Myamoto Musashi is the stuff of epic, samurai legend. Just mention the word “samurai” and his name will surely arise in conversation. The traveling ronin (samurai without a master) who battled and won over 60 duels, developed the 2 sword fighting technique and who inspired countless samurai films comes to life in the city of Kumamoto, Japan. Continue reading “Chasing Musashi the Samurai in Kumamoto”
Sumo is rad! ‘nough said … Any sport that encourages its athletes to eat vast sums of rice and then sleep it off has my respect. So much about this ancient sport gets lost in translation and i’d though I’d clear some of it up. Below is my account of a day in the life of a westerner in the land of the rising sun trying to make sense of this ancient form of martial art.
When I read about how the town of Kurokawa onsen offers an onsen-hopping meguri pass – a little, hand-carved wooden disk you wear around your neck that grants you access to 3 onsens of choice – I thought to myself “I have to see this place!” It is one thing to visit an onsen or sento (bath house), but a whole onsen town? That is just something spectacular and basically my wildest, onsen dream-come-true. Continue reading “Kurokawa – ultimate onsen town “
It seems most people come to Yufuin – a small hamlet and onsen resort town on the island of Kyushu, Japan – for a day trip, but we were lucky enough to spend a week here and did not run out of things to do. If you like onsens, art galleries, local crafts – this little town has a lot to offer. Not to mention a giant mountain you can climb and nature trails. Stay and relax deeply. Continue reading “One with mountains and misty onsens in Yufuin”
Our first impression of Kyoto was an ugly one. Ugly, modern buildings clustered together, over crowded streets with tourists…where was the epic, ancient city we read about in the guidebook? But it seems Kyoto is like a geisha herself…be patient, wander down alleys off the main road, stay for awhile because you are curious and soon enough you find what you desire under its many layers. Continue reading “Lost in Kyoto – again”
After awhile it gets boring to just be a passive observer of a beautiful temple. It seems you only get to pass through and take a peek at the architecture. But what goes on inside those temples, what do rituals look like, what are all those objects used for? Well Koyasan is a good place to not only get a look, but to actually experience it first hand if you so desire. Continue reading “Koyasan – set your soul on fire with Shingon monks”