Togakushi – the destination of the pilgrimage – has five shrines. © Ed Day.

There is a Japan beyond the hectic city life of Tokyo, the technology, and the stereotypes of geishas and men in suits. We often speak of looking at the bigger picture, and rightly so. In Japan, this means venturing beyond the comforts of the cities, exploring the rural hinterland, and having the luxury of time to do so.

A mangrove forest in the Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar. Mangroves are ecologically vital to the region in their ability to sequester carbon. © Shutterstock.

Offset your carbon emissions by planting a mangrove in Myanmar. 

The sun peaked over the horizon, and in a matter of minutes, the darkness which had cloaked me for hours vanished, replaced with a warm, orange glow. Though a good sized crowd was gathered at the summit, you could have heard a pin drop, such was the silent reverence for the place. © Shutterstock

Durian Fruit is a popular and desirable fruit, but is associated with a foul and pungent odor. 

Every relationship with Jakarta is a love-hate one. Well, it is not called the “Big Durian” for nothing.


“Huế Tinh Yeu Cua Toi” (“Huế My Love”) is one of the many songs written about the beautiful city of Huế. Young and old, from the north to the south, all Vietnamese are as familiar with this song as we are with the national anthem. Visiting the city, you’re almost certain to hear one of the many Huế songs playing in coffee shops around town. This beautiful place has inspired countless artists, poets and songwriters for generations.

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