Okazaki Park Wisteria Festival

One Day in Nagoya

Osu Kannon Antique Fair

Ran No Yakata, Nagoya’s Orchid Gardens

The Ran No Yakata, Orchid Pavilion, Nagoya. Relaxing in the atrium, Ran No Yakata. The beautiful grounds of Ran No Yakata The Ran No Yakata, Orchid Pavilion, Nagoya. (Photo: Aichi Prefecture.) According to the movie director Akira Kurosawa’s movie poster, Ran is Japanese for “chaos”. It’s also the Japanese word for the peaceful “orchid”. About […]

Reap Interest from the Money Museum

Entrance to the Money Museum Displays of coins and banknotes Recreated bankers office, Money Museum Entrance to the Money Museum (Photo: Aichi Prefecture.) One of the great things about The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Money Museum is that you don’t need any money to enjoy it! Entry is free to the museum that celebrates it’s […]

Russian Roulette at Himakajima

Welcome to Himakajima Himakajima is a comfortable 15 minute ferry ride from Kowa Port Delicately sliced, beautifully arranged, potentially deadly Fugu Deep fried Fugu Fugu chunks ready for boiling in a pot Freshly caught, still squirming Ise-Ebi Welcome to Himakajima (Photo: PPF) Ask any Japanese where the biggest catch of fugu, the poisonous blowfish is […]

Sakura Season at Tsuruma Park

Venue: Tsuruma Park, Aichi When: Late Mar – Mid Apr 2022 EVENT_DISCLAIMER_OUTDOOR_CHERRY_BLOSSOM_UNCONFIRMED From late March to early April each year, Aichi's Tsuruma Park is filled with the pretty pink hue of over 700 Somei Yoshino cherry trees in bloom. The park was designated as one of Japan's Top 100 sakura viewing destinations, and is also […]

SC Maglev and Railway Park

Welcome to The SC Maglev and Railway Park! Old meets new! Displays, trains, and even train sets! Welcome to The SC Maglev and Railway Park! (Photo: tkaige) Japan has long been admired for its extensive, efficient and orderly train services. Something else to admire is the dramatically presented SC Maglev and Railway Park, which opened […]

SCMAGLEV and Railway Park

The main hall of the Railway Park that display 39 different full size trains The building that house the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park The first set of trains you will see when you enter the train park Controlling room of a steam train with many pipes and temperature gauges One of the first modern day […]

Shopping at Nadya Park

Nagoya landmark, Nadya Park complex Nadya Park, too big to fit in a photo! Nadya Park resident business’. Nadya Park entranceway. Inside the office building, Nadya Park Part of the architecture of the Atrium, Nadya Park Nagoya landmark, Nadya Park complex (Photo: PPF) One of Nagoya’s most visible landmarks is the huge Nadya Park complex. […]

Sky Promenade Observatory – Nagoya

An elegant, modern observatory 5th tallest building in Japan Aerial view of Nagoya Castle Summertime beer garden Taking the catwalk Lots of glass and angles What's the best view of Nagoya? There's absolutely no competition: it comes from the “Sky Promenade” observation deck atop Midland Square, which is the giant tower across the street from […]

Stairway to Heaven, Jakkoin

Jakkoin temple Steep steps lead the way to Jakkoin …and more steep steps… A small monorail provides relief for 200 Yen from the half way point. Then there are more steps… Jakkoin Temple, Inuyama Jakkoin temple (Photo: PPF) There are 320 steps leading up the steep mountainside to the 650 year old Jakkoin, a small […]

Sunshine Sakae

Fun in the Sunshine Sakae complex! The huge Ferris Wheel in the center of Nagoya Sunshine shining through the Sunshine Sakae Ferris Wheel Fashion, food and fun at Sunshine Sakae Grand Canyon underground performance area Sunshine Sakae’s 42m diameter Ferris Wheel Fun in the Sunshine Sakae complex! (Photo: PPF) Nagoya has a number of interesting […]

Takeshima island near Aichi

The long causeway bridge for walking or hanging out as you approach Takeshima Takeshima off the coast of Aichi. Go clamming in the shallow water. The bay looking down off Takeshima Takeshima The green park opposite the island near the Takeshima Aquarium Takeshima Shrine, one of Japan's seven Benten shrines. Takeshima, a small island off […]

