Category Archives: CULTURE

Learning the Way of the Monks in Wakayama Prefecture

Source: Gaijin Pot

I’m not a spiritual person. As someone who grew up in America’s “Bible Belt”, I’ve always been put off by the idea of touring religion. Still, I was genuinely excited to explore the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes and sacred Koyasan (Mount Koya) in Wakayama Prefecture.

The monks of Mount Koya.

Wakayama is one of the most revered places in Japan. It’s a mountainous and forested region on the southernmost point of the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region. Japan’s earliest text refers to it as the “land of the dead,” where the spirits would ascend after death.

Looking at its landscape—pristine coasts, winding rural roads overlooking vast forests, and rivers with transparent waters—you can see how it earned its reputation.

The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes

You’re on sacred ground now.

During the Heian period, three grand shrines in Wakayama’s Kumano region were the most revered: Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Kumano Hongu Taisha, and Kumano Nachi Taisha. These shrines became known as the Kumano Sanzan, and routes were established to connect them from as far away as Kyoto.

My mother can’t get me in a church on Easter Sunday and even I felt like I was walking on sacred ground. Which was also slippery ground.

People from all over Japan, regardless of their class—imperial and noble families, samurai and commoners—made the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage. They could purify their past at Hayatama Taisha, reflect on the present at Nachi Taisha, and pray for the future at Hongu Taisha.

Following my monk guide on the Kumano Kodo.

While not as perilous as it used to be, the Kumano Kodo can be quite challenging. The four main routes vary in length and …continue reading


Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle Episode 25 Impression

Source: Supaku Blog

On this episode, the Arks fight Profound Darkness’ forces. Meanwhile, Ash battles Profound Darkness Matoi and Persona observes them.

The finale battle is very awesome and darkly intense since the Council of Six struggled to hold. Also, seeing Ash fight the Profound Darkness corrupted Matoi is pretty cool. Other than that, the ending is really nice and sad at the same time because of Persona’s interference. Now will there be another Phantasy Star Online 2 anime adaptation arc coming? I definitely enjoyed and it even has way better story telling than the main game. Overall, awesome finale battles and intense twists. …continue reading


For Over 30 Years Itsuo Kobayashi Has Been Keeping an Illustrated Food Diary

All images © Kushino Terrace Years before the era of Instagram and food bloggers, the self-taught artist Itsuo Kobayashi was memorializing every meal he ate. Using a combination of illustration, collage and text descriptions, Kobayashi has been creating a food diary of the last 30 years of his life. Born in 1962, Kobayashi worked in […]

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Granblue Fantasy 2 Djeeta-hen Episode Impression

Source: Supaku Blog

On this episode, Djeeta’s crew starts their Wish Egg trials and meets a little girl named Myra. Later, they face some challenges with Myra’s assistance.

So this is basically another adventure of geared Djeeta which the first season did. It was just hilarious to see Beatrix being stubborn as ever and causes more unnecessary problems. Also, I liked how Djeeta and her crew became quick friends with Myra. Other than that, there’s some cool monster slaying action. Now will there be another Djeeta special episode coming or will it be only one for this second season? Overall, nice Wish Egg plot for Djeeta and some cool monster slaying action. …continue reading


One Step From Eden on Steam

Source: Supaku Blog

Recently, One Step From Eden got released on Steam. The game is a rogue-like deck builder RPG about a girl named Saffron adventuring in a post-war world. It’s also inspired by games like Mega Man Battle Network. Price is $19.99 or ¥2157.22. For more details, check out the store page. Here’s a trailer.


Official Website: …continue reading