Magome – Tsumago hike: A side of Japan I never knew existed

Japan surprised me in many ways. But the most unexpected was the part of the Nakasendo trail between Magome and Tsumago. It is the place to experience rural Japan that seems to be worlds apart from its sprawling cities. The 8 km hike up in the hills of Kiso Valley balanced my image of this…

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My year 2017 in pictures

Facebook keeps reminding me how great my 2017 was: According to Zuckerberg’s algorithms I made X new friends, earned Y likes, wows and hahas and gained a couple of “biggest fans”. But what does this really say about the last twelve months? Not much, as it turns out. Apart from the fact that I posted…

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Toilets and trains make me want to go back to Japan

The train is seven minutes late. Halfway through a 70 km distance, that is. In Japan something like this only happens after a typhoon wreaked havoc across half a country. Back home it’s a normal part of my morning commute that throws me into an unexpected state of reverse cultural shock right on the first…

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10 best Japanese dining experiences (according to me)

If you’re looking for the ultimate list of the best dining experiences in Japan, you might be disappointed. With so many diverse foods and eateries ranging from informal to exquisite Michelin-starred restaurants putting together any kind of “best of” list would be mission impossible. So what you have here is only my personal account of…

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Japan in rain: 5 tips for surviving even the worst of weather

The weather forecast didn’t look good: Constant rain for the first five days of our trip to Japan with a chance of a typhoon brewing up later on. Of course, my hubbs thought that I was exaggerating and that no weather outlook could ever be as bad as I can conjure it up in my…

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