Category Archives: Japan

Seeking Solitude in Japan’s Mountain Monasteries; Anna Hezel; The New York Times

Japan – Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

“Your eyes should be neither open nor closed,” explained the monk at the front of the room. “They should be sort of sleepy — like a Buddha.” It was my first time meditating, and I was anxious about making some sort of conspicuous misstep. I squinted, then tried to relax my eyelids, but inadvertently began to focus on the bright orange cushion of the person in front of me. I closed my eyes with an inward sigh of exasperation at having such a difficult time following instructions. The monk leading the session told us cheerfully that it might help to rest our vision on the tips of our noses.

I was sitting in the carpeted meditation hall of an 1,100-year-old Buddhist temple in Koyasan, in a mountainous region of southeastern Japan.

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10 Great Spots You Should Visit in Uji, the ’Town of Matcha’ in Kyoto!; Japan Info

Japan – Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)

Matcha is a popular and well-loved green tea powder, which can be found everywhere in Japan. It is widely praised for its warming taste, health benefits, and glorious color. Matcha has now become popular in western countries, and you will likely find it in many coffee shops and cafes if you look for it!

Uji (宇治) is a picturesque city situated in Kyoto Prefecture. The town is widely known for its matcha, and it is a major grower of the green tea leaves used for making it. However, if you expect that you’ll just see tea plantations everywhere, you are wrong! Uji has many other interesting attractions too! Check out the places that you can visit in this article.

1. The Tale of Genji Sites

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Tour of Japan blends old and the new, history and culture; Anne Harnagel; LA Times

Japan – Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)

Bullet trains and traditional inns, sushi and sake, temples and tea highlight a week-long tour in Japan.

History and culture are the focus of a new seven-day tour in Japan offered by Classic Journeys. The excursion begins in Tokyo with a guided walk to the old district of Asakusa, followed by a sushi-making class and a trip to a karaoke bar.

In Hakone, known for its hot springs and views of Mt. Fuji, participants will spend two nights in a traditional ryokan, or inn. A bullet train will speed them to Kyoto, home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Activities here include visits to the Arashiyama bamboo forest, the Golden Pavilion and Nijo Castle; participation in a tea ceremony; and a tour and tasting at a sake brewery.


Unique places to travel in Asia: For a dream holiday, head to these gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Sites on your next vacation; Thalia Yanuar; Honeycombers

Japan – Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

Cross all these stunning destinations off your travel bucket list with Wego, a nifty money-saving travel site where you can book cheap flights and get great deals on hotel rooms.


With years of wanderlusting under our belts, our complete travel bucket-list obviously reads miles long, so to narrow it down, we’re looking to some destinations that have a much-lauded UNESCO World Heritage stamp. Trying to tick off all of these gorgeous sites will take a bit of moolah, so unless you’re rolling in dough, we’re sure you could use some help finding the cheapest airfare and deals on hotel rooms (because saving every penny counts!) Enter Wego, a nifty travel site where travelers can save money by scoping out the most affordable airfares and luxe boutique hotels for less. Cool right?

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Making Japan’s heritage accessible without spoiling it; NAOKO KUBOTA, FUMIE IWAMOTO & YUKI MURAKAMI; Nikkei Asian Review

Japan – Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)

TOKYO — One of Japan’s ancient treasures is playing host to some of Asia’s most modern art creations.

Nijo Castle, built in 1679 as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa shoguns, is hosting the Asia Corridor Contemporary Art Exhibition, which features 25 artists from Japan, China and South Korea.

A colorful balloon artwork by South Korean artist Choi Jeonghwa, which depicts huge carrots, pumpkins and bananas, occupies the courtyard once used as a palace kitchen.

“It is a stunning juxtaposition of the past and the present,” a couple from Spain exclaimed. The exhibition runs through Oct. 15, and it is the first time the UNESCO World Heritage Site has hosted such an event.

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Kumano Kodo guide unfairly singled out; Mike Rhodes; The Japan Times

Japan – Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

A letter regarding Amy Chavez’s Japan Lite column “Blame for ‘bad tourists’ to Japan lies with the advice they never receive.”

I am writing regarding Amy Chavez’s Japan Lite column published online on Aug. 27 (in print Aug. 28) entitled “Blame for ‘bad tourists‘ to Japan lies with the advice they never receive.”

I am a licensed English-speaking guide for the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range UNESCO World Heritage site, including Mount Koya and various communities in Wakayama Prefecture.

Let me first say that I agree almost entirely with the article Ms. Chavez wrote.

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A wonderful and enchanting trip to Nikko featuring World Heritage Shrine; JAPAN Monthly Web Magazine

Japan – Shrines and Temples of Nikko