Firefly Watching


SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST For the past three years, our family has been going out in search of new places to view fireflies in Japan.  This year’s firefly season for us began last weekend in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, about a 25 minute drive from where we were attending the Mt. Daisen Natsuyama Summer Festival. If […]

Omijima Island Camping

Omijima Island Camping

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST We spent last Memorial Day weekend in Nagato with a few friends and their families, combining both our desire to spend time with friends before PCS-ing and sightseeing at the same time. We spent two nights at the campground on Omijima, half of us in cabins and half of us in tents. […]

Sera Fuji En Wisteria Park in Sera, H...


SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST Last year I went through a wisteria withdrawl after visiting the famous Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu.  Apparently I did not get enough of these beautiful flowers even after two visits.  Not wanting to make yet another three hour drive (each way), I searched for a wisteria garden closer to Iwakuni and found […]

Bee-An Honey Shop in Kuga


SUBMITTED BY HANNAH WAGNER After suffering from seasonal allergies for years, it was suggested to me that I should try eating local honey. I went on a search to a local Japanese honey store. Luckily, I was told about a honey shop near Kuga. After second guessing the turn that was navigation suggested, we finally […]

Hanana Nail Salon


SUBMITTED BY JENNY KRAUS I found a nail salon downtown past Fuji Grand on the way to Coco’s. It’s on the left hand side before the roundabout before Coco’s. It’s a little different from an American nail salon. They use home foot spas but you still get all the same treatment with a foot bath, […]

Maiko Transformation in Kyoto


SUBMITTED BY HATHAICHANOK GARCIA We booked a Maiko Transform experience at Studio Shiki a week and a half before we went to Kyoto.  The shop is located between Kodaiji temple and Kiyomizu temple, but it’s best to park at Kodaiji temple and walk there because it’s cheaper and closer. After we parked at the Kodaiji-temple parking lot, […]

Yamato Museum in Kure


SUBMITTED BY KRIS MURZYN Just northeast of Hiroshima is the port city of Kure. Kure was the greatest naval port city in the East, as well as the greatest naval arsenal in Japan, which built the world’s greatest battleship, the Yamato. The Kure City Naval History & Science Museum (Battleship Yamato Museum) will lead you […]

Bistro Cafe Trois


SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST Lunch dates with friends are basically a form of therapy for me at this point in my life, and I do take full advantage of the affordability of lunch sets in Japan.  Hello, less than $15 for a four or five course lunch?  Sign me up! Because today was an early […]

Owl Family Hakata

Owl Family Hakata

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST We are still waiting to find out (officially) where our next duty station will be, and we are getting more nervous/excited by the day.  We’ve been telling ourselves that no matter where we end up, we’ll make the best of it.  In an attempt to practice what I preach, I made a list of […]


outside 2

SUBMITTED BY SHANNON REUTER A friend and I set out to have an awesome lunch at a fantastic cafe, so I’m glad we ditched plan A and wound up here! Kouhudou (thank you Linda Cordes for the translation!) is a cozy little cafe, gallery and shop, tucked behind the tall white walls of Kikko Park. […]