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Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine
A lover's sanctuary in central Osaka
These heart-shaped 'ema' (wooden boards where wishes are written), depict Ohatsu and Tokubei and hang in memory of their story
A lover's sanctuary in the Osaka Kita and Umeda area, Ohatsu Tenjin (officially Tsuyuno Tenjinsha), beholds one of Japan's greatest love stories. Japan's 'Romeo and Juliet', the story of Ohatsu and Tokubei has kept lovers flocking to the shrine for generations. 

The Equinox Flower and Rice Harvest
Beauty on the side of any road
Red and red-and-white spider lilies line these terraced rice fields each September
Spider lilies signify the coming of the autumnal rice harvest in Japan with fleeting beauty.

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
A sacred center in Osaka's bustling heart
The orientation of the zodiac which appears on the roof of the daimon is one of the most interesting features of Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
Osaka Tenmangu, or 'Tenjisan' as it's known by the locals, is the most famous of all the tenjin/tenmangu shrines throughout Japan. It is also home to Osaka's biggest festival, the Tenjin Matsuri, which is held each July. It is one of the three greatest festivals in Japan, and the world's greatest boat festival.

Inishie-no-Michi in Kofu
Gozan temples between Takeda Shrine and Kai-Zenkoji
Chozen-ji
A mapped trail between Kofu JR Station and Kai-Zenkoji visits the five Kofu Gozan temples that enjoyed Shingen Takeda's patronage. It includes Takeda Shrine and Shingen Takeda's grave.

Tohoku History Museum
A museum of history of the northeast of Japan
Various Jomon ritual artifacts, several of which I have personally never seen before
The Tohoku History Museum in Tagajo is located next to Kokufutagajo Station. It can be accessed via a 14 minute train ride on the Tohoku Honsen Line from Sendai Station. Its extensive and attractive exhibits detail history of the entire Tohoku region from stone age to modern era.  

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri
Japan's Largest Danjiri Festival
Neighbourhood teams pull their danjiri (floats) through the streets of Kishiwada, vying for glory.
The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is the largest, if not greatest, danjiri matsuri (float festival) in Japan. Celebrating 300 years of tradition, neighbourhoods compete by racing 35 4-tonne danjiri through the streets of Kishiwada. Held every September, the festival is a direct train ride from Kansai Airport. With the event's immense popularity, it is still possible to get an unobstructed view of the danjiri and the chanting float-pullers. If you follow the path directly opposite Kispa La Park, it is possible to explore the surrounding streets, which have reduced crowds and greater views.

Cavorting at Kyotango
A day trip of kayaking and swimming from Kyoto
The glimmering cerulean sea framed by dramatic wooded cliffs makes your heart sing.
The north shore of Kyoto prefecture revolves around Wakasa Bay, looking like a shining pearl necklace that stretches beyond the horizon from Hyogo to Fukui. This realm is blessed with pristine beaches and majestic peninsulas, whose forested hills kiss the sea. You can go swimming, surfing, fishing, or kayaking, in any combination you please. In Maizuru as well as Kyotango, you may come across kayakers doing a bit of squid or sea bream fishing on the side. Keep an eye for the sea eagles as they know where the richest fishing spots are.

Public Onsen near Lake Chuzenji
Soak and take in the scenery at Nikko Lakeside Hotel
The front of Nikko Lakeside Hotel
Nikko Lakeside Hotel offers public hot springs on the shores of Lake Chuzenji. Enjoy a relaxing soak while enjoying scenic views of the area.

Creating Soba in Iiyama
Noodles and more in Nagano
Yellow oilseed rape blossoms in Iiyama
Combine a soba-making experience with the comfort and hospitality of an overnight stay at a family-run Japanese hot spring inn

Ajimu Rural Homestay
Experience Japanese farming culture
Beautiful views
The Ajimu Rural Homestay is a unique opportunity to experience Japanese farming culture. The peaceful atmosphere, farming experience, and kindness of the hosts will ensure a fun, edifying, and memorable trip.

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