Kiwi Yamabushi on Mt. Haguro

Trials and tribulations on YouTube

Last year in May, I set about climbing Mt. Haguro from the lesser-known Haguro Kodo side in Shonai Town. It was a really unique way to experience one of the most sacred mountains there is, and I spent more than a few hours putting together a 20 minute video of the experience. However, while we …

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close up photography of cherry blossom tree

Why does Japan love Sakura Cherry Blossoms?

If you’ve ever been in Japan during the spring, you would know that everyone is simply obsessed with the Sakura Cherry Blossoms.  I mean, have you seen Starbucks?  From Sakura-themed drinks like the Blooming Sakura Milk Tea and Sakura Strawberry Frappuccino, to the sakura donuts and sakura cakes and even sakura mints! Starbucks is really …

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open brown wooden door

When Thank You and Sorry mean the same thing

It’s interesting how some things are expressed differently in different languages. Take for example in Japanese, when someone opens the door for you, you apologise to them for having inconvenienced them, whereas in English we’d usually thank them. In Japan, it’s all about humility. When you do something, anything, to inconvenience someone, you are sort …

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It starts with appreciation

Sincere gratitude is the name of the game. The Japanese are smart. They know that everything starts with appreciation. Before every meal they say ‘Itadakimasu’ meaning ‘I humbly receive this meal’, but there is the connotation that you are thanking every living being (including plants) that played even the smallest part in bringing the meal …

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