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  • After the tsunami: Revisiting Onagawa

    Stephen Phelan is a journalist with close ties to Japan - he once lived in Kanazawa, and has volunteered in the tsunami-stricken Tohoku region various times. As the sixth anniversary of the disaster approaches, he revisits the town of Onagawa to catch up with some of the residents and see the recovery for himself. (more…)

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  • Mountains, sea and sake: A perfect day in Kobe

    Kobe is known around the world for two things: succulent beef and the earthquake of 1995. But how much do you actually know about the city? Catherine, one of our group tour specialists, was lucky enough to be shown around by the local tourism board, and found plenty of reasons to love Kobe. Over the next three weeks, she’ll be sharing some of her impressions… (more…)

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  • Top 5 hot spring experiences in Misasa Onsen

    Richard Pearce is one of Inside Japan's most experienced tour leaders. Last week, he introduced us to his adopted home, the lovely hot spring town of Misasa Onsen. This week, he looks at his five favourite Misasa hot spring experiences... (more…)

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  • A seasonal guide to Misasa Onsen

    In the centre of beautiful Tottori Prefecture, considered to be the most rural of all Japanese prefectures, Misasa Onsen is a charming hot spring town loved by locals and visitors alike. Misasa Onsen dates back more than 850 years. Local legend says that a samurai warrior (Samanosuke Okubo) encountered an old white wolf one day. Although he raised his bow to shoot the wolf, he decided to spare its life and let it get away. That night, a powerful spirit appeared in the warrior's dreams and told him the location of a local hot spring in appreciation of sparing the life of the wolf. After that, the hot spring was said to have "life-saving properties", and would heal villagers' illnesses. Misasa literally means "three mornings", as it is believed that on the morning of the third day visitor ...

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