The Ruins of Nakijin Castle

Most people know Okinawa as being a part of Japan. However, it wasn’t until 1879 that Okinawa became Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Prior to that, Okinawa was known as the Ryukyu Islands and was ruled by the Ryukyu Kingdom, which consisted of three individual principalities: Hokuzan, Chuzan, and Nanzan. Nakijin Castle, built in the early 14th century and home to the Hokuzan Kingdom, is now one of five castles of the Ryukyu Kingdom that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island

As you travel through Japan, you will undoubtedly notice the many torii, or religious shrines. However, there is no torii more dramatic than Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. At low tide, visitors can walk up to the torii. At high tide, visitors enjoy the torii from a distance. When we visited, it was raining heavily. It was dark, gray, gloomy, and seemingly magical. Another UNESCO World Heritage site checked off of my list.

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One Night In Fukuoka

Ah, Japan. Last summer, I embarked on a multi-city jaunt through the Land of the Rising Sun. The trip was memorable for so many different reasons and as I get ready to revisit Japan, I thought it would be fun to share some of those memories.

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Chelsea Market: New York’s Most Famous Neighborhood Market

Chelsea Market is to New York City as Reading Market is to Philadelphia. If you enjoy food, then it’s the place to go. The market is located in the Meatpacking District (MePa) just across the street from Google’s New York offices. On the floors above the market you will find EMI Music Publishing, MLB.com, the Oxygen Network, and, most fittingly, The Food Network. And just above Chelsea Market, on the 10th Avenue side, is New York’s elevated park, the High Line.

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