Selected travel writing samples

Osaka Dating Itineraries: Nakazakicho

“…Nakazakicho is the urban equivalent of mashed potatoes. It’s a comfort food that always seems to hit the spot. For those exploring for the first time, ensure to include time on the date just to wander. Spared from firebombing in the war, this area maintains a charm of an Osaka of eras past. Taisho era buildings, small hatake vegetable patches, Che Guevara graffiti, drinking wells still in use, and a sweet shop selling 10 yen candy…”

—Excerpt from blogpost for Marriage Matching

“…The Zen theme is perfect for this chaotic year, impacted so heavily by the effects of the novel coronavirus on Japan and the rest of the world. Kristyna Cislerova, a tea specialist and researcher, who has been working with the foundation and is married to a Zen Buddhist monk, referred to the title of her favourite sweet, Bonno soko boudai, which connects to the Zen ideal of accepting things as they are…”

—Excerpt from article for Kansai Scene

“…For centuries, Wakayama’s natural produce, in particular its fruit and fish, have been renowned across Japan and in addition, the prefecture is said to be the birthplace of Japanese soy sauce. While these traditional staples continue to be savoured, in recent years many restaurants in the region have been recognised with Michelin stars and Wakayama is keen to promote itself as a destination for international foodies…”

—Excerpt from article for BBC Travel

“…Daniela Terrile had never visited Japan before she arrived in 2023, determined to buy a house. She had set her eyes on this Kominka in Sanagochi village (Tokushima prefecture) surrounded by forests and away from the hustle of cities. ‘They ask me thousands of times, ‘Why Sanagochi, nobody comes here?’ I said, ‘Exactly! I want to be at peace. I want to be surrounded by nature.’…”

—Excerpt from article for Koryoya

“…Nishimuraya ryokan is the epitome of luxury. I’m not esteemed enough, nor wealthy enough, to stay in the most gorgeous suites — some with rotenburo, or traditional outdoor baths — where Japanese Prime Ministers and New York journalists have reclined. Though these indoor baths do not use the natural hot spring water, it still must be grand to sit out on a wooden verandah, neck deep in hot water, enjoying the natural beauty surrounding the ryokan. From my room, I can still look out over the garden, where the wet green moss and leaves shine luminously. With an elegant and perfectly proportioned landscape, Kinosaki would be equally beautiful regardless of the weather…”

—Excerpt from article for Setouchi

“…Forest bathing has become more popular in the last few years, seen as an answer to the stress of the modern world, work and life in cities. While hiking is an excellent way to forest bathe, and also good for your health, the monorail ride offers a chance to simply enjoy the scenery as it goes past. There are only so many pictures you can take of the forest, and the rail-line as it snakes through the trees. At some point, it became easier to just put away the camera and phone, and just take in the moment. It’s a long ride, about 70 minutes total, and I found myself becoming very calm, even meditative, despite the occasional, sudden adjustments of our seats…”

—Excerpt from article for Setouchi