oto’s Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is among the most famous–and, as a result, most crowded–options, and while it’s definitely impressive (even more so, if you happen to visit at a time when there aren’t many other visitors), I prefer the less-known, but equally beautiful, natural bamboo forest on Mt. Inari (Fushimi Inari Shrine).Read more
What’s a ‘Shinobi’ Anyway?
Ninja fans will already know the answer to this one, but for those not already in the know: The word “ninja” comes from a Japanese word which is written using Kanji, or characters, borrowed from the Chinese. The Chinese pronunciation of the characters is “nin sha” – or “ninja” in the Western derivation. The Chinese pronunciation is sometimes also used in Japan, but the native Japanese pronunciation of the characters is “shinobi.” TL;DR: A Shinobi is a Ninja. The different pronunciations enable me to offer the entertaining explanation that shinobi is “the Japanese word for ninja.” (Think about it for aRead more