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Showing posts with the label Japanese Food

An Island Shrine, a Special Meal and a Unique Museum in Japan's Aichi Prefecture

In pursuit of a week-long adventure in Japan’s heartlandShoryudo Region, I sped west from Tokyo on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. The train’s path followed the Old Tōkaidō Road (the 'eastern sea' road), used for centuries to travel between the governmental capital in Edo (modern Tokyo) and the Imperial capital in Kyoto. I was on my way to Aichi Prefecture which hugs the Pacific coast and offers a rich experience with culture, history, nature and culinary deliciousness.

I settled into my seat on the train, happy to be in Japan where public transportation makes it easy to explore all parts of the island nation. For intercity visits under three hours, I'll always take  the 200+ mph Shinkansen. 
Called the "bullet train" for good reason. Stand near railroad tracks as a Shinkansen passes and it feels like a jet on wheels is streaking by. Inside, when I'm sitting in a comfortable seat, reading a book or snacking on a bento box, I forget how fast we're traveling.  

I woul…

An Onsen, a Castle and a 250 Million Year Old Cave in Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan's Shoryudo Region

Shizuoka Prefecture is famously the home of Mt. Fuji, Japan’s most revered landmark. West from Tokyo, mid-way to Kyoto, the prefecture is a popular destination because of the natural beauty of its mountains, lakes, rivers and Pacific Ocean coastline.  
The area is as well-known for the many battles that took place during the Sengoku Period (1467-1615), a time of instability when Japan’s daimyōs (local lords) fought against one another. Ultimately, after great bloodshed and turmoil, a unified Japan was created, leading to a time of peace that lasted more than two-hundred and fifty years. 
For anyone who loves history, good food and nature, an adventure in Shizuoka Prefecture hits all the sweet spots.
Kanzanji Onsen Hotel Kokonoe - Hot Water, Cold Rain, Great Food
After spending a full day enjoying the attractions of Shizuoka Prefecture, we arrived after dark at Kanzanji Onsen Hotel Kokonoe

Our guide, Masayo Atobe, recommended I visit the onsen before dinner, which was a Japanese custom. S…

Tips on Travel: Ready, Set, Go, Time to Visit Japan

Japan is wonderful. The people are friendly. The landscape is beautiful. The food fantastic. The history fascinating. The culture captivating. In the past year I have had the good fortune to visit several times. As I traveled in large cities and out in the heartland, I jotted down some tips to help when you travel to Japan.


ENGLISH LANGUAGE FRIENDLY
As Japan prepares for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics, English language signs can now be found in the subway and railway systems. In busy transit centers in the cities, uniformed guides are also available to help English speaking travelers.

That being said, if you want to explore the heartland outside of the major cities, Japan is not especially easy for English-speaking travelers. If you have the resources, it is best to hire an English speaking guide and, if possible, a driver.
When looking for a guide, understand there is a vast difference between “English proficient” and “English fluent” guides. Ideally you want a gu…