The Cape Toi Fire Festival

“I don’t see anything.” “Just wait for the next wave. Ok, now go! Move your hand around!” A tiny spec of blue suddenly appeared under the water. “Woah! I see one! There’s another one!” Mermaid fireflies, dancing around our hands and legs. “Holey shit, that’s cool!” It had been a really long day, but I immediately forgot I was tired….

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The Garden of Love

In Shintomi Town, on the road from Takanabe to Saito, is a garden carpeted in bright, pink flowers. During spring, when the shibazakura (moss phlox) is in full bloom, the private residence attracts up to 3,000 visitors a day. People come to admire the beautiful flowers, of course, but the garden is attractive for another reason; the story of how…

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Kagoshima’s Art Forest

Charcoal skies and lime lawns – that’s how I remember my first visit to the Kirishima Open-Air Museum last June. Now, eight months later and in the last months of winter, the landscape surrounding the outdoor art gallery looked somewhat different. As Ian and I chugged up the road that winds around the side of Mount Kurinodake, I kept my…

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Nagasaki Lantern Festival

WELCOME TO NAGASAKI!  I fist-bumped the air as we drove across the border into Kyushu’s westernmost prefecture – the only one I had yet to conquer on Japan’s third largest island. Ian, Vidy and I were making our way down for Nagasaki Lantern Festival. The event, now in its 22nd year, draws crowds that make it nearly impossible to find…

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