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Why Christmas = KFC in Japan

Why Christmas = KFC in Japan

Christmas may not be a national holiday in Japan, but that doesn’t mean people won’t be celebrating! Only around 1% of Japanese people consider themselves Christian, so to most Japanese, Christmas is celebrated more like a Valentine’s Day of sorts, with young couples or groups of friends going on strolls through fancy displays of holiday decorations and lights. And families celebrate with ... Read More »

Experiencing Culture Like a Local in Malaysia

Experiencing Culture Like a Local in Malaysia

I remember taking my first cultural anthropology class in university and thinking how I wanted to experience everything for myself rather than simply reading about cultures from a textbook. Even today, years later, the main reason I love to travel is still because I love learning about cultures from my own and interacting with locals in all the countries I visit. I think ... Read More »

Foto Friday: Stepping Back Through Time in Asakusa, Japan

Foto Friday: Stepping Back Through Time in Asakusa, Japan

Every Friday I’ll be sharing a photo from someplace in my travels. This week’s photo is of stepping back through time in Asakusa, Japan. Asakusa is the center of Tokyo’s shitamachi, or “low city”. Named for its lack of tall buildings, for centuries it was the entertainment center of Tokyo. Filled with large kabuki theaters and geisha shuffling down the streets, it ... Read More »

Sake to Me: The Art of Drinking Sake

Sake to Me: The Art of Drinking Sake

Sake (酒; pronounced “sah-keh” not “sock-ee”) is a drink that has been made in Japan for thousands of years. It is relatively unknown in the US, although a few varieties are starting to pop up in some restaurants and groceries stories. All across Japan there are sake breweries, dozens of different brands, and sake festivals. And again, most regions have ... Read More »

3 Days of Hiking and Biking the Best of Kansai

3 Days of Hiking and Biking the Best of Kansai

Located in the middle of Japan, the Kansai region includes of two of the country’s most visited cities: Kyoto and Osaka. Kyoto is a city steeped with Japanese culture and history. This previous capital city is known for its shrines and temples as there is almost one on every corner– with 17 of them being registered UNESCO Heritage Sites. Osaka on the other ... Read More »

Foto Friday: Tokyo Tower, Japan

Foto Friday: Tokyo Tower, Japan

Every Friday I’ll be sharing a photo from someplace in my travels. This week’s photo is of Tokyo Tower at night in Japan. Once a symbol of Tokyo, Tokyo Tower stands proudly amidst the buildings downtown. The first time I went to Tokyo, I was expecting this grand, futuristic skyline, only to be disappointed when I found there wasn’t one. Even ... Read More »

Famous Regional Omiyage Across Japan

Famous Regional Omiyage Across Japan

A few months ago I talked about omiyage in Japan. A lot of people seemed intrigued about this aspect of Japanese culture so I thought I’d talk more about famous omiyage throughout the different regions of the country. If you don’t remember what an omiyage is, it’s like an obligatory souvenir that you bring back to give others, but yet, ... Read More »

Sensory Overload at Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

Sensory Overload at Tokyo's Robot Restaurant

Rushing through the streets of the Kabukicho, I kept glancing at the time on my phone. I had a bad feeling that we were going to be late. Blindly winding through the small alleyways, I had begun to regret my decision of not writing down directions. At this point, we could only hope that we were headed the right way. ... Read More »

Foto Friday: Kabukicho, Tokyo’s Red-Light District

Foto Friday: Kabukicho, Tokyo's Red-Light District

Every Friday I’ll be sharing a photo from someplace in my travels. This week’s photo is of Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan. Kabukicho is often referred to in Japanese as the “Sleepless Town”. Located in a corner of Shinjuku, it’s Tokyo’s infamous red-light and entertainment district. At all times of night you’ll find blaring neon lights and signs enticing customers to come into ... Read More »

7 Must-Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto

7 Must-Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto

Next to Tokyo, Kyoto is the second more popular city for tourists to visit, and it should be. Kyoto was the first capital back in 794AD and today it’s become Japan’s living cultural archives. If you’ve come to see shrines and temples, you can’t go wrong visiting Kyoto. This city has more than 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shrine ... Read More »