Bonsaiya Abe – Fukushima City’s Own Bonsai Master

I visited Bonsaiya Abe around a year ago, and was lucky enough to spend time talking to Daiki Abe, the 3rd generation of the Abe family to be involved in growing bonsai trees. The Abe family have been cultivating Goyomatsu (Japanese White Pine) bonsai trees for over 90 years. Kurakichi Abe began growing bonsai fromContinue reading Bonsaiya Abe – Fukushima City’s Own Bonsai Master

Hand-made Tatami Experience in Sukagawa City

As newly built houses get smaller and the variety of cheap flooring options increases, quintessentially Japanese tatami flooring is becoming less and less of a presence in Japanese homes. Tatami has held an integral place in the hearts of Japanese people for centuries, and many people are saddened by the way the youth of JapanContinue reading Hand-made Tatami Experience in Sukagawa City

Fukushima Bussankan & Buying Souvenirs in Fukushima

Whenever I visit a new place in Japan, I make sure to prioritise trying local food and buying souvenirs for friends and family. When you visit Fukushima, you can do both of these things in one place – the Fukushima Bussankan in Fukushima City! The Bussankan (or Fukushima Prefecture Local Products Promotion Center) has aContinue reading Fukushima Bussankan & Buying Souvenirs in Fukushima

Yanaizu Naked Man Festival: What You Need to Know

Introducing the Yanaizu Naked Man Festival On the evening of January 7th every year, crowds of men, dressed only in loincloths, get ready for Yanaizu’s Naked Man festival or Hadaka Mairi (Literally translates as ‘Naked Temple Visit’). They cleanse their bodies, and march through the streets of Yanaizu to Enzoji Temple, almost completely exposed toContinue reading Yanaizu Naked Man Festival: What You Need to Know

Mt Iwatsuno’s Gankakuji: Amazing Buddhist Mountain Temple

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I had a nice break, and I’m excited for the new year. I’m planning on going to Mt Iwatsuno’s Gankakuji Temple on January 3, as there is a special Buddhist celebration called the Daibontensai held annually on this date. I discovered Mt Iwatsuno by accident recently. I didContinue reading Mt Iwatsuno’s Gankakuji: Amazing Buddhist Mountain Temple

Experiencing a Japanese Farmstay

I’ve recently been lucky enough to try out a couple of farmstays in Fukushima Prefecture. During a ‘farmstay experience’, you will usually spend time with a farming host family, and take part in their everyday work.  Sometimes you can try cultural experiences such as making Japanese food or visiting local spots. Farmstay experiences often lastContinue reading Experiencing a Japanese Farmstay

Vintage Shoe Shop in Kitakata’s Picturesque Streets

Kurosawa Kirizai – a shop in Kitakata City where geta (traditional Japanese shoes) are made and sold – opened  in 1912. For over 100 years ago, the Kurosawa family have prided themselves on their careful use of only the highest quality paulownia wood – grown locally of course – for the construction of their geta.Continue reading Vintage Shoe Shop in Kitakata’s Picturesque Streets