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Walking Around Ainokura Village, Gokayama

Walking Around Ainokura Village, Gokayama

Walking Around Ainokura Village (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Gokayama, Toyama Prefecture Ainokura is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mountains in the Gokayama area of Toyama Prefecture, on the main island of Honshu. Ainokura is part of a cluster of villages in the region renowned for their A-frame houses, or gassho-zukuri, with thick thatched roofs. The steep roofs are designed so that the heavy snow that falls in the area slips easily off…

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Making Taiyaki, Daimaru Department Store, Ashiya

Making Taiyaki, Daimaru Department Store, Ashiya

Making Taiyaki, Daimaru Department Store In this short film, we see how the popular fish-shaped snack taiyaki are made. Taiyaki (literally “baked sea bream”) are Japanese fish-shaped cakes, made using pancake or waffle batter. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Other common fillings include custard, chocolate, cheese, and sweet potato. In this film, shot in the food hall of Daimaru department store in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture,…

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A Walk Around Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park, Ashiya

A Walk Around Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park, Ashiya

Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park In this short film, we take a relaxing stroll through the suburbs of Ashiya to Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park. Ashiya is our home when we are in Japan. It is in Hyogo Prefecture, (on the main island of Honshu) close to Kobe, and not far from Kyoto and Osaka. Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park is a modest municipal park built around a pond, where ducks, koi card and turtles make their homes. We walk along…

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Limousine Bus to Kobe Minato Onsen, Luxury Ryokan REN

Limousine Bus to Kobe Minato Onsen, Luxury Ryokan REN

  Sit back. Relax. Let’s ride to the spa. Kobe Minato Onsen is a luxury contemporary ryokan and natural hot spring, just five minutes from the heart of Kobe city centre. Located in a prime location, overlooking Kobe’s famous Harbourland, the hotel offers extensive, spa, health, dining, pool, sporting, yoga, personal training and relaxation facilities. Not only for guests but to those taking advantage of its Day Spa – which we indulged in. Included within…

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This Is How You Make Okonomiyaki! – Ajinoya Restaurant Osaka

This Is How You Make Okonomiyaki! – Ajinoya Restaurant Osaka

  Ajinoya is a go-to restaurant in Osaka specialising in okonomiyaki and yakisoba dishes. Staff prepare, mix and then cook the food on a hotplate at your table in front of you. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “how you like” or “what you like”, and yaki meaning “grill”. Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan….

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Stardust Vegan Cafe & Boutique, Kyoto

Stardust Vegan Cafe & Boutique, Kyoto

Most people come to bustling Kyoto for the incredible wealth of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, and perhaps the hope of catching a Geisha or two walking elegantly in their geta to their next booking. Kyoto is also a good city for shopping. With the main shopping areas relatively compact and within a quick cab ride, short bus journey or a little longer but still pleasant stroll on foot from the main train station. As…

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Boiling Eggs at Japan’s Oldest Hotspring – Yunomine Onsen

Boiling Eggs at Japan’s Oldest Hotspring – Yunomine Onsen

  Yunomine Onsen village, commonly referred to as Japan’ s oldest spa, can be found nestled in the sacred mountains of Kumano in Wakayama Prefecture, Honshu. The village was built on a natural hotspring where the waters are naturally heated up to 90 degrees. High quantities of sulpher in the water creates myriad colours on the rocks. The sulpher also adds to the water’s medicinal properties. Along the riverside, just below the Yunomine Onsen bus…

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Unboxing Cake in Commemorative Shimakaze Train Packaging

Unboxing Cake in Commemorative Shimakaze Train Packaging

Knowing I’m a bit of a train geek, a friend kindly bought me a gift commmorating the launch of the Shimakaze train service. Its pieces of sponge cake presented in a commemorative box – shaped like the Shimakaze train itself! The box also functions as a children’s toy. In this film you’ll see that the back of the box opens, revealing an inner box that is decorated with symbols of the Shima region including sea…

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