Tennogawa Park Wisteria Festival

Venue: Tennogawa Park, Aichi When: Late Apr – Early May 2022 Each year in late April through to early May, Aichi's Tennogawa Park is home to a wisteria festival which celebrates these beautiful seasonal blooms. A number of the wisteria trellises at the park hang over the water, creating a whimsical, dreamlike scene. In typical […]

Toyota Automobile Museum

Cars of every shape, size and age! Take your pick,…which one would you choose? Old cars, new cars,…you won’t be able to stop yourself from drooling! Cars of every shape, size and age! (Photo: HIRAOKA, Yasunobu) There are so many beautiful bodies to look at, over 120 in all, just sitting there, coy and sexy. […]

Get a 360 at Icinomiya’s 138 Tower

Ichinomiya’s 138 Tower Ichinomiya’s 138 Tower Seen from the highway, the 138 Tower. Ichinomiya’s 138 Tower (Photo: Aichi Prefecture) The people of Ichinomiya have a sense of humor. The fourth largest city in Aichi Prefecture following it’s expansion to absorb Bisai and Kisogawa in 2005, Ichinomiya has long been famed for it’s textiles production. It […]

Toyohashi City Hall Observatory

Looking out over the countryside and river The city and a transmitter (I guess) A view across the neighbouring park and art museum Inside the observatory Looking over the city to the sea Pictures of the city's past A map of the city's historical sights and statues City Hall On the 13th floor of City […]

Toyota Kaikan Exhibition Hall

I would like to take you home Men may like this Girls may like this car A real racing car Taking our time at this point I would like to take this one home I would like to take you home (Photo: Wanida Kaewwong) When visiting Toyota City, besides a factory tour and the Toyota […]

World Children’s Art Museum Okazaki

Dancing girls great you at the museum A large stone mural of children at the base of the observation hill The painting room in the activity zone. The museum seen from the mushroom forest. The mushroom forest Gaudi inspired slide Dancing girls great you at the museum Finding something to do with kids on a […]

Akarengakan Museum

Beautiful Spire.. am i in Europe or Japan Bank Lobby Interior Exterior Window Detail Beautiful Spire.. am i in Europe or Japan (Photo: Hideki Yoshida) Constructed in the Meiji Period, Akarengakan is one of the most interesting buildings in Japan. It seamlessly blends the Renaissance and Baroque styles, but was designed by a Japanese architect. […]

Akita Port Tower Selion

Gleaming Tower Tower at night Hata hata burger with giveaway fishtail! Gleaming Tower (Photo: Upjohn Freak (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)) Hata hata burger! Try some hata hata burger! What is hata hata anyway? Is it some sort of culinary connection with our Polynesian brothers and sisters across the seas in Aotearoa or Hawai’i? I am on […]

Akita Prefectural Central Park

The Akita Sky Dome pops out of the greenery like a giant heap of unmelted snow, with a floor was upgraded in 2015 with new artificial turf after a period of dirt A sparce turnout on a wonderfully sunny day at the stadium Young athletes watch runners amid a busy group of school tents Table […]

Akita’s Lake Tazawa

The surface of the lake allows for an easy view of this striking shade of blue There are plenty of places to check out around the circumference of the lake, like this tori gate at Gozanaishi Shrine Or the famous Tatsuko monument, created for the master of the lake Buy a fortune at this small […]

Asamai Park Iris Festival

Venue: Asamai Park, Yokote, Akita When: Jun 20th – Jul 10th 2021 Each year from late June through to early July, Akita's Asamai Park is filled to the brim with the color of 600,000 irises in bloom comprising of 80 different species. Visitors flock to the park from both inside and outside the prefecture to […]

Autumn Colors of Southeast Akita

A rock shoots out of the trees in the peaceful mountains This is a view of the turning of the autumn leaves from Kurikoma Sanso and Sugawa Plateau Hot Springs. Another view of leaves and the mountains Nature's canvas includes brilliant oranges, reds, greens, and yellows A view along the highway The Sugawa Plateau Hot […]

