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Kimchi, Banchan, and Large Quantities of Soju

In contrast to the often hazy, overcast weather, the monotony of endless grey cement throughout the city, and the low-key profile of many of Seoul’s neighborhoods, a culinary journey through the city could never be described as bland or boring, showing that the citizens know what’s most important: the enjoyment of life and its small pleasures.  The flavors and aromas […]

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Artistic Spaces and Beautiful Places in Seoul

At first glance, Seoul, South Korea may appear to be a nothing more than a city composed of millions of concrete bricks laid end to end, stretching across the entirety of the city’s borders — a vast, wasteland occasionally pock-marked by the construction of a new office tower, upon whose mirrored surface reflections only exacerbate the city’s dull, lifeless palette.  Upon further inspection, however, […]

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Indulgent Eats in Kobe and a Somber Sojourn in Koya-san

The swath of nearly 7,000 islands that comprise the country of Japan is largely that of a forested and mountainous geography, with almost three-quarters of total landmass being unsuitable for residential or industrial use.  Further, given that the population totals over 127 million – a number that must be squeezed into the few livable areas that the geography offers […]

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Okonomiyaki, Octopus Dumplings, and the Noble Art of Kuidaore

It is no secret that those from Osaka hold in their hearts a particular affinity for all things edible, an innate passion that each new citizen seems to be born with.  This enjoyment of food and drink has even evolved to the point in which a new term has been coined for their activities: Kuidaore.  Translated directly, it means simply to “ruin […]

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A Different Perspective on the Urban Jungle in Osaka

Completing the mega-city trifecta on the island of Honshu is Japan’s second biggest city in that of Osaka.  Whereas it doesn’t carry itself with the same flash and style as that of Tokyo, nor does it boast the bevy of refined temples, shrines, and traditional aspects of nearby Kyoto, Osaka still holds its own, appealing […]

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Thousands of Hungry Deer and One Very Large Buddha in Nara

A short train ride away from Kansai’s duel overflowing-metropolises of Kyoto and Osaka lies the small, but memorable city of Nara.  Originally the first permanent capital of Japan in the seventh century (prior to this, the capital was moved every time an emperor passed on), Nara is now one of the countries most significant cultural and […]

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Rock Gardens, Golden Temples, and Cultural Overload in Kyoto

Kyoto: simply mentioning the name evokes endearing images of kimono-clad, white-faced geisha using their colorful parasols to protect both their complexions from the sun and their modesty from the stares of those on the street, of leisurely strolls through an endless parade of vivid-orange torii gates gently winding their way up a sloping hillside, of the austere and contemplative nature […]

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Admiring the Garden Views Over Tea in Kanazawa

Almost due West from the mountainous escapes of the Japanese Alps, and flanked by the Sea of Japan, lies the historic and cultural gem that is Kanazawa, within the Ishikawa Prefecture.  The name “Kanazawa” itself translates to “Marsh of Gold,” which it a very fitting name for the city which, due to centuries of bountiful rice harvests, became an exceedingly […]

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Meandering Amongst the Mountains in the Japanese Alps

In the center of Honshu — the largest island in the Japanese archipelago — West of Tokyo and the Kanto region and North of Kyoto and the Kansai region, lies the mountainous area known as the Japanese Alps: arguably one of the nation’s most beautiful stretches, with crystal clear rivers crisscrossing through cedar and pine forests, paths and mountain trails […]

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Sushi, Sake, and Soy Sauce – Consuming and Imbibing in Tokyo

It would be difficult to describe the culture and atmosphere in Tokyo without experiencing the culinary delights that are available, a particular highlights for any traveler visiting the Japan, as the city ranks amongst the top food destinations on the planet.  From greasy noodle shops to high-end kaiseki meals, from smoke-stained yakitori joints to the temples of fish […]

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