Kurama & Kibune – The Hidden Gems in the Mountain of Kyoto


If you ever wonder whether there is a spot that is naturally cool in Kyoto, then read on! Mt. Kurama and Kibune located at the northernmost part of Kyoto are where the locals head to when they want to escape the summer heat. Having the Kawadoko (川床) dining at Kibune on the platform built above the river after wandering around the area is the best way to spend a summer day in Kyoto!

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Fun Activities At Yōkina Kasan no Mise Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s markets can be found everywhere in the world with some of them being the size of a football stadium. The ones that you have been to may have a range of fresh products but probably none of them offers cultural activities like Yōkina Kasan no Mise (陽気な母さんの店) in Ōdate city (大館市)!

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Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans

As a vegetarian, it is hard enough to be able to find a vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Japan. And if the staff in the restaurant doesn’t speak much English, it is going to be even harder to communicate our dietary requirements.

To make your life easier, please find below a list of useful phrases for you when such challenging time comes (^_-)-☆.

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Saigakukan – The Best Yufuin Onsen Ryokan with Vegen Kaiseki Ryōri


If you have come to Yufuin for its onsen and the spectacular scenic view, then Yufunogo Saigakukan (柚富の郷 彩岳館) is the onsen ryokan that you don’t want to miss!

Almost all accommodations at Yufuin have onsen (hot spring baths) for their customers to enjoy. But there are only so many spots in the area that come with the backdrop of Mt. Yufu. And, the pricing of the ryokan (traditional hotel) is quite reasonable compared to other ryokans in the area (^_-)-☆.

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Jigoku Mushi Kōbō Kannawa’s Delicious Vegan Options


When you come to Beppu, a city that has a lot of steam coming out of the hot spring underground, you won’t want to miss steaming your own meal for yourself using that natural, mineral-rich steam!

One of the restaurants that provide this experience is Jigoku Mushi Kōbō Kannawa (地獄蒸し工房 鉄輪). You will be able to access it with a 20 mins bus ride from JR Beppu Station (別府駅)!

This method of steaming ingredients with the steam coming from the underground is called Jigoku Mushi (hell steam) locally. This is because the hot spring where the steam is coming from is so hot, it is like the heat of a fiery hell bubbling through the steam.

Although the name of the cuisine sounds scary, the steam not only brings out the true flavours of the food, it also adds a natural light mineral taste that compliments the ingredients nicely!

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The Most Delicious Chestnut Sweets at Obusedō

Obuse, a small town in Nagano prefecture, famous for its chestnut produce and its large variety of chestnut sweets, is a must go for all the sweet tooths!

And among all the sweets shops in Obuse, Obusedō (小布施堂) is probably the most famous sweets maker.

Obusedō was founded in the Meiji era (1868 – 1912). Due to the vast amount of experience in making Japanese sweets with chestnuts, its western chestnuts sweets are so famous, that customers from all around Japan will start queuing from midnight!

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Obuse – The Chestnut Town that All Sweet Tooths Must Visit

Cherry blossom at Obuse Nagano

Obuse (小布施) is a lovely town in Nagano prefecture, famous for its delicious chestnuts and ukiyo-e artist, Katsushika Hokusai from the 16th century. If Jigokudani Monkey Park is on your agenda, then we highly recommend that you stay over at Obuse, which is only a few stations away!

Apart from its super sweet chestnuts, the best thing about this town is that it isn’t filled with tourists (*’▽’).

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The Best Vegetarian Course Menu at Sabo Mameya, Obuse Nagano

Sabo Mameya Obuse Nagano Vegetarian Dining

When people speak about tofu dishes, they often talk about bean curd or deep-fried tofu. At Sabo Mameya (茶房まめ家), you will be blown away by the large variety of menus. From appetiser to dessert, you will find soybeans in each dish! We are sure you will be able to enjoy the food at this restaurant, even if you aren’t a big fan of tofu. They have brought tofu to the extreme, so you can hardly tell it’s tofu that you are eating!

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The Best Japanese Sweets You Will Ever Have at Toraya Kōbō

Toraya Gotenba Japanese Sweet

Are you a sweet tooth? If yes, then you can’t miss out on the famous sweets maker in Japan, Toraya!

Toraya’s history went way back to the early 16th century’s Kyoto. It was chosen to be a purveyor to the imperial court from the late 1500s. When Japan’s capital transferred to Tokyo, it also successfully established its foothold in the new capital. Now Toraya not only has more than 75 shops in Japan but also a tea room in Paris!

While you can buy Toraya’s Wagashi (Japanese sweets) from most of Japan’s major cities’ department stores, the experience is never the same as dining at Toraya Kōbō!

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