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Kansai or Kanto? Who Ya Got?

November 21, 2017 by Justin Hanus

“You despise me, don’t you Rick?” says Peter Lorre’s Ugarte to Humphrey Bogart’s Richard Blaine in Casablanca. “If I gave you any thought I probably would,” replies Bogart dismissively, deflating his presumed rival. The exchange is reminiscent of the regional rivalry that divides Eastern Japan (Kanto and Tokyo) and Western Japan (Kansai and Osaka). Tokyo […]

Holiday Dining Options in Kobe

November 21, 2017 by Justin Hanus

You can find yourself in a kerfuffle on almost any topic these days and that includes Christmas. Yokahama, with its German-style Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market, likes to fancy itself the progenitor of Japanese Christmas but Kobe prefers to point towards the 1890s when Buddhist objects were placed under pine trees throughout the city during […]

Koyo, or Fall Colors in Kobe

October 31, 2017 by admin

Viewing the changing colors of fall leaves or foliage, called koyo in Japanese, is autumn’s answer to spring’s more famous cherry blossom viewing; a traditional opportunity to get outdoors to live in the moment of the season and reflect on the impermanence of it all. Appreciation of the beauty of the changing seasons has been a Japanese characteristic since ancient times, and is even referenced […]

Kobe Gives Birth to Spirit of Volunteerism in Japan

October 30, 2017 by Justin Hanus

On January 17, 1995, the Great Hanshin earthquake struck Kobe and over 6,000 people lost their lives. In the aftermath of the disaster it is estimated that over one million volunteers came forward to provide help to those in need. While that does not sound remarkable in light of recent modern disasters it was unprecedented […]

Kobe’s Cutest Menace: Wild Boars

August 24, 2017 by Justin Hanus

Sometimes the most dangerous animals are not the ones you expect. In the United States the animal that kills the most people each year are deer, from collisions with automobiles. Yes, adorable Bambi itself. Kobe has a similar problem with wild boars. These feral pigs are native everywhere in Japan where they are called yama […]

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