Kansai trip: Nara

Though we only spent an afternoon there, Nara was a huge highlight of our Kansai trip. We visited Tōdai-ji (東大寺), the most monumental temple we’ve ever seen. The current version, built in 1692, is one of the world’s largest wooden buildings, and it’s still only two-thirds the size of the 752 original. It was first constructed as the head Buddhist … More Kansai trip: Nara

Kansai trip: Kyoto

It’s been a slow-going return to the real world after spring break, but I need to talk about our trip to the Kansai region. I had a nasty cold, so I was spaced-out on meds with a backpack full of used snot rags, but it was still spectacular. We spent the majority of our time … More Kansai trip: Kyoto

Sakura in Nakatsu

Sakura (cherry blossom) season is a huge deal in Japan. Everything from candy to beer gets special sakura-themed packaging. Restaurants like McDonald’s and Starbucks come out with sakura-flavored drinks. There are constantly-updated sakura forecasts.* When I learned the cherry blossoms in each region only last around a week, I didn’t get why they deserved such a fuss. … More Sakura in Nakatsu

Graduation murals

Since the Japanese school year recently ended, I wanted to share this sweet graduation tradition that I saw at both of my junior high schools. The third-year students band together and make a mystery mural to hang in the gym for their ceremony. The students are given stacks of 8.5 x 11 papers covered with … More Graduation murals