Shochu is often a curiosity to foreigners. A distilled spirit made from up to 53 government-approved crops in order to be honkaku (genuine), it gives rise to a diverse range of flavor…

Ibaraki remains largely unexplored by travelers, despite being readily accessible from Tokyo and boasting a plethora of cultural and scenic charms. Tours are an easy way to optimize your trip, focus on…

On a sunny cool spring morning on April 9, an age-old tradition took place in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture again after six years. (Locals, however, will tell you it happens every seven years…

In Japan, a country that measures its seasons by its colorful nature, nothing says spring has sprung quite like a park full of bright blooms. From cherry blossoms to hydrangeas and morning…

One of the great pleasures of traveling in Kyushu, whether you’re interested in art, history, shopping or all three, is delving into its heritage of fine ceramics. Kyushu has one of the…

Despite being Japan’s third-largest city, it still feels like Osaka is somewhat overlooked as visitors head out of Tokyo along the so-called ‘Golden Route’ that takes them to Hakone, Kyoto and Hiroshima.…

Miyazaki Prefecture is known for its great weather, Pacific surf and a 250-mile coastline of lush forests and impressive geological features. Its location also has significant agricultural connotations. Clinging to Kyushu’s southern…

The phrase “hidden gem” is often thrown around, but it’s rarely accurate. Taketa, a small town in Kyushu’s Oita Prefecture, fits that bill and another one, as an “off-the-beaten-path” destination. Much more…

Aso leaves you at a loss for words — and that’s not just a figure of speech. As soon as the caldera opened before our eyes as we were driving into Aso…

Chiba Prefecture may not immediately come to mind as a worthy or exciting getaway destination from Tokyo but this could well be construed as a serious error of judgment. In reality, the…

The first signs of spring have started to pop up across the country, marking the long-awaited approach of Japan’s beloved cherry blossom season. As the country becomes aflush with the colors of…

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Fukuoka’s little Venice,’ Yanagawa mirrors its Italian sister city in both its serene beauty and rich local history. Its plethora of attractions, however, are what establish this southern city as…