A Day In Nikko, Japan – Taking a Tour Versus Independent Travel

The shrines and temples of Nikko, one of Japan’s 21 UNESCO listed sites, are an easy day trip from Tokyo. You can do a day in Nikko either as a tour from Tokyo, or you can go there independently. Either option has its pros and cons. Read my recommendations for a complete Nikko trip experience.

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Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Japan – A Kaleidoscope of Colors and Shapes

The centerpiece and most visited attraction of the Nikko UNESCO World Heritage site is the Toshogu shrine. This final resting place for Tokugawa Ieyasu is like a peacock among the pigeons, an extravagant and elaborately colorful showpiece dedicated to the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for almost 300 years.

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Hiking Mt. MItake – Where Nature and Religion Meet

Mt. Mitake in  Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park is a green and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Tokyo. Only 90 minutes away, it is easily accessible and provides a non touristy cultural experience as you hike with the locals past shrines, waterfalls and a natural moss covered rock garden.

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“I’m Turning Japanese” – Original Japanese Kimono Quilt Design

Original Quilt Design – This design takes it’s inspiration from the many beautiful Kimonos I have seen on my trips to Japan.

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My 25 Favorite Japanese Experiences to Inspire Your Next Travel Itinerary

Japan is one of my favorite travel destinations. The unique mix of east and west in this culturally rich country continues to fascinate me. I am sharing my 25 favorite Japanese experiences in photos to inspire your next trip to this amazing country.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion – Kinkaku-Ji Temple

The setting sun glows off the gold leaf on Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, aptly named the Golden Pavilion. Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion – Kinkaku-Ji Temple”

Photo POSTcard: Toyokuni Shrine – The Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats

The Island of Miyajima is best known for the large floating tori gate in its harbor and for the Itsikushima shrine which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the buildings that make up the Itsikushima compels is the Toyokuni Shrine which has the nick name “Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats” because of its large size.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Not Your Typical Mt. Fuji View

Most photos of Mt. Fuji  in Japan show clear blue skies and cherry blossoms or autumn leaves in the foreground. This photo is probably more realistic though. 

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PhotoPOSTcard: A Foliage Festival Food Stall In Japan

Food stalls, craft vendors selling their wares in tents and American country music blaring over a loudspeaker – It’s a fall foliage festival.  But this one is in Kawaguchico Japan, within sight of Mount Fuji. Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: A Foliage Festival Food Stall In Japan”

Photo POSTcard: Shichi-Go-San – Japan’s Cutest Festival

The Japanese love their varied festivals and holidays.  For a visitor, the festival with the highest adorable factor has to be Shichi-Go-San, or the 3-5-7 festival which refers to the ages of the children that participate.

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