The Reason Behind the Red Bibs
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If you have visited any temple or shrine in Japan, there is a good chance you have seen a statue wearing a red hat or red bib. One of the most frequent questions I have received about shrines and temples is, … Read More

The 5 Things you Should Know Before Visiting a Temple
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Make sure to step over the threshold: Each temple has a wooden section of the floor right before the temple. This section of wood is known as the threshold. The threshold forms a boundary. Positioned between the posts, lintel and … Read More

The 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Visit a Shrine
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No trip to Japan is complete with out a visit to at least one shrine. However, visiting a shrine can at times be a little overwhelming. Here are five essential tips to get the most out of your visit to … Read More

Namiyoke Inari (Shrine)
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Tucked away right next door to one of Tokyo’s biggest and busiest tourist attractions lies the Namiyoke Inari Shrine. This shrine is located in the Tsukiji prefecture, about one block away from the Tsukiji fish market. Although the shrine may … Read More

How the Tourism Boom is Causing Japan to Change its Controversial Symbol for Temples
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The other day while finding temples to add to our interactive map, I noticed something strange. I kept noticing the same symbol continuously popping up. This symbol was the manji, or as it is more commonly known, the swastika. Before World … Read More

My First Experience With Zazen: A Day at the Sojiji Temple
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Earlier this week, I hopped aboard a train to Yokohoma and headed to Sojiji temple. It was here that I had the incredible opportunity to take place in Zazen, led by the Soto Zen monks of the temple. When I … Read More

A Place of Great History and Incredible Beauty: An Exploration of the Ikegami Honmonji Temple
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The Ikegami Honmonji Temple is located in the middle of the busy Tokyo city. If you don’t know what you’re looking for you could definitely miss it. However, once you pass through the somon and see the large set of … Read More

Sanja Matsuri Festival
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Each year on the third weekend of May Asakusa Tokyo becomes one of the largest and craziest festivals in all of Japan. For 3 days the streets of Asakusa prefecture of Tokyo become flooded with people. The sounds of chanting, … Read More

Jyouchiji: The temple of the fearsome abbot who beat numerous U.S. Marines with a big stick and lived to tell the tale.
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Jyouchiji, in Kita Kamakura, is one of my favorite temples. It is a nice retreat from the tourist hustle and bustle. Even the air is a little different there. Jyouchiji is #4 of the five most important Zen temples in … Read More

Can a feudal era General and famed military strategist act as a modern day Cupid? (Episode Nine: Meeting the Parents)
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Cana feudal era General and famed military strategist act as a modern day Cupid?(Episode One: Setting the scene) Can a feudal era General and famed military strategist act as a modern day Cupid? Episode Nine: Meeting the Parents After the … Read More

Interview with Visit Tohoku
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Interview with Visit Tohoku Pohan Chen(Visit Tohoku) & Michelle Alleman(Jtast) PC: I just came here four months ago, because I wanted to do something for Tohoku tourism, especially after the 2011 earthquake, because I am a licensed guide, and I think as … Read More

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