Finding love at Kiyomizudera

Finding love at Kiyomizudera


Kiyomizudera is one of the most famous temples in Japan and sits on a beautiful wooded hillside overlooking Kyoto. The temple was built in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall and its name literally means ‘Pure Water Temple’. When you see the immense wooden stage jutting out from the main hall, overlooking the … Continue reading

Even more things at HYPER JAPAN!

Even more things at HYPER JAPAN!


I recently blogged about some of the amazing line-up at this summer’s HYPER JAPAN here but they keep announcing more and more brilliant things, so here’s another blog about it! London’s biggest celebration of all things Japanese is happening on Friday 10 – Sunday 12 July at the O2 Arena in just over 2 weeks. … Continue reading

Philosophising on the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto

Philosophising on the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto


A leisurely stroll down the Philosopher’s Walk is an absolutely must if you’re visiting Kyoto. This 2 kilometre-long stone path is lined by hundreds of cherry trees, which come into full bloom in early April, and is one of the city’s most popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots. The best place to start your walk … Continue reading

Kyoto gold and silver: Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji

Kyoto gold and silver: Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji


Kyoto, formerly the imperial capital of Japan, is well-known for its fascinating history, castles, shrines and temples. There are lots of shrines and temples – over 2,000 to be exact. It’s a challenge to see them all even if you live there and, sadly, we only had three days in Kyoto and barely scratched the … Continue reading

Book Review: All She Was Worth

Book Review: All She Was Worth


Just before I went to Japan, I loaded a couple of Japanese novels onto my iPad so I wouldn’t have to lug a load of books around for 2 weeks. As it turned out, I only got through one book – Memoirs of a Geisha – in that time but I’ve been steadily working through … Continue reading

Sendai gyutan: 100% deliciousness

Sendai gyutan: 100% deliciousness


I’m not exaggerating – out of all the delicious food Oana and I tried in Japan, gyutan is right up there with okonomiyaki. Gyutan aka ‘beef tongue’ is a Sendai delicacy and, while some Brits might be a bit put off by the idea, it is the most delicious and tender meat. The Japanese really do know … Continue reading

One day in Sendai: The Date Masamune trail

One day in Sendai: The Date Masamune trail


“Why are you in Sendai?” a slightly confused-looking businessman asked me and Oana as we stood huddled an umbrella waiting to get a table in a little izakaya. Most people think of Tokyo and Kyoto when they’re planning their Japan holiday, so what on earth were two English girls who spoke only passable Japanese at best … Continue reading