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12 of the Most Beautiful Places in Japan

Posted on November 24, 2016 in attractions by

Japan is home to an overwhelming number of stunning sights and interesting attractions. It would take several trips or a longer stay to cover most of them. Shortlisting the country’s most beautiful places to see may be a tall order. But here are some of the breathtaking sights you would not want to miss.

Aogashima
Aogashima
Location: Island in Philippine Sea
Highlights: Smallest village in Japan located in a volcanic island in the Philippine Sea, inhabited by roughly 200 people, remote and not easy to access, dreamy view of the night sky from the island

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Location: Arashiyama, Kyoto
Highlights: Towering bamboo groves with walking paths for a fairytale-like experience

Blue Pond (Aoiike)
Blue Pond
Location: Biei, Hokkaido
Highlights: Dreamy and otherworldly blue color of the pond, set against a backdrop of enchanting scenery

Gokayama
 Shirakawa-go
Location: Toyama
Highlights: UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its gasshō-zukuri houses with attractions like the traditional villages of Shirakawa-gō close by

Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji)
Kinkaku-ji
Location: Kyoto
Highlights: Zen temple overlooking a pond, striking facade with gold leaf covering its top floors

Hitachi Seaside Park
Hitachi Seaside Park
Location: Ibaraki
Highlights: Daisogen Flower Garden, Giant “Flower Ring” Ferris Wheel, Hitachinaka Nature Forest, Kaori no Tani, Miharashi Area for its nemophilas (baby blue eyes) and kochias (summer cypress) that bloom April to May and October respectively, Rose Garden, Sakyu Garden, Suisen Garden and Tamago no Mori Flower Garden

Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine
Location: Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
Highlights: Shinto shrine that features a “floating” torii gate

Jigokudani Monkey Park
Jigokudani Monkey Park
Location: Yamanouchi, Nagano
Highlights: Breathtaking scenery, see the wild Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) bathing in the hot springs

Kawachi Fuji Garden
Kawachi Fuji Garden
Location: Kitakyushu, Fukuoka
Highlights: Stunning and whimsical wisteria tunnel, see pink, white and purple wisterias in bloom

Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto Castle
Location: Matsumoto, Nagano
Highlights: Historic castle also known as Crow Castle (Karasu-jo) for its black facade, Japan’s oldest castle

Mount Kōya
Mount Kōya
Location: Wakayama
Highlights: Touted as Japan’s holiest mountain, the spiritual home of Shingon Buddhism with over 100 temples and monasteries

Nachi Falls
Nachi Falls
Location: Nachikatsuura, Wakayama
Highlights: One of the most popular waterfalls in Japan, the nearby Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine, part of the Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

Shingu Shoko: Past, Present & Future Of The Japanese Wood Industry

Posted on May 20, 2017 in food by

timber

Ever wondered how it’s like for the Japanese wood industry?

Let’s take a closer look, along with Shingu Shoko:

Shingu Shoko is one of the most renowned wood company in Japan, with over 5,000 hectares of forest land across the country today. They provide wood materials in Hokkaido and Tokyo from their Zenibako and Kushiro sawmills, both of which has its own share of rich history that even goes way back in early 1900s.

In addition, Shingu Shoko is not just a typical wood company that cuts down trees for processing raw materials or making other wood products. It’s a wood company that values the environment more than any other company in the 21st century – including protection, preservation, and good health for both the trees and the workers.

Shingu Shoko is best known for providing local, national, and international clients a wide range of both high-quality residential and industrial construction materials such as plywood, laminated wood, interior panels, window frames, and more. They also directly import timber, wood veneers, and other wood products from other renowned wood companies in Europe and North America.

Shingu Shoko is an exclusive agent for McCulloch Motors Corporation as well, which specializes in professional-grade chainsaws. This also shows how the wood company values their relationship with other companies, having been a partner of McCulloch since 1952. They also offer forestry equipment and processing machines such as bush cutters, chippers, branch grinders, sawdust pulverizers, firewood manufacturing equipment, round timber processors, narrow-gauge debarking equipment and more.

Moreover, they offer aerators, sweepers, shredders, hedge trimmers, wood splitters, and Snapper lawn mowers for landscaping purposes. They also offer hay cutters, engine cutters, pneumatic saws, wood-burning stores, and other offshoot markets from the wood industry. Other well-known products include the Shingu Chainsaws, which was first developed in 1981; and the Shingu Bell Cutters, which was first developed in 1964 and was eventually known to be Japan’s first compact and lightweight bush cutters.

Looking for other kinds of saws, especially for artistic purposes? Find a great scroll saw under $500 here.

Furthermore, Shingu Shoko continues to deliver on their promise of sustainability with environmental-friendly practices – with the help of the Forest Stewardship Council.

Indeed, Shingu Shoko is past, present, and future of the Japanese wood industry. Aside from that, the wood company is an epitome of how other wood companies should be – not just all about cutting down trees to meet the needs of clients, but also about growing them to sustain the ever-growing wood material demands of clients all over the world.

Where To Get Fresh Juices & Refreshing Smoothies In Japan

Posted on May 5, 2017 in food by

japan

Ah, Japan – the Land of the Rising Sun, a perfect location to spend warm months in…

Aside from being known for its not-too-hot-and-not-too-cold temperature and its famous cherry blossoms, Japan is also known for its impenetrable cities, majestic palaces, sacred temples, and national parks. Even more so, the whole country itself has a rich history – going way back into the Paleolithic era, all the way up to the modern Heisei era.

But as much as Japan is the perfect location for summer fun, it’s also the perfect location to get fresh juices and refreshing smoothies to cool off after roaming their impressively designed highways and seeing their picturesque countryside views.

