By markwilliamsmedia

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Japan: A Tale of Two Teas

High above Tokyo station, I watch, as two ladies from the illustrious Fukujuen Tea House, make tea. One is elegantly dressed in a Fukujuen kimono, while the other dons the black and white style of the West. The teas are wonderfully fresh, the makers clearly love their work, and their attention to detail brings home…
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Traveling to Japan: Katsuyama – temple meditation without the crowds

Nestled within the beautiful Fukui Mountains, the Taishizan Seidaiji temple in Katsuyama is indeed one of those places that words can never fully describe. Yet for many, the temple is not the first thing they think of when they hear the word Katsuyama. Katsuyama is synonymous with the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. This well advertised…
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Matcha, the answer to life’s busy times

Otemae, the practice of matcha (tea) making, is an art shrouded in history. Associated closely with Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sado 茶道), it continues to intrigue both Japanese and foreigners alike. In a tea ceremony, matcha is the liquid “bridge” that binds guest and host. Combined with the equipment chosen, the Qi (chi energy 気) of…

Walking Along the Rainbow Bridge Into Odaiba

There are many famous bridges in the world. England has its London Bridge, Australia its Harbour Bridge, and America its Golden Gate. Not to be outdone, in 1993, the Japanese built their own bridge “attraction” in Tokyo (東京) and named it Rainbow Bridge (レインボーブリッジ). However, unlike Sydney and San Francisco, Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge is pedestrian-friendly…

An Amazing Matcha Experience in Japan – Matcha and Tea Shops of Tokyo

Japanese tea is to Japan, what English tea is to England. Just as English tea conjures up stereotypical images of ladies in elegant hats and gentlemen in pressed linen suits enjoying refreshments after a morning safari in India, Japanese tea presents its consumers with a taste of traditional Japan in every sip. There are two…
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Sightseeing and universities mix well ! See what we recommend!

You might think that sightseeing and universities don’t mix – right? Wrong! Despite the seriousness at which students in Japan study to enter these bastions of education, Tokyo’s universities offer the tourist a much more enjoyable experience. Many of Tokyo’s universities are blessed with interesting museums, architecture and natural parklands. Yet sadly these places are…
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Classic shrines of Chiba – a glimpse of tradition before you fly out of Narita.

When you say the word “Chiba” or “Narita” to most foreigners, images of Japan’s largest international airport comes immediately to mind, along with that mad rush foreigners make to catch their plane. Yet, if you say Narita or Chiba to most Japanese, you might hear two diverse descriptions – the first, of course is the…
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Enoshima – a dating spot and so much more

There are three key dating spots around Tokyo that locals always talk about. The first is in Odaiba, the second in Yokohama and the third is the small seaside town of Enoshima – a short ride west of Kamakura. Bustling with tourists and fishermen, the seafront and island, is flooded with courting couples on the…
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Hiraizumi : Pure Land Buddhism and Tohoku Pride

“夏草や 兵どもが 夢の跡”(`Natsukusa ya tsuhamonodomo ga yume no ato`) – “Grasses in summer, the warriors’ dreams… all that is left”. This poem, written by Master haikuist Matsuo Bashō after he visited the ancient temple complex of Hiraizumi, is one of the most famous writings in Japan. Located in Iwate on the banks of the Kitakami-gawa, these simple…
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Inokashira Zoo – a zoo within a park… a park within a zoo

Kichijoji – an area west of Tokyo, has a reputation for being one of the most livable places in Japan, and it’s easy to see why. One of its draw-cards is its lovely park, located south of the station. This park, perhaps one of the prettiest in Tokyo, has a beautiful forest-like feel to it.…