Fringed Irises at Kozoji Temple in Iwaki

When I visited Okuaizu the other day, I saw lots of beautiful ‘fringed irises’. I’m not particularly knowledgeable about flowers, but I’m pretty sure I’d never seen these flowers before coming to Japan. Seeing them in Okuaizu instantly reminded me a photograph I saw when I first moved to Fukushima Prefecture. At that time, IContinue reading Fringed Irises at Kozoji Temple in Iwaki

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

19th Century British Explorer Isabella Bird’s time in Ouchi-juku

The historical post-town Ouchi-juku lies on the old Nikko-Aizu Road, which was taken by travellers passing between Nikko and Aizu Wakamatsu from the Edo period. Ouchi-juku was a key location where travellers could stop and rest for the night. Out of the many notable figures who have stayed in Ouchi-juku over the hundreds of years,Continue reading 19th Century British Explorer Isabella Bird’s time in Ouchi-juku

Kitakata’s Mitsuya District & Historic Red Brick Kiln

Kitakata City is famous across Japan for 2 things – ramen and warehouses!     Kitakata City’s warehouses have been used for hundreds of years for the production of ingredients integral to Japanese cooking, such as miso, mirin and soy sauce, among many more. The incredibly clear water of Mt Iide is thought to makeContinue reading Kitakata’s Mitsuya District & Historic Red Brick Kiln