Category: Japan

Living to 100 in Okinawa

Living to 100 in Okinawa

Naha is the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, the tropical island group south of mainland Japan.  I was told by some Okinawans that they consider their islands to be Japan’s Hawaii, a tropical paradise with its own unique culture and a myriad of outdoor experiences.  This string of islands in the East China Sea is closer […]

Does the egg salad sandwich at 7-Eleven Japan live up to the hype?

Does the egg salad sandwich at 7-Eleven Japan live up to the hype?

The short answer is yes.  I (Merge) have now been in Japan for 18 days, and I have not yet tried the (in)famous egg salad sandwich at 7-Eleven.  So I was determined that today, my second day in Osaka, I was going to get one for lunch.  Known locally as the konbini tamago sando, I […]

Tantalizing Tokyo … religion and royalty

Tantalizing Tokyo … religion and royalty

When you think about Japan, the first city that often comes to mind is Tokyo, its capital.  With almost 9 million inhabitants, is by far the largest city in the country.  And if you include the Greater Tokyo region, the population is estimated to be over 13 million. But even at 9 million, the number […]

Charming calming Kochi

Charming calming Kochi

Kochi, located in Shikoku, Japan, is a coastal city known for its historical significance and scenic coastal views. It offers a mix of cultural attractions and natural beauty, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and forested hills on the other.  It was one of the ports I (Merge) visited on my travels in Japan […]

Nagasaki – the day the Fat Man came …

Nagasaki – the day the Fat Man came …

Nagasaki is a port city located on the west side of Kyushu Island.  Starting in the 16th century and for almost four centuries, it greeted trading ships in its natural harbour.  Until everything changed on August 9, 1945.  At 11:02 AM, an atomic bomb, code-named Fat Man, exploded 500 meters above the city.  In a […]

Scenic Sasebo

Scenic Sasebo

As I (Merge) continued my travels around Japan on the MS Westerdam, we stopped for a day at the port of Sasebo, our first stop on the island of Kyushu.  Japan has four main islands – Honshu, the biggest and most populated; Hokkaido, the northernmost; Kyushu, the southernmost; and Shikoku, which lies between Honshu and […]

Sakaiminato – Manga and anime on display

Sakaiminato – Manga and anime on display

As the MS Westerdam circled its way around Japan, my (Merge’s) next stop was Sakaiminato, a coastal city located in the Tottori Prefecture.  The town sits on the western shore of Honshu, the main island of Japan, overlooking the Sea of Japan. While its scenic coastal setting is certainly a reason people visit, Sakaiminato is […]