The ryokan was founded in and has been in the same family ever since. Make a beeline for Lake Shikotsu, one of the deepest in Japan, ringed by three volcanoes: Eniwa, Fuppushi and Tarumae. Each caption written in Japanese but translatable via the app goes into painstaking detail about the flavours and textures of the dish, with a rating out of five and any information needed to track down the shop.
My city in a nutshell Toyota is best-known as the home of the eponymous car manufacturing giant. Before it moved there, the city was called Koromo but in — as an acknowledgement of the economic prosperity the motor chain had brought to this otherwise agricultural community — it was renamed Toyota. Many visitors skip Toyota in favour of nearby Nagoya, but that is doing the city a disservice. It has art galleries, gardens, historic temples and an interesting local craft culture, not to mention scenic mountains and valleys on the doorstep.
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If you do one thing Korankei valley is a pretty ravine carved by the gushing Tomoe River, and a riverside footpath leads from one end of the valley to the other, past the metre peak of Mount Inari. The route winds over the scarlet Taigetsukyo Bridge a great spot for photos and past Kojakuji Temple, part-way up the slope under a canopy of maples. There are over 4, maple trees in the valley, each turning like traffic lights from green to orange to red as the year progresses. Unachu is a traditional restaurant that serves the most delicious hitsumabushi — a regional speciality of grilled eel on white rice.
The eel is grilled on skewers over charcoal and dipped in a soy-based glaze, making it crispy on the outside and delicately soft inside. The idea is to divide the eel into three portions: the first is to be eaten alone with rice; the second with the accompaniments nori, spring onions and wasabi ; and the third with a green tea-based dashi sauce, poured out of a teapot.
The restaurant itself is very pretty, with timber frames, tatami mats and sliding shoji doors. For a place with a little more character, try Sanage Onsen Hotel Kinsenkaku in the countryside about seven miles north of the city.
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In Japan, traditional rooms are typically measured by the number of tatami mats they can fit as opposed to square metres : here, all rooms consist of eight mats, suitable for up to four guests sleeping on roll-out futons. The hotel is particularly proud of its onsen : the natural water contains radon, which is said to promote healing.
What the guidebooks overlook A small mountain on the outskirts of the city called Mount Sanage. I love to come here to run or hike, far from the noise of the city. Moving on Take a minute train and ferry trip to the tiny art island of Sakushima — one of three islands in the Aichi archipelago, with a population of just In , Sakushima began a regeneration project to attract visitors, displaying over 20 modern art installations in the wilderness.
Circling the entire island on foot will take around two hours. Inspiration Follow: 88mercury , based in neighbouring city Nagoya, takes beautiful images of Aichi prefecture, with lots of pictures shot in Toyota. My city in a nutshell In a country not known for its cultural diversity, Kobe stands out. After Yokohama, it was one of the first ports to open up to the outside world in and it has worn its multiculturalism as a badge of honour ever since.
The most rewarding way to reach the peak is to hike, setting off mid-afternoon. The easy-to-follow route begins just behind Shin-Kobe station and takes around three hours. Kobe beef is a variety of wagyu — the highly prized beef known for its succulent, buttery texture. Rooms are quintessential Japan, with neat tatami mats, low chabudai tables and sliding paper sh oji doors. In autumn, the entire resort is enveloped in orange maple trees. From the top there are sweeping views across the labyrinth of defences below and out over Himeji.
By Kota Kuboshima , Shizuoka-born florist, kakan. In the surrounding countryside, the hills are covered with green tea bushes, strawberry fields and wasabi farms — the land is fertile because of the mountain spring water and cool coastal climate. If you do one thing Kunozan Toshogu shrine, on the edge of the city, is an ornate complex overlooking Suruga Bay from the side of Mount Kuno. The scarlet buildings of the shrine, dedicated to the powerful Edo leader Tokugawa Ieyasu, stand under a thick tree covering, with colourful paintings, copper lanterns and gold carvings. On clear days, the views sweep across the tea fields and ocean to Mount Fuji.
Beer names are written on a large blackboard in English, and there are often live music events. What the guidebooks overlook Ethicus Coffee Roaster — a really cool coffee shop in the centre of Shizuoka.
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The owner, Yoshiya Yamazaki, is passionate about coffee, selecting the beans before roasting them himself. The shop is chic and minimalist, with an enormous open-plan kitchen where you can watch the coffee experiments take place. But it is the neighbouring garden and kaiseki restaurant, Fugetsuro , owned by the same family, that make it stand out.
The garden, with its waterfall-fed pond and bamboo groves, was created at the end of the Edo period in the 18th century. Hotel guests have access to the garden, which is otherwise off-limits. Fujikawaguchiko is a lakeside town in the northern foothills of Mount Fuji, and there are few places in Japan that offer such a close-up view of the famous peak.
