Bizen Osafune Token Village

Submitted by Megan Perry. This Village was a little smaller than we were expecting by still well worth a visit. It is not far Okayama city. This village consits of Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum, Toshimitsu Imaisumi Memorial Hall, Sword Forge, Bizen Osafune Working Studio and a gift shop. We were rather surprised to find
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Ancient Ginkgo Tree at Tsutsuga Otoshi Jinja Shrine

Ancient Ginkgo Tree at Tsutsuga Otoshi Jinja Shrine

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST Spring is hands down my favorite season in Japan and to be honest, I get a little melancholy around November because it signals the end of flower festival seasons (Spring, Summer, and early Fall).  What really cheers me up is  seeing the leaves change around here.  We’ve been to a few great
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Fossil Collecting in Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Fossil Collecting in Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST Two and a half years into living in Iwakuni and we’re still finding plenty of unique things to see and do.  Over Columbus Day Weekend, we took the kids fossil digging in Mine city (about 1.5-2 hours away).  Yes, the same city where Akiyoshido Cave and Safari Land are located. Like most of
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Ouchi Lacquer Ware (Lacquered Chopsticks Painting) in Yamaguchi

Ouchi Lacquer Ware (Lacquered Chopsticks Painting) in Yamaguchi

SUBMITTED BY HYLA ERNST Mitsuko-san and Akie-san, thank you very much for your help! Today I had another memorable “Japan Adventure” outing with a group of wonderful ladies.  Mitsuko-san and Akie-san over at Cultural Adaptation were so wonderful helping us with getting information and making reservations.  Getting there should have been fairly easy–I had a
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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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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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Mt. Eigenzan Park

Mt. Eigenzan Park

SUBMITTED BY SHANNON REUTER If you take a drive down Route 2, you can’t miss the large Dutch windmill on the hill in Shunan. The windmill is what brought me to Mt. Eigenzan Park and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the park has so much more to offer! The windmill, called Yume Fusha
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Mikawa Mu Valley

Mikawa Mu Valley

SUBMITTED BY HYLA AND ADAM ERNST Special thanks to our son’s third grade teacher and classmates who enthusiastically helped us gather info and pictures to share with the community. This weekend we gave the kids a chance to plan the day for our family and they both agreed on a trip to the Underground Kingdom
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Yamaguchi Flower Land in Yanai

Yamaguchi Flower Land in Yanai

SUBMITTED BY SHANNON REUTER What a beautiful way to spend a mid-April afternoon with a new friend! I bet it gets even better later in the Spring/Summer too… Quite simply, Yamaguchi Flower Land is a colorful, blossom filled park. There are nature walks, green houses, gift shop, plants for sale, and craft vendors (the day
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