Miso – The Story Behind Japan’s Condiment of Choice for 1000 Years

September 14, 2017 by Justin Hanus

There was a time when miso was only eaten by nobility and monks. It was strictly forbidden for commoners to even eat the fermented condiment. What a difference a thousand years or so makes – today it is the cornerstone of traditional Japanese meals. Miso was invented in China and first eaten over 2500 years […]

Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens is a Celebration of Herbs and More

September 14, 2017 by Justin Hanus

Herbs have a hallowed and honored position in Japanese culture dating back hundreds and hundreds of years. Chinese herbs first began appearing in Japan traditional folk medicines during cultural exchanges between the two ancient societies. Japanese sufferers became familiar with plants such as geranium herbs used as an anti-diarrheic and Mallotus bark that helped relieve […]

All Aboard! Cruising in Kobe Harbor

September 14, 2017 by Justin Hanus

Kobe is Japan’s fifth largest city and one of the best ways to appreciate its size and importance is to view it from the water. You do just that with harbor cruises that depart from the shore on a daily basis. The cruises typically last 90 minutes or two hours as they circle in front […]

Japan’s Coffee Culture is Super Caffeinated – UCC Coffee Museum in Kobe

September 14, 2017 by Justin Hanus

The image of Japan around the world is that of a country where the main beverages are green tea and sake. It can thus be a surprise to see the large number of coffee shops in Japanese cities. Hot and cold coffee in cans can also be grabbed from many of the nation’s ubiquitous vending […]

The Danjiri Matsuri in Osaka is a Multi-Generational Thrill Show

September 14, 2017 by Justin Hanus

Autumn means the biggest event of the year for the southern Osaka city of Kishiwada – the Danjiri Matsuri. Danjiri are large wooden carts inside which religious tenets declare gods reside. The point of the festival is to honor the gods by having fleets of neighborhood men pull the carts – some of which can […]