地獄谷野猿公苑 Jigokudani Monkey Park: Japan’s Famous Snow Monkeys

Up an entirely missable path to the side of a log cabin, we trot in single file. On either side of us snow banks rise up, emanating a dull blue world towards us, and it presses in on our uncovered skin. It's a stark difference from the previously ploughed and sunny road we were walking on, …

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お好み焼き Okonomiyaki: Japan’s Savoury Pancake

Of all the food I’ve discovered in Japan I’m always most surprised that Okonomiyaki is the least recognised internationally. It’s incredibly delicious, celebrates the enduring Japanese love of cabbage, and there’s the crowd pleasing performance of cooking it yourself at your table. Okonomiyaki, translated to ‘grilled as you like it’, is a flexible dish that …

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雛祭り Hinamatsuri: Japanese Girls’ Appreciation Day

My colleague plops down in his seat next to me, and nods in my direction. Knowing that he has a young daughter I ask him if he’ll be celebrating Hinamatsuri today. Of course, he says, she wouldn’t let me not celebrate it, and giggles. On Hinamatsuri, March 3rd, girls all over Japan are appreciated through …

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