Exploring the Japanese Countryside by E-Bike
22. April 2024
These four self-guided tours can be completed in 2-5 hours and feature breathtaking scenery, sumptuous local cuisine, and plenty of opportunities to interact with the friendly local people.

The Delectably Deadly Fugu
04. April 2022
What are the risks of consuming this odd, exotic fish? And is the flavor worth it? In this article we visit a fugu farm, where we get to feed these adorable sea creatures, before sitting down to devour one ourselves. We’ll also learn all about the elusive pufferfish from a genuine fugu farmer – Shimojo-san – owner of the fugu restaurant and inn that shares his name .

Omizu Okuri: Festival of Fire and Water
21. March 2022
This Shinto/Buddhist ceremony, known as Omizu-Okuri (Water Sending), is held at Jingu-ji Temple in Obama, Fukui every March 2. This is the preparatory ritual for the Omizu-Tori (Water Receiving) which takes place 10 days later at Todaiji Temple in Nara. The two rituals demonstrate the close ties maintained between Nara and Obama since Japan's earliest recorded history.

Heshiko: Acquiring a Taste for Year-Old Mackerel
07. March 2022
While heshiko is believed to have originated during the Edo period, it belongs to an older tradition of preserving food using salt and fermentation. These methods arose out of the necessity of delivering high quality seafood to Nara or Kyoto via the ancient network of roads now known as the Saba Kaido - or “Mackerel Highway”.

The Saba Kaido Raido
22. February 2022
In this article, I’ll relate my one-day bicycle journey along the Mackerel Highway, and give you some tips in case you’d like to embark on this raido yourself someday.

Driving the Mackerel Highway
07. February 2022
In this article, I’ll be taking you on a road trip from Kyoto to the rugged coastline of the Japan Sea, along a network of roads that have been traveled for well over a thousand years. So, sit back and buckle up, and we’ll unearth a few hidden gems along the way and indulge in some culinary delights as well.

Obama by the Sea
27. January 2022
This article explores in-depth the relatively unknown – yet easily accessible – destination of Obama. This small seaport, with so many temples and gardens it's known as “Nara by the Sea”, boasts a fascinating history, amazing scenery, and mouth-watering cuisine.

Hiking the Saba Kaido trail, aka the "Mackerel Road."
24. November 2021
In September of 2021 I walked the historic Saba Kaido with 3 companions, along the route known as the Harihatagoe. Our journey lasted two and a half days and took us along 56 kilometers of steep mountain passes and quaint valley settlements. Along the way we got to enjoy some amazing regional cuisine, and meet plenty of friendly local folks.