Author: Elle

Plum Blossoms at Shinrin Park | NAMEGAWA

Mini Post – Plum Blossoms Shinrin Park The plum blossoms are currently blooming at Shinrin Park in Namegawa. They are not quite 100% yet, but they still look very picturesque.  It is speculated they will be in full bloom over the coming week. There is currently (March 4th 2018) some Wintersweet still in bloom and in a handful of areas […]

Free Shoyu Factory Tour & Cafe Kura at Matsumoto Soy Sauce | KAWAGOE

Free Soy Factory tour Kawagoe Free Soy Factory Tour Kawagoe – Where in Kawagoe to bring a visiting famous Japanese food chef and author?  This is the question that faced me when I was bringing Fiona Uyema, Ireland’s leading Japanese food expert and owner of Fused Japanese sauces, on a tour of Kawagoe in Autumn 2015. I brought her to a few different […]

Fuku Daruma / Daruma Market | KAWAGOE & TAKASAKI 【GUNMA】

Daruma / Daruma Market – I often get asked about Japanese New Year’s traditions. There are a  lot, but one close to my heart is the ancient tradition of purchasing Daruma dolls. It was the very first quintessentially Japanese New Year’s tradition I had the fortune to try. My first New Year in Japan, 16 years ago, was spent in […]

Numakage Park

Summer Outdoor Pool, Numakage Park | URAWA

One of the earliest parks to open their outdoor pools for the summer season is Numakage Park in Urawa, Saitama. Information adapted from Saitama with Kids facebook page (with permission): The outdoor pools in NUMAKAGE PARK have been opening for weekends since July 2nd. They will open daily from this Saturday the 16th of July. Hours: July 2nd to August 15th: 9am […]

Activity packed family beach day destination SHIMODA | SHIZUOKA

I am currently researching places to bring the kids for a short holiday during the summer. During my research I keep coming across places of interest in Shimoda in Minami-Izu. There is a great selection of outdoor seasonal activities in the area, some of which are outlined below. Shimoda is a coastal area in the popular area of Izu, specifically […]

Priya the magical dog, killer hornets and stone grilled food |Kawagoe

I was living in the Kawagoe area many years before I stumbled upon a curious little shop off the beaten track, which has intrigued and enthralled me ever since. The name of the shop is as ambiguous as the products and services they offer. The kanji over the door 浪漫 can be called “Roman“, the Japanese version of Romantic, but nowhere […]

JULY Festivals and Fireworks 2016 | KANTO (TOKYO)

Kanto is the area around Tokyo, comprising Saitama, Kanagawa (Yokohama), Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma.  This is a calendar displaying festivals and fireworks in this area for the month of July. Click on the event for more information including time and place, and a link to either the official website or to a webpage with more information in English. I recommend you […]

Experience Asakusa

Experience Asakusa Information Share “Where can I try some unique Japanese cultural experiences in Tokyo?” We often get asked a variation of “where can I enjoy some real Japanese experiences in Tokyo?” on the Facebook Japan Travel, Friendly Discussion Group. Unfortunately, the search field and files section of Facebook Groups is still somewhat limited and the information cannot be easily found.  I’m […]

Pedal car at kazo hanasaki park santa kazo

Water play and pedal cars at Hanasaki Water Park | KAZO

Kazo Hanasaki Water Park made quite an impression on me. It isn’t a huge park, but there is a lot to do in the relatively small area. So much so, I recommend it as one of those parks that it is worth a journey to, even just once. That is, if you are in Saitama! POOLS AND BIKES There are two […]

Summer in Isanuma Park | Kawagoe

Isanuma park in Kawagoe is a popular spot with locals. It also attracts professional photographers and bird lovers from further afar, who come to capture the wildlife on the lake. It is not a big park, but it has good facilities for its size. In summer, the trees of the wood and its position by a river and lake make it a little cooler than […]