Takayama Spring Festival

Apr 01, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Located in Gifu Prefecture, and surrounded by some of Japan’s richest natural areas just below the famous Northern Alps, Takayama is somewhat isolated and distant.  This isolation allowed the city to develop its own distinct culture that combines that of nearby Edo (modern day Tokyo) and Kyoto’s into a new...[ Click to read more ]

Calling 119 for Emergency Assistance in Japan

Mar 20, 2020 By Ray Proper

Dial 119 for fire department or medical services Dial 110 for police 119 in Japan is a direct-dial free emergency number that connects the caller to fire and emergency medical services from any phone.  Unlike emergency number services in many other countries, the 119 system in Japan only connects to fire...[ Click to read more ]

Rack Them Up! Five Places to Play Pool and Billiards in Nagoya

Mar 18, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

"Show me a man who is good at pool, and I'll show you a man who had a misspent youth," my father once said. It was one of those times that made me realize that my father was not the fountain of all knowledge that I had thought him in...[ Click to read more ]

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Wisteria Festivals: Aichi’s Other ‘Hanami’

By Mark Guthrie

There can be absolutely no doubt that in Japan, the month of April is very much the month the cherry blossom tree. However, as quickly as it has come, the season has gone. Time has taken its toll on the delicate sakura, and the wind and rain of spring have...[ Click to read more ]

Day Trips From Nagoya – Kamikochi, The Stunning Birthplace of Japan’s Casual Hiker

By Mark Guthrie

Japan is a nation supremely blessed with its fair share of dramatic scenery. From the sandy beaches and deep blue oceans of Okinawa, by way of the high mountain peaks of the Honshu, and right up to the devastating natural parks of Hokkaido, there is beauty everywhere you turn. However,...[ Click to read more ]

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Day Trips From Nagoya – Iwamura, a Quaint Castle Town, Shrouded in History and Mist

By Mark Guthrie

For many visitors to Japan, getting a taste of the country's proud and storied history sits high on the checklist. To this end, most head to Gion in Kyoto, or Takayama in Gifu, however, once there it is easy to be disappointed. Rather than the quaint, sleepy towns that people...[ Click to read more ]

Therapeutic Spa at Gamagori’s Thalgo Laguna

Feb 26, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Whether natural spring onsen or communal bathing sentos, Japan's penchant for soaking in the tub with friends and family is legendary, however, for those of us who have not necessarily grown up within that environment, we may feel reluctant to partake in these particularly Japanese pleasures. One hindrance could be...[ Click to read more ]

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Join Amnesty International in Nagoya

By Mark Guthrie

Nagoya is currently seeing a rise in activism. From environmental concerns to issues of social justice, all over the city groups of concerned locals and ex-pats are joining together to make the world a better place. One such group is the Amnesty International Nagoya Multicultural Group (Provisional). Japan Info Swap...[ Click to read more ]

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A Call To Action – Nagoya NGOs at Which You Can Make a Difference

Feb 25, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

From the environment to animal rights to families living below the poverty line, there are unfortunately a broad number of issues that plague our society. Fortunately, there are a number of groups and NGOs out there in Nagoya that are striving to counteract them, and you too can join them....[ Click to read more ]

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Top Five Hanami Sites Near Nagoya

Feb 22, 2020 By Ray Proper

"Hanami" literally means flower viewing, but it is much more than that to the people of Japan.  Hanami signals the end of another long winter's chill, and besides simply enjoying the beauty of flowers, especially cherry blossoms (桜 sakura), it means time spent with friends and family outdoors with, especially by the younger generations of...[ Click to read more ]