Category: Travel

Home / Category: Travel

Surfing Couches Across Japan

October 22, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

Looking for a place to stay on a budget? Need an insider’s guide to a travel destination? Couch Surfing is a non-profit network of over a million travelers that share a common interest in travel, friendship, and cultural exchange. Open your house up and offer your couch to wanderers and in return for the comfort of millions of couches around the world. The greatest part of couch surfing is that it is entirely FREE! (more…)

Ikaho Day Trippin’

October 14, 2010 | Travel | 1 Comment

A few weeks ago I ventured north from home in the capital city of Gunma towards Mt. Haruna in search of Ikaho Onsen Town, a small town famous for beautiful mountain views and iron-filled hot springs. Ikaho is easily accessible by car, but for those of us without a set of wheels the trip may seem slightly more daunting. (more…)

Canyoning in Minakami

September 14, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

What exactly is canyoning? To the uninformed layman the word may conjure up images of an adventurous trip exploring a canyon, although the details are not readily apparent. It sounds interesting, but uninformative. In my expert opinion (I am a one-time canyoning veteran as of this past weekend) I would more appropriately name it, “waterfalling” because that is precisely what it is — jumping off rushing waterfalls! (more…)

Gunma’s Penis Museum

August 29, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

“Did you come to this country to pray for the proper functioning of your genitals?” — Not quite!  But regardless, I handed over 900 yen to the creepy lady in her penis garden and began the tour of Gunma’s only penis museum. (more…)

Welcome to Gunma

August 25, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

Hi. My Name is Ian McDonald. After a massive 3 day gauntlet of introductory conferences in Tokyo, seeing Gunma from a bus window for the first time served up quite a shock to my initial expectations of what life was going to be like in Japan. The proud skyscrapers of Shinjuku thawed quickly into a sprawling green landscape guarded by mountains and hills in nearly every direction. I had been mesmerized by Tokyo, but after a couple of hours on the highway I realized I had only then entered Japan. (more…)

“He Who Climbs Fuji is a Wise Man”

June 7, 2010 | Travel | 1 Comment

A wise old man in some corner of Japan once said, “He who climbs Fuji is a wise man.  He who climbs twice is a fool.”  It’s been almost one year since I myself made the ascent up Japan’s highest peak, and perhaps it is my foolish intention to reach the summit again this August. (more…)

The Three Mountains of Joumou

December 31, 2009 | Travel | 1 Comment

In days past, Gunma Prefecture was called “Joshu” or “Jomo”, and, as samurai, shogunate, emperors, and commonfolk traveled to and through our dear Gunma Prefecture in search of silk, agricultural treats, military gain, or maybe love, it was only inevitable that they would find themselves at the abrupt foothills of the Kanto Mountain Range. Gunma Prefecture has many mountains across its landlocked mass, but these 3 specific mountains are very special and revered as Shinto deities. (more…)