• Japan Loves Winter Illuminations

    In Japan, December is the beginning of the winter illumination season. Well, to be quite honest, some places open their illuminations even earlier (some as early as October!), but for the most part, December is the month where it really seems like you can’t walk a few feet without running into an illumination. They pop […]

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  • Kobe for a Day

    Moving right along with my catch-up posts, in December, one of my friends organized a day trip to Kobe! I’ve only been to Kobe once before, on a field trip last year that left us with only for a few hours to see Kobe’s Chinatown and the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Museum. So up until […]

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  • A Hidden Gem in the Mountains: Enryaku-ji

    In November, I took a few friends northeast to Shiga-ken, the prefecture next door to Kyoto that is home to Japan’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Biwa. For ages I’d been wanting to make it to Ōtsu, the capital city of Shiga that borders the southwestern shores of Lake Biwa, so I was really excited to […]

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