Merge & Al's Excellent Adventures

3 min read

I need to return to Surabaya, Indonesia

Surabaya is Indonesia’s second-largest city (after Jakarta), and is known as the “City of Heroes” due to its significant role in the Indonesian National Revolution…

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6 min read

Monkey merriment in Ishigaki

Ishigaki, like Naha, is located in the Okinawa Prefecture, but it is on an island further south, and over 400 km away (which is about…

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6 min read

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…

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2 min read

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…

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6 min read

Wacky, weird and wonderful Osaka

Osaka is Japan’s third largest city by population.  While the #1 Tokyo is known for its iconic modernization and the #2 Kyoto for its classic…

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6 min read

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…

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5 min read

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…

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5 min read

Volcanic encounters of the close kind!

Kagoshima, a city on the southern coast of Kyushu, Japan, is known for two things – its absolutely picturesque bay, and the nearby active volcano…

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6 min read

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…

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3 min read

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…

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4 min read

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…

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