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Reflections on The Mountains of Central Japan

Reflections on The Mountains of Central Japan

I’m typing this on a bus bound for an area in the heart of Shiga Prefecture, which is in the middle of the main island of Honshu. The views from the window are stunning, and impress upon me just how glorious the mountains of Japan are. Mountains Define Japan Japan is a long, thin strip of a country, comprising some 6,800 islands. The main one, Honshu, is where you’ll find most of the places you’ve…

Onsen Tips For Those With Tattoos

Onsen Tips For Those With Tattoos

I recently published an article entitled: A Luxury Spa Day At Arima Onsen (that won’t break the bank). Immediately after I was asked if I could provide some onsen tips for those with tattoos. One such response was via an email from Linda who lives in New Zealand. Linda is off to Japan for what sounds like a great trip next month and wanted some advice about using onsen for those with tattoos. Here’s what…

A Luxury Spa Day At Arima Onsen (That Won’t Break The Bank)

A Luxury Spa Day At Arima Onsen (That Won’t Break The Bank)

On the main island of Honshu lies the prefecture of Hyogo. Just to the west of Osaka and Kyoto you’ll find the harbour city of Kobe. Kobe nestles between the Inland Sea and Mt. Rokko. Behind Mt. Rokko lies the ancient onsen resort of Arima. It’s one of Japan’s most popular onsen, dating back to at least the 7th century, and has a reputation as being one of the more luxurious and expensive resort…

12 Reasons Japan Is A Tourist Paradise

12 Reasons Japan Is A Tourist Paradise

There are hundreds of reasons why Japan is a tourist paradise. And they go beyond the robots, geisha and neon lights we’re used to seeing in the media. Not that there’s anything wrong with robots, geisha or neon lights of course. ;-) Whether you’re staying in a hotel or a traditional ryokan, catching a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyushu or jumping on a long-distance bus, eating out in a high-end restaurant or a…

Latest Blog Posts

Summer Event! — Let's Talk About The Real Japan

Summer Event! — Let's Talk About The Real Japan

I’m delighted (and slightly nervous too if I’m honest!) to announce that I’ll be doing my first talk about The Real Japan this summer. And I’d love you to join me if you can. :-) It would be great fun to meet some of you in person! The date for your diary, should you be able to join me, is Wednesday, 17th August 2016 at 7:30pm. The title of the talk is: Exploring The…

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What The $*@# Happened To Kodo?!

What The $*@# Happened To Kodo?!

I recently went to see Japan’s, no…, make that the world‘s leading exponents of taiko drumming — the Kodo drummers. Or at least I thought that’s what I was going to see. By the end of the evening I was left wondering: what the hell has happened to the Kodo drummers?! They were performing at the Barbican Centre in London as part of their 35th Anniversary World Tour. I’ve seen them several times before down…

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