By soundmedicine

Zen and Tea Ceremony in Engaku Temple, Kamakura

Engaku Temple (Engaku-ji) Engaku Temple is located in the town of Kamakura, in Kanagawa Prefecture. It’s accessible by the Enoshima Dentetsu line or the Japan Rail line from Fujisawa station. Kamakura hosts numerous temples, one of the most famous housing the Kamakura Buddha statue, one of the largest in Japan. Engaku temple is closest to…

Fujisawa: Surfer’s Paradise in Japan

Fujisawa This past week, I had the immense pleasure of spending some time exploring Fujisawa, a city just an hour by train south of Tokyo. Located on Japan’s Pacific coast, this city was once voted the most comfortable to live in in all of Japan. With miles of beautiful beach, decent waves, a famous aquarium,…

Kurama, the hidden gem of Kyoto

Little known beautiful town Author’s photo The tiny mountain town of Kurama sits high in a mountain valley outside of Kyoto, Japan. The town is a bit of a trek to get to, requiring a couple transfers on subways and trains from the city center, and a final ride on a small, slow line through…

Tips to Have Ultimate Fun in Japan’s Public Parks

Author’s photo A large percentage of the population in Japan’s cities and towns live in apartments. Homes in Japan often feature yards and gardens much smaller in comparison to those of the West. Public parks serve as open spaces for people to gather and enjoy a natural setting outside of but close to home. Consequently,…

All you need to know about Japanese hot springs

Author’s photo Thanks to the abundance of volcanic activity all along the Japanese archipelago, Japan’s ancient custom of bathing in hot springs is legendary. The mineral-infused water is believed to have healing powers, and soaking in them is a weekly practice for many. In the United States, most hot springs are left in a more…

Sake, what exactly is it?

Author’s photo In most of the Western world, Japanese wine distilled from rice is commonly known as “sake”. As with the Western tradition of wine, Japanese sake comes in many, many types of flavors, features a wide range of dryness to sweetness, a variety of infusions, varying clarity, prices, and recommended food pairings. In Japanese,…

A Japanese Style House Party with Nabe!

What’s Nabe? Author’s photo Nabe is a type of Japanese cuisine named after the clay pot in which it is traditionally prepared. It features many fresh vegetables and mushrooms, centered around a main meat or seafood, heated in the nabs-pot over a burner that sits in the middle of the serving table, and is a…

Omiyage, What Makes the Best Gift?

Omiyage Japan is famous for its food, some of which has been deemed a national treasure by the World Heritage Foundation. Any town or city you travel in Japan is bound to feature its own number of specialty foods, be they sweets, dried fruits, dried or fresh seafood, or rice crackers. Some of them can…

Traditional Japanese bar and grill: Izakaya

What exactly is Izakaya? Author’s photo The izakaya is a traditional Japanese bar and grill. Traditionally a place where people gather after work to indulge in reasonably-priced food and drink, you’ll find these establishments all over Japan, in large cities as well as the smaller localities. Although there are many famous chains of izakaya with…

Kimono: The Most Basic Term For Traditional Japanese Dress

Japan is known worldwide for the beauty of the kimono. The word itself is actually a generic term used to refer to many styles of traditional Japanese dress, and is comprised of two characters: 着, meaning “wear”, and 物, meaning “thing”, thus, “ki-mono”. But the most famous and luxurious of these traditional styles has come…