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Quick Trips

Hawaii is probably the most iconic and popular vacation destination for people around the world. And yet, I was not surprised to hear that Okinawa welcomed more tourists than Hawaii for the first time in 2017, according to Japan’s Nikkei news service.


South Korea reopens DMZ/JSA tours, allowing visitors to see much more than before

You don’t have to be leader of the free world to visit Panmunjom — the truce village in the Demilitarized Zone where President Donald Trump shook hands June 30 with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.


Beat the odds and swim with the dolphins around a tiny island south of Tokyo

Folks in the Tokyo area who want to swim with wild dolphins don’t have to travel far or spend a fortune to realize their dreams.


Instead of Tokyo, hop a train to Kawagoe to experience a mix of historic, contemporary

An excursion by rail to Kawagoe in Saitama prefecture opens a window to a bygone era in Japan. Sometimes called “Little Edo,” a reference to Tokyo’s former identity, the city encompasses a busy commercial district and a Buddhist temple of historic and cultural significance. If, like me, you’re relatively new to Japan, Kawagoe is a nice weekend-day-trip alternative to the bustle of center city Tokyo.

Beat the rainy-season blues by visiting hydrangea garden on Okinawa

After Golden Week, Okinawa usually marches into tsuyu, or rainy season, which lasts until late June. For some, the gloomy sky and constant rain makes them feel blue. Others may appreciate the little break from the blazing sun, because after the rainy season is over, Okinawa is officially in summer. As for me, as soon as the Japan Meteorological Agency announces that Okinawa is in rainy season, it’s time to hit the road to the Yohena Hydrangea Garden to see some pretty flowers.


Hang out, eat tempura with the cool cats on Okinawa’s Ojima island

Every local on Okinawa has a “go-to” tempura place when a craving for Okinawa-style tempura strikes. Where is my go-to shop? On Ojima island!


Leave your worries behind and find inner peace at South Korea’s Mangisa Temple

Located just 6 miles from Osan Air Base is Mangisa Temple, home to the Iron Seated Buddha, one of South Korea’s national treasures.

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