Here’s where to get fresh juices and refreshing smoothies in Japan, which can be just like those drinks you make with the best personal blender at home:

On Off Yes No

I choose on! I choose yes! I choose on and yes to fresh juices and refreshing smoothies!

Located in Okinawa, Japan, On Off Yes No is best known for its cold-pressed juices and smoothies and cleansing program –all of which are made from local food products and freshly picked ingredients. Even more so, they use an improved version of the Whole Health Foundation’s premium hydraulic juicer (a.k.a. Norwalk Juicer) – further ensuring that natural ingredients such as fruits and vegetables are squeezed well, as well as their vitamins and minerals being fully retained.

Their menu includes a selection of cold-pressed juices and smoothies in glass bottles, as well as a variety of cleansing programs that are especially made for specific health and fitness needs. They also offer packed goods and snacks like granola beats and mixed pickles.

Trueberry

You don’t need to look and go that far just to experience the goodness of true berry, or true berries!

Located at multiple branches in Tokyo, Japan, Trueberry is best known for its all-natural, vegan, and organic fresh juices, refreshing smoothies, and other healthy foods. It was founded with the owners’ mission and vision of providing healthy options when it comes to food and drinks – hence, the assurance of their products being freshly made. Their products are also ensured to be dairy-free, sugar-free, and BPA-free.

Their menu includes a wide selection of cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies, vegan food, and raw sweets – all of which are freshly made and ensured of being healthier than what other people usually eat or drink.

Do you know any other juice bars in Japan? Share them with us on the comments section below!

7 Cities to Visit in Japan

Posted on November 8, 2016 in travel by

Hakone

The Land of the Rising Sun is a treasure trove of attractions waiting to be explored. Picking a destination can be a challenge given the wealth of choices available. With so many to choose from, we pick seven of the many cities and towns across Japan that should be on your bucket list.

Kyoto
Kyoto
Top reasons to go: Kyoto is home to seventeen UNESCO Heritage Sites and numerous temples and shrines each one begging to be explored. It also has the only remaining Geisha district in Japan. Must-see sights include Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Fushimi Inari-taisha (Fushimi Inari Shrine), Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), Heian Shrine, Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion), Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kuramadera Temple, Kyoto International Manga Museum, Maruyama Park, Nijō Castle, Nishiki Market, Ryōan-ji, Sanjūsangen-dō, Shimogamo Shrine, Tetsugaku no Michi (Philosopher’s Walk), Toei Uzumasa Eigamura (Toei Kyoto Studio Park), Tōfuku-ji, and more.

Tokyo
Tokyo
Top reasons to go: The juxtaposition of the old and new makes Tokyo a great place to visit and explore. From food, craft beer, shopping, and sightseeing spots, the city is brimming with interesting things to see and experience. Try not to miss some of its best attractions like the Edo-Tokyo Museum, Ghibli Museum, Harajuku, Imperial Palace, Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine), Odaiba, Sensō-ji, Roppongi , Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Tower, Tsukiji Market, Ueno Park, and Yoyogi Park among many others.

Osaka
Osaka
Top reasons to go: This bustling port city is home to the historic Osaka Castle. It also boasts of delicious street food and a vibrant nightlife. Top sightseeing destinations include Dotonbori, Nakanoshima, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka Castle Park, Osaka Science Museum, Ōsaka Tenman-gū, Shitennoji, Tennōji Park, Tsutenkaku, Umeda Sky Building , and Universal Studios Japan.

Hakone
Hakone
Top reasons to go: Hakone may not be a top-of-mind destination for overseas travelers visiting Japan. But it is one place worth adding to the bucket list. Breathtaking scenery, unspoiled nature, onsens, and ryokans are just some of the town’s biggest draws. The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone Shrine, Lake Ashi, and Ōwakudani are must-sees.

Nagoya
Nagoya
Top reasons to go: Nagoya is more known as an industrial hub than a top tourist destination in Japan. But it does not mean that it is lacking in touristy things to see and do. Its many attractions include the Atsuta Shrine, Higashiyama Sky Tower, Hisaya Ōdori Park, Inuyama Castle, Nagashima Spa Land, Nagoya Castle, Nōbi Plain, Ōsu, Ōsu Kannon, Sakae, and SCMaglev and Railway Park.

Kobe
Kobe
Top reasons to go: An urban vibe, top rated beef, and beautiful scenery are just some of the reasons to visit Kobe. The city has its share of ancient shrines, eye-catching modern architecture, delicious cuisines including its delectable marbled beef), and shopping destinations. Among its top attractions are the Arima Onsen, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, Harborland & Meriken Park, Ikuta Jinja, Kobe City Museum of Literature, Kobe Port Tower, Nunobiki Falls, Rokkō Island, Tor Road, and Mount Rokkō.

Sapporo
Sapporo
Top reasons to go: Sapporo’s beer, ramen, and annual Snow Festival should be enough reason to go. The city is also known for its skiing destinations. Top sights and must-experience things include the Historic Village of Hokkaido, Moerenuma Park, Mount Moiwa, Nijo Market, Odori Park, Okurayama Observatory, Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, Sapporo Beer Museum, Sapporo Factory, Sapporo Station, Sapporo Yuki Matsuri (Sapporo Snow Festival), Shiroi Koibito Park, Susukino, and the Tokeidai (Clock Tower).

Introduction

Traveling is a glorious thing. And there is nothing quite like the discoveries and experiences one gets while out and about in an unfamiliar place. On this blog, I am going to share with you travel stories in Japan and beyond. Whether you are planning your first trip overseas or a seasoned traveler looking for the next destination, this site has something for you. To learn more about this website, take a look at our about page.

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