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One of the Akigawa Valley’s most popular attractions is the Hossawa No Taki waterfall. The falls, considered one of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan, are reached via an easy 15-minute stroll through the woods along a shaded, well-maintained trail. (ALLEN ONSTOTT/STARS AND STRIPES)

Escape the city, reconnect with nature in Tokyo’s Akigawa Valley

Don’t let the Tokyo address fool you, because the Akigawa Valley is about as far away from the crowds and congestion of the city as one can get...

Photos by Tetsuo Nakahara, Stripes Japan

Let's Explore a Zen state of mind in Japan

TOKYO –– My mother used to go to a Zen temple for meditation when I was a kid, and I had no idea what she was doing. In fact, watching her sit in...

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Morning market and unique shrine in Hachinohe

A 30-minute drive from Misawa AB, Mutsuminato in Hachinohe City is a great town to drop by, especially in the morning when its fish market is...
Photos by MC2 Michael Doan

Explore Yokohama Minato Mirai 21

Minato Mirai 21 is a large suburb in Yokohama that offers plenty of popular sites to explore for first timers and returning visitors alike....
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi and Futoshi Shinozuka

MISAWA: Pro-American city offers plenty of natural and gastronomical attractions

Located in the north end of mainland of Honshu, Misawa City is home to a U.S. Air Force Base as well as a popular tourist destination with...
The torii, or gate, marking the entrance to the shrine grounds

A trip to Meiji Jingu

Did you know that the trees that fill the 178 acres (about 720,000 square meters) of Meiji Jingu (jingu is the Japanese word for shrine) were...
Yomiuriland Water Amusement Island (WAI) (Photo courtesy of Yomiuriland)

Make a splash at these water parks in Japan

NISSAN WATER PARK AT SHIN-YOKOHAMA PARK (Yokohama): Through Sept. 30, enjoy 22 varieties of swimming pools, including water-...

Five travel tips to make flying with small children a breeze!

It sounded like a good idea at the time… “Yeah honey, lets go home for the wedding and that way we can be there for our friends AND take our 6-...
Isshiki Beach in Hayama was chosen as on of the World's Best 100 Beaches (no. 65) by CNN in 2014.  Photo courtesy of Tomoko Kamishima

Beautiful beaches near bases on the Kanto Plain

The sweet summer months are upon us. It’s time to make a splash in the ocean, curl up our toes in the sand, and prepare for that perfect tan. Here...

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Ueno offers taste of old and new

Japan’s oldest zoo, tons of museums, a French-style modern park filled with cherry trees, numerous Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, along...

Dude! Skate park in Yokosuka has fishing, BMX, BBQ & more!

City parks in Japan are a few and far between, but when you do find a gem it usually becomes at least a half-day excursion because of all the fun...

Spend a day hanging at Monkey Island off Yokosuka coast

If you are familiar with Yokosuka Naval Base, you’ve probably noticed a tiny green island right off the coast.

Monkey Island, or Sarushima...

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