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Hyogo

It’s springtime and everyone is excited about the cherry blossom season in Japan. But those aren’t the only blossoms during this time of year, this is also a famous time for plum blossoms as well. These blossoms actually look quite similar to cherry blossoms, and they smell amazing. I’m always surprised at the lack of attention they get from foreign visitors. Like cherry blossoms, plum blossoms come in a wide array...

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The Great Hanshin Earthquake struck the southern part of the Hyogo prefecture on January 17, 1995 at 5:46 am. Kobe was the closest city to the epicenter, located at Awaji Island, and was hit by the strongest tremors. The result ended in over 6,000 deaths and a city lying in ruins. Since this devastating disaster, there have been many events held in its remembrance including the KOBE Biennale and Kobe’s Luminarie. While these...

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As everyone begins putting up their Christmas lights to celebrate the season, the city of Kobe, Japan puts up magnificent displays of lights as well– only these lights aren’t for Christmas cheer. Each year in December, the Kobe Luminarie is held for 12 days. This light festival commemorates the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. The very first Luminarie was held around the 1st anniversary of the catastrophe in order to give hope and...

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When most people think of Japanese fashion, they tend to think of the traditional garb in Kyoto or the cutting-edge trends in Tokyo. I highly doubt that the city of Kobe would be the first thing to pop into peoples minds after mentioning fashion. However, the growing area of Sannomiya, located downtown Kobe, is becoming quite the upcoming place for fashion. To Japanese people, Kobe is a very cosmopolitan city filled with luxury stores...

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  Arashiyama is a bit of a romantic destination and it’s a great example of picture-perfect, traditional Japan. You’ll often see people dressed in kimono walking through the small alleyways and rickshaws running past carrying customers. While there are a few temples and other points of interest, such as the Bamboo Grove, what I love most about Arashiyama are all of its small shops. The main road is lined with small,...

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  Although it is known as America’s favorite pastime, baseball has taken root in Japanese sports culture. It is now Japan’s national sport and it’s the most popular sport in Japan. Today, there are even players from Japan who are brought into American MLB teams to play and with great success, such as Ichiro Suzuki. Introduced to Japan in the late 1870s, baseball is known as “yakyu” in Japanese,...

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