Travelogue Japan: Nagoya Castle, Nagoya

You know the saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’? I couldn’t have agreed more – our five days in Japan felt like it was coming to an end too soon! Our last overnight stop before flying back to Tokyo was Nagoya, the country’s fourth largest city and a major maritime port. We caught a mid-morning train from Takayama, a three-hour ride away. Mariko-san bought … Continue reading Travelogue Japan: Nagoya Castle, Nagoya

Travelogue Japan: Old Merchant’s Street @ Takayama Historic District, Gifu

Takayama is a gorgeous place. It’s modern enough that you get all the trappings of a city, but rural enough to give it a rustic charm. Takayama’s rich timber sources and skilled carpenters (said to have worked on many castles in Kyoto and Edo) made it an important outpost for the ruling elite (hence, the establishment of the local government office, Takayama Jinya). Visitors will see … Continue reading Travelogue Japan: Old Merchant’s Street @ Takayama Historic District, Gifu

Travel Blog: Zenkoji, Nagano’s Ancient Buddhist Temple

Many towns and cities in Japan grew around castles or temples during the feudal era. Nagano is one of the latter, flourishing around an ancient 7th century Buddhist temple called Zenkoji, also considered one of Japan’s three most sacred sites. Legend has it that the first Buddha statue brought into Japan is enshrined within the temple, hidden even to its chief priest. The last known record … Continue reading Travel Blog: Zenkoji, Nagano’s Ancient Buddhist Temple