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Kawaguchi Lake

Mount Fuji, Japan’s national symbol, was registered as UNESCO’s world heritage site on June 26, 2013 for its spiritual and cultural importance, making Japanese people and the media get more excited about the Mountain itself and tourist spots around Mount Fuji in Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures. Aside from the aim of reviving local businesses and tourism, the UNESCO registration has also raised the awareness of Mount Fuji’s environment and hikers’ safety. As Fuji’s climbing season, which is usually in September, has already ended, this article will introduce you to the beautiful autumn scenery around Kawaguchi Lake, a place where you can do several activities while enjoying Mount Fuji view.

 

Kawaguchi Lake or Kawaguchiko (河口湖) is the biggest lake among the five lakes around Mount Fuji. It is famous for the reflection of Mount Fuji upon the lake water, as well as many activities in gardens and museums all year round. The season of Kawaguchi lake autumn leaves starts from N

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Kusatsu Onsen

On a busy weekday morning, I headed to the west exit of Shinjuku Station to meet friends from the Kimono circle. It was a muggy and cloudy day in the last week of the summer break. Despite the rain forecast over the next two days, we were going on a trip to a hot spring village in Gunma prefecture, Kusatsu Onsen.

 

 

The Spa-resort liner bus from Shinjuku took us to Japan Alps via the Kan-Etsu expressway. After a two hour drive on the highway, the bus switched to the local road in the mountainous area of West Gunma. We spent another two hours on the winding road before reaching our destination.

 

 

Kusatsu Onsen is said to be one of the three best hot springs in Japan. It is located in the Valley of Shirane Mountain, about 1,200 meters above sea level. Kusatsu hot spring resort was famous among the wounded samurai for its medicinal benefits since the Muromachi and Sengoku period. Important figures in Japanese History, such as Tokugawa Ieyasu and To

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Roppongi

Roppongi, a district in central Tokyo, is famous for its resident’s luxurious life style and its nightlife. In the Tokugawa era, Roppongi was inhabited by many Samurai.  It became home of the governor in Ookubo family, who had built many temples and Shinto shrines in the Meiji era. The population of Roppongi was scarce, and as a result, during the Japanese wartime; Roppongi was appointed to be a military base and the main head quarter of three infantry divisions, hence, the area was recognized as the military area. After the Second World War, the scenery in Roppongi was totally transformed by the presence of the American army, resulting in the set up of new businesses to facilitate and entertain the new occupants. Since then, Roppongi has become an area where many foreign expatriates settle down in Tokyo. Nowadays, Roppongi represents many aspects of leisure and modernity. The modern, sleek buildings around Akasaka station and Roppongi Hills are a hub of trendy offices, businesses, art

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Feel the summer breeze in Yukata

The chirping sound of birds and crickets tells me that summer has finally come. People change their warm attire to cool, short sleeves and sandals. The increasing temperature sometimes makes me feel too hot to be comfortable. The rainy days in June moisten my skin and make my shoes wet, but after all, those annoying weather conditions cannot take away the excitement for the upcoming summer.

Summer may not be the most popular season for traveling in Japan, especially in August and September when several typhoons hit the island. However, Japanese summer can offer tourists an exotic experience with numerous local festivals. 夏祭り(NatsuMatsuri) or summer festival is organized in most local communities. Some big events attract more visitors by lighting beautiful fireworks. Most enhance the festive mood with dances (Bon Odori/盆踊り) and parades, using traditional decorated cars (Dashi/山車). The sight of participators in Japanese traditional summer robe or Yukata (浴衣) is quite common at all of

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Tsukemen

Tsukemen (つけ麺) : A Japanese twist in Chinese Cuisine

In ancient times, the geopolitical sphere in East Asia has been manipulated by China. The term “中華思想” or Sinocentrism can be understood through the hierarchical system in international relations and the spread of Chinese culture such as Confucianism and Chinese literature in East and Southeast Asia. Since the Yayoi period (57 AD), Japan adopted the language, architecture, religion, philosophy and culture of China. Chinese food, as a prominent aspect of the culture, expanded to Kyushu, Japan – the southern main-island, and then to other important commercial ports. Yokohama Chinatown (横浜中華街) near the port of Yokohama, is an example of a Chinese community, which has flourished from the Japanese foreign trade treaty in the late Tokugawa period (1859). The restaurants and chefs from the Chinatown introduced many Chinese dishes, mostly of Canton and Shanghai origin, to Japanese customers. Chinese Cuisine, then, became

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