Kumamoto Castle, Under Construction

“Please visit Kumamoto Castle,” my colleague urged when I told her we’d be driving through Kumamoto City on the way back from Nagasaki during the Golden Week holidays. The popular tourist attraction is Japan’s third-largest castle, after Osaka Castle and Nagoya Castle. It is especially well known for its expansive grounds, numerous buildings, and more than 500 cherry trees that…

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Exploring Wartime Remains on Japan’s Rabbit Island

If any island served as inspiration for ABC’s LOST (a.k.a the best television series of all time) it was surely Ōkunoshima. Featuring a golf course, pylons, old test laboratories and its very own hatch, it is exactly where every fan wants their plane to crash. You can even enjoy polar bears in miniature – the island is overrun with an abundant population of bunnies. The latter has earned…

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Hiroshima’s Peace Park in Black and White

I spent most of my visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park sitting on a bench. This was partly due to the fact that I was supercalifragilisticexpialidociously hungover from the previous night’s festivities; after gatecrashing the Hiroshima JETs’ welcome party to catch up with two old friends, Fiona and Gavin, I ended up at a bar with a lovely Aussie couple on their way to…

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Kagoshima’s Kamikaze Town

“Why are you taking pictures of yourself?” Mark asked with one eyebrow raised as he turned around and saw my lens pointing into the window. “I’m getting bored, there’s nothing else here to photograph,” I replied. The humidity had produced rivers of sweat on my forehead, which were running down the back of my neck and feeding into the giant prickly pear that was now my ball…

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