Koyasan, Japan – Where Buddhism was Founded

Koyasan is the founding location of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.  A priest then known as Kukai, and posthumously referred to as Kobo Daishi (The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching,) learned the esoteric ways of Shingon Buddhism in China before traveling to Japan in 816 and getting approval from Emperor Saga to build a mountain Read More …

Onomichi to Imabari & New Years in Tokushima- A Road trip off Japan’s Beaten Path

After spending the day exploring UNESCO’s Iwami Ginzan silver mine we piled back in the car and drove to Onomichi.  The plan was to drive across the famous Shimanami Kaido bridge.  Truth is the bridge is a series of 10 bridges and among them is the world’s longest series of suspension bridges, and the world’s second Read More …

Traditional Japanese Food Guide

Japanese food is absolutely delicious and I was fortunate enough to sample dozens of different foods during my 2 weeks in Japan.  According to Japan-Talk, Japan has 30 different types of restaurants with a wide variety of choices.  Thankfully Andrew and David both speak Japanese so while driving around Shikoku and the main island of Honshu we got Read More …

Izumo & Hinomisaki Shrines – Japan – A road trip off the beaten path

After a day of walking around Matsue we hopped into Andrew’s car and ventured towards Izumo.  Izumo Taisha is famous throughout Japan as one of the oldest Shinto shrines.  In fact, the records of its founding were lost eons ago so many believe it to be the oldest shrine in all of Japan. Japan’s Oldest Shrine Read More …

Matsue, Japan – A road trip off the beaten path

After Matsuyama Andrew and I drove through Kochi to pick up his buddy David (a Welshman) before driving north to pick up Tobias (a Kiwi) in Okayama rounding out our international group at 4 so we could drive to Matsue.  The drive across Shikoku was quite beautiful taking us through mountains and massive tunnels, some Read More …

Shimanto City, visiting an old friend in Japan’s hidden gem

My co-workers Susan, Steph and I decided to head to Japan for this Chuseok’s (Korean Thanksgiving) long weekend.  We stopped for the night in Tokyo before flying to Kochi where my college teammate Andrew picked us up for a 2 hour drive to Shimanto, a remote town where he has lived and taught English for Read More …