What I Found Missing in the Kanamara Matsuri—the ‘Penis Festival’

  It’s a warm Sunday morning in Kawasaki, Japan. Across the world they are celebrating Easter, possibly April Fool’s Day. How ironic, as I have other plans. I am going to Kawasaki’s Kanamara Matsuri, or as it is known from numerous articles by the foreign press, the “Penis Festival.”   The Kanamara Festival has its […]

12 Things You Might Not Have Known About St. Patrick’s Day

Above: photo taken by Nheyob of a stained glass window depicting St. Patrick / Source: Wikimedia Commons     Earlier this month, alongside a flurry of announcements concerning the start of Tokyo’s cherry blossom season, the “biggest Irish event in Asia” was held in Yoyogi Park. The unabashedly named I Love Ireland Festival attracted over 100,000 […]

A Day with Nagano’s Iconic Snow Monkeys

  Tokyo experienced its heaviest snowfall in four years in late January 2018. It brought travel chaos—halting train service in the megacity, while 250 international flights were canceled—and, on a lighter note, plenty of Instaworthy photos. However, heavy snowfall is common throughout much of Japan, especially the northernmost island of Hokkaido, which, for enthusiasts of […]

Tastes of Mt. Fuji

Tokyo is often considered a foodie’s paradise, with Japan’s capital having more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world. From the chaos of Tsukiji Market—where sushi of all types entice both locals and foreigners alike—to cozy izakaya serving yakitori, ramen shops, and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, there seems to be something for everybody. However, if […]