thing- Matsuri (祭り)! Matsuri can take place all year round, but some of the largest and most lively matsuri seem to take place during the warm months of summer. One of the most famous of these events is Tokushima City’s Awa Odori, which just came to an end a few days ago. Held every year from August 12th – 15th, this festival is part of the Obon ritual to welcome the dead. Dating back 400...

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A trunk of pine tree covered with a rice straw mat like in the picture is often seen in Japanese garden in early winter. We associate this scene with people with a muffler around their neck, accordingly this method is mistakenly regarded as protecting pine trees from the cold of winter, but this actually is a countermeasure against harmful insects of pine trees. These insects usually eat pine leaves, however they descend from the...

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Benesse House fuses an art museum with lodging facilities so guests can leisurely enjoy art amid the natural beauty and gentle pace Naoshima Island. Visitors will find works of modern art exhibited in formal exhibition spaces as well as guest rooms designed by the famous architect Tadao Ando. Beach Beach is a suite building that was built close to the seashore.These 8 rooms are filled with touches of ingenuity to ensure a fantastic...

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