Cycling and Boating on Lake Tazawa

View of Tazawa Lake in Akita Lady of the lake Sightseeing Boat Pier The old boat shed at Lake Tazawa. Lake Tazawa in the mist Old paddle boats in the rain at Tazawako, or Lake Tazawa. When was the last time you rode a bicycle in the open air? Was it through a forest of […]

Dakigaeri Gorge

A bridge leads into a short tunnel on the trail through Dakigaeri Gorge The river here was once too acidic for any sort of wildlife to live in it Despite the abnormal color, the water is now treated and can support some forms of life Thirty minutes into the hike, you'll come across the Mikaeri […]

Finding Hope in Broken Places

This year in preparation for a friend’s wedding I was looking at the poster at Sunday school, and was meditating on the words, you are blessed when you share what you have, so everyone has what they need to have a good life. At the wedding the minister talked about love and shared with us […]

Godzilla and Oga Peninsula

Godzilla rock The sign indicating where to view Godzilla rock A different perspective for size comparison The southern view from the tip of Oga Peninsula Looking directly towards North Korea Some UFO was spotted there about 17 years ago. Every time that I go to Akita Prefecture, I think it is full of mysteries; like Namahage, […]

Guide to Photography Part 2: Light

Guide to Photography Part 2: Light Regular light at Lake Tazawa in Akita produces an almost uniform blue in the photo Slightly harsh lighting at Geibikei Gorge in Iwate affects the reflective surfaces but frame the photo well and you will get rid of most of the problem On any street, you will see shadows […]

Hydrangea Viewing at Unshoji Temple

Venue: Unshoji Temple When: Jun 13th – Jul 19th 2021 Unshoji Temple is located in Oga, Akita Prefecture, and has become famous for its spectacular display of hydrangeas during Japan's rainy season. The hydrangeas here were nurtured over a 15 year timeframe by the deputy chief priest of the temple, and his hard work paid […]

The Giant Tug of War of Kariwano

This year it quickly became evident who would win Another view of the knot The giant straw ropee weighs around 10 tons eachs The loop is ready to attach with the other rope Firefighters get the loop ready to attach the other rope They lift the loop to pull the other rope through it Venue: […]

Kosaka Mining Office

For an additional fee you can try on period costumes and do a photo shoot around the facility. Winter view from behind the statue residents of the mining office. Side front view of the mining office. Climb up the spiral staircase and be greeted by an antique lamp. The style of the day called for […]

Mato Park Sakura Festival

Venue: Mato Park, Akita When: Mid – Late Apr 2022 From around mid to late April each year, Akita's Mato Park is home to an incredible 2000 cherry trees in bloom – it's no surprise that the venue was named as one of Japan's Top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots back in 1990. The annual […]

Misato Town Lavender Festival

Venue: Misato, Semboku District, Akita, Japan When: Jun 15th – Jul 10th 2021 Each year in early summer, Misato Town in Akita Prefecture is home to a lavender festival that blankets the ground in colorful beauty. There are around 20,000 lavender plants filling a space of approximately 2 hectares, with several varieties on display. One […]

Mount Chokai

The first peak Mt. Chokai seen fron Yokote, Akita The view from the lodge The view from the top A hearty breakfast for a long climb The paved trail of the North Face Mount Chokai is the second highest mountain in Tohoku but the highest is Yamagata and Akita. It has long been venerated as […]

Nanataki Falls

Green scenery and a splendid waterfall Nanataki Falls in Northern Akita Prefecture Nanataki Falls in Northern Akita Prefecture Green scenery and a splendid waterfall Less than 20 km southwest of the famous Lake Towada lies another beauty of nature, the Nanataki Falls. Literally meaning “seven waterfalls,” Nanataki Falls was listed as one of Japan’s top […]

Ninja Training and Obstacle Course

The ultimate challenge is conquering the massive tower. Oh, that’s a fun one. I think I’ll pass on the water course. Signs offer advice for the apprentice athlete. Let the training begin! The Tower. Are you ninja enough to conquer it? The ultimate challenge is conquering the massive tower. My body was covered in sweat […]