Ikura Ravine, Cave and Falls in Niimi, Okayama Prefecture

Ikura Ravine, Cave and Falls in Niimi, Okayama Prefecture

SUBMITTED BY SHANNON REUTER This place is simply great! A beautiful ravine with a spectacular waterfall dumping into it, right next to the entrance to a calcareous cave. So many of our favorite things all in one place! We found Ikura Ravine in the city of Niimi, Okayama Prefecture. When we arrived, the staff was
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Space-A Adventure 101

Space-A Adventure 101

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST I’m a Space-A junkie.  I love the excitement that comes with waiting for roll call and getting a seat (or seats) and some of my favorite traveling memories come from the unexpected surprises that have been thrown at us.  Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment, but I love it.  Plus, who
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Shuhodo (Akiyoshido) Limestone Cave in Mine

Shuhodo (Akiyoshido) Limestone Cave in Mine

SUBMITTED BY CHRISTINA WAUGH Akiyoshido Cave and Akiyoshidai Plateau south of Yamaguchi City was a really neat day trip. It took us about 1 hr. 45 min. to get there on the Sanyo and the directions from ITT were great. Take a sweater, it’s cool inside even on HOT days. The cave is over 1
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Kamba Falls in Maniwa City, Okayama

Kamba Falls in Maniwa City, Okayama

SUBMITTED BY SHANNON REUTER We’ve seen a lot of waterfalls in our short time here, but it’s not everyday we come across one of Japan’s Top 100. Located in Maniwa City, Okayama Prefecture, Kamba Falls stands at a spectacular height of 110 meters and is 20 meters wide. It’s the largest waterfall in western Japan
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Happy Raft – White Water Rafting on Shikoku

Happy Raft – White Water Rafting on Shikoku

SUBMITTED BY CHRISTINA WAUGH If you haven’t been white water rafting yet or gotten off of the main island of Honshu, then plan your next outdoor adventure to Shikoku Island with Happy Raft. They have 1/2 day and full day excursions on the Yoshino River for all experience levels, including children (call ahead for specific
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Miyajima Boat Ride

Miyajima Boat Ride

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST A few months ago, I had a chance encounter with The Straw Hat Backpacker, Ryan, who is taking on Japan and later, the world, on foot. Many people in the community had a chance to meet him when he made a stop in Iwakuni, over Taco Bell lunches, and at a
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Azaleas at the Ohirayama Ropeway in Hofu

Azaleas at the Ohirayama Ropeway in Hofu

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST You know you have some crazy adventurous friends when they are willing to meet up at 5:00 AM to drive three hours away to see some flowers (granted, it was worth the drive and a few of us are even talking about going back again).   Here is one of the pictures
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Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) Viewing in Namerikawa City

Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) Viewing in Namerikawa City

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST Firefly squid, or Hotaru Ika, is a type of bioluminescent squid found off the coast of Northern Japan, in Toyama Bay.  When searching for prey or agitated, photophores (special light-producing organs) on their tentacles will emit a glowing blue light.  To attract a mate, their entire body will light up.   Hotaru Ika
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Cherry Blossoms at To-ji Temple in Kyoto

Cherry Blossoms at To-ji Temple in Kyoto

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST As always, our travel posts are really as much Adam’s as they are mine.  After all, 99.9% of the time it is because of his ability to navigate through just about every weather and road condition that our family is able to go on these memorable adventures.   To-ji temple, one
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Comfort Hotel (Japan-wide Hotel Chain)

Comfort Hotel (Japan-wide Hotel Chain)

SUBMITTED BY THE ERNSTS Near constant traveling, whether day trips or overnight trips, gets expensive.  Since we generally don’t spend much time at hotels beyond the minimum amount of time required to sleep and get ready for the next day, finding a reasonably priced hotel is how we’re able to do more, see more, and
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