By MissCeliaJ

Shikamaro-kun Choco-Mochi Sweets: Nara’s Delicious ’Deer Poop’ Souvenirs!

Anyone who knows me will be well aware of my slight obsession with Shikamaro-kun, the oh-so-cute yuru-chara (mascot) of the Nara City Tourist Association. As such, any sort of chocolatey snack with his face on it was a sure sell and I left Nara with a collection of Shikamaro-kun mochi sweets to try. Mochi Author’s…

Billy Bento: the Best San Francisco Food in Kumamoto

For a small city, Kumamoto sure has a lot of choice when it comes to catering to the cosmopolitan diner. One of the newest additions to Kumamoto’s wide variety of choices is ‘Billy Bento’, a fusion of Western dishes and the Japanese style with a San Francisco flavour. Completely unique, Billy Bento offers authentic flavours,…

Kushikura Honten: Splash Out at a Fancy Izakaya in the Heart of Kyoto

What does the word ‘izakaya’ mean to you? For me, it conjures up an image of seedy backstreets, smoke congregating in wisps and billows around blinking street signs, salarymen in beer-stained business suits with cigarette-stained fingers gripping wooden sticks of skewered meat. An izakaya is a haven for the jabbering rabble – a noisy, alcohol-fuelled…

Naramachi Museum: A Trove of Local Treasures Off the Beaten Track

While it’s always nice to visit the big, famous museums in the cities you go to in Japan, it can also be worth your while to seek out less well-known museums for an insight into something a bit different. Going down the road less traveled can introduce you to tourist attractions that are known only…

Visit Hokke-do to View the Exquisite Ancient Statues in Nara Koen

The Todaiji Temple complex in Nara Koen encompasses the Great Buddha Hall, the Todaiji Museum, and many other buildings besides. However, rather than the biggest tourist attraction in the area (the great Buddha), it was Hokke-do (the statue hall) which stole my heart and was, in my opinion, the most interesting and unique thing I…

The Nara National Museum: a Plethora of Art and History Nestled in Nature

Nara Koen (Nara Park) is famous for several reasons, namely its shika deer and the large Buddha statue which is a prime attraction in the park. But aside from these, and no less worthy of a visit is the Nara National Museum. Viewing this vast collection of Buddhist art is a fitting way to learn…

Yukimi Daifuku: A Delicious Ice Cream-Filled Japanese Snack!

If you have a sweet tooth and love trying different cuisines on your travels, then your trip to Japan would not be complete without gobbling a few dozen Yukimi Daifuku ice-cream mochi. Lotte is a major snack brand in Japan and Korea, producing a whole range of things aside from the snacks it is most…

Love Aquariums? Then Check Out One of Japan’s Best: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

According to TripAdvisor, the Osaka Aquarium (known as Kaiyukan) is the 4th best aquarium in the country. One of the largest public aquariums in the world, Kaiyukan sees a huge number of tourists flocking to it every year to enjoy the aquatic experiences it has to offer. If you like visiting aquariums, you won’t fail…

Guesthouse Naramachi: Step Back in Time at This Traditional Inn in Nara

Going on holiday in Japan is an experience quite different compared to travelling in other countries, mainly because of the wide variety of places in which you can spend the night. Aside from normal hotels (ranging from budget B&B style to top chains like the Hotel Nikko or ANA Crowne Plaza), you can also choose…

Meet the Cute and Creepy Mascots of Beautiful Nara City!

Yuru-chara (ゆるキャラ) are mascot characters which are used to promote pretty much everything in Japan. These mascots are all over the place, promoting everything from cities and regions to products, chains and restaurants. Even the Immigration Bureau of Japan has its own cute character. Since 2010, there has been a yearly Yuru-chara Grand Prix to…