There are bikes to hire for a ride around Lake Kawaguchi , and plenty of boat trips. Expect long queues. Inspiration Read: D Design travel Shizuoka, a travel book written in Japanese and English focusing on the best things to see, do and eat in Shizuoka with a focus on design. By Kei Ueda , designer for an Oita advertising agency, porquekei. My city in a nutshell The city of Oita stands on the coast of Kyushu, sandwiched between mountains to the west and sea to the east.
And thanks to the same geothermal activity that carved these landscapes, Oita has another very tempting reason to visit: hot springs. If you do one thing Go to an onsen : my favourite is Hyotan , just north of the city in Beppu. The Usuki one is known for fugu , the pufferfish banned from consumption through the Edo period due to the number of fatalities from its ovaries and liver, which contain a poison 13 times stronger than arsenic.
Even now, the Japanese emperor is forbidden by law from eating it. A little restaurant called Okamotoya on a hill above Beppu. Its biggest draw is the rooftop hot spring: an infinity-edge pool 80 metres above the ground. From the water you can see the city panorama, with the mountains behind and the sea in front. It also has steam rooms, saunas and a salt spa, as well as one of the largest roof gardens in Japan, home to roughly 1, trees and flowers.
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Each post includes the name of the cafe or restaurant in English, as well as a detailed description about the place and food written in Japanese but translatable via the Instagram app. By Daiki Tanaka , professional surfer, daikitanaka My city in a nutshell Fukuoka is the largest city on the southerly island of Kyushu — a five-hour Shinkansen bullet train ride south of Tokyo.
Make sure that you come with an empty stomach: Fukuoka is known for its food, from rich bowls of pork-broth hakata ramen to bright pink karashi mentaiko pollock or cod roe in the shape of a sausage. Fukuoka Now is a website in four languages and a monthly magazine in both Japanese in English, which was founded by Canadian Nick Szasz and is packed with local news and upcoming events. On a clear day, you get a snapshot of the real Fukuoka: Hakata Bay and the sea beyond dotted with small islands, the sandy shore, the mirror-like high-rise buildings and the hazy mountains marking the edge of the prefecture.
My favourite ramen bar is Hakata Isso, known for its rich tonkotsu ramen, served with soft chashu pork belly slices and a sticky soy egg.
In Japan, standing bars or tachinomiya — tiny bars where the only option is to stand — took off in the s as an inexpensive and quick place to grab a drink, and have become popular as fun places to hang out. Stand By Me has a standing bar downstairs and a hostel upstairs, with shared and private rooms that are simple, but clean and comfortable.
The bar is also a great space to meet other like-minded travellers. There are surfer-style cafes and bars serving Hawaiian favourites such as loco moco and garlic shrimp, as well as Italian gelatarias and cool surf shops.
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After a couple of days in Fukuoka, catch the bus or train to Dazaifu, nine miles south-east of the city. Were it not for the two months every year when the Nile's water covered Egypt's farmland, idling virtually the entire workforce, none of this construction would have been possible. For two months annually, workmen gathered by the tens of thousands from all over the country to transport the blocks a permanent crew had quarried during the rest of the year. Overseers organized the men into teams to transport the stones on sleds, devices better suited than wheeled vehicles to moving weighty objects over shifting sand.
A causeway, lubricated by water, smoothed the uphill pull. No mortar was used to hold the blocks in place, only a fit so exact that these towering structures have survived for 4, years - the only Wonders of the Ancient World still standing today The practice of slavery certainly existed in Egypt throughout its history, as it did in every ancient culture, but it was not the kind of slavery popularly depicted in fiction and film based on the biblical Book of Exodus.
Slaves in the ancient world could be tutors and teachers of the young, accountants, nursemaids, dance instructors, brewers, even philosophers. Slaves in Egypt were either captives from military campaigns or those who could not pay their debts and these people usually worked in the mines and quarries.
The men and women who worked on the Great Pyramid lived in state-provided housing on the site as discovered by Lehner and Hawass in CE and were well compensated for their efforts. The more skilled a worker was, the higher their compensation. The result of their work still amazes people in the modern day.
Historian Marc van de Mieroop writes:. The size boggles the mind: it was meters high feet by meters at the base feet.
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Khufu ruled 23 years according to the Turin Royal Canon, which would mean that throughout his reign annually , blocks - daily about blocks or one every two minutes of daylight - had to be quarried, transported, dressed, and put in place The construction was almost faultless in design. The sides were oriented exactly toward the cardinal points and were at precise degree angles The third pyramid belongs to his successor Menkaure - BCE. An inscription from c.