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Kate Wu

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Jayden is a 3-year-old boy who loves music. While many babies/young children reacts to music and tend to dance along, Jayden is different. He only likes instruments, in particular drumming. His favorite thing to do is to go to Disney Hong Kong to watch band shows, drumming, and the magic moment which is also short live band performance at the entrance or along the American main street. He has taught himself to toss and catch the drumsticks and now master the skills. This video is a snapshot of his usual toss and catch of a drawing pen in a coffee shop for kids. At home, he is able to toss a drumstick (or a make-shift one) up to the ceiling and catch it with one hand.

The 88 temple pilgrimage around Shikoku Japan has been a popular routes for Shingon Buddhism pilgrims for hundreds to over a thousand years, and recently a travel theme for Shikoku Japan. The history began in the early 8th century (804) when a Buddhist monk named Kūkai (空海) travelled to China (now Xian) to acquire teachings of Escoteric Bhuddhism from Huiguo, one of two Buddhist masters who was a favorite student of the legendary Amoghavajra from India. Kūkai (空海) returned to Japan and started to practice Escoteric Buddhism. He was favored by Emperor Junna, the 53rd Emperor Japan, at the time and the term Shingon-Shū (真言宗 Mantra School) was officially coined. In 816, Kūkai established his first monastery, Kongobu-ji in Mount Kōya (高野山), which is part of the UNESCO Pilgrimage Route in Japan. In 823, To-ji in Kyoto was presented to Kukai and was declared an Esoteric temple that would perform official rites for the state. Shingon Buddhism (真言宗) became very popular for the next several hundred years. Kūkai or Kōbō-Daishi (弘法大師) was born in Kagawa prefecture Japan. When he was young, he travelled around Shikoku, practicing in caves, mountains and forests.…

Locating in the northeast of Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku Japan, Naruto was one of prosperous cities close to Kobe and Osaka since the ancient time before the bridges across the Seto Inland Sea were built in the 80s. It is famous for the whirlpools formed in the Naruto strait, red seabreams, sweet potatoes, and as an entry point to the 88 Temple Pilgrimage route.

After hiking up several hundred to 1,368 steps one way to Konpirasan, you would want a nice break. Onsen (hot spring), foot bath, massage, good dinner would be nice. At the bottom of the Konpirasan, there are a few options. One of the more popular and established onsen hotel is Koubaitai. In addition to a variety of hotel rooms from including regular Japanese tatami rooms to luxury suites and those which a private onsen in the room, the hotel offers several choices of hot spring. The basement floor features large public bath for men and women. There are both indoor and open-air hot tubs. For the ladies, there is a flower bath, a fruit bath and a sauna room, taking hot spring to a new level. If you want more privacy with your loved one, private onsen is available for rent.

Visiting the famous Konpirasan (also known as Kotohira-gu, Konpira shrine in English) in Kagawa prefecture, Japan, you may want a good rest, food massage and an onsen after the long hike of at least 780 steps round trip to the main shrine. There are in fact a few good options in the neighborhood. Koubaitei is one of the more established hotel just down the hill and 10 minutes walk to the JR Kotohira Station.

Locating in the middle of Mount Zozu, Konpirasan Shrine (formerly known as Kotohira-gu Shrine) has been a well know and popular shrine for protection of shipping and fishing businesses since the ancient time (1336-1573) and is still considered one of the shrines that Japanese would visit at least once in a lifetime. Its importance is only second to Ise Shrine. Konpriasan at Kagawa is the head shrine of all Konpira shrines in Japan. The shrine is one of the toughest to reach (1,368 steps) yet it doesn’t deter the pilgrims. The shrine is a large complex on the mountain slope, featuring many historic buildings, ancient hexagonal lamps and Important Cultural Assets. Souvenir shops and tea houses line up from the bottom to over 300 steps to keep you busy looking and stopping as you go up. It is not as tough as you think (well, to the main shrine).

Sanuki udon is a popular type of udon originally from Kagawa prefecture in Shikoku Japan. Sanuki is an old name of Kagawa Prefecture. The udon is characterized by its thick, square shape and more tender texture. There are several ways of eating udon. The basic is to choose the temperature: cold or hot in soup. Then there are a lot of choices of toppings and side dishes: eggs, ginger, spring union, dipping sauce, beef, tempura, etc. There are around 700 udon shops in Kagawa prefecture. Many are family run small shops that only open for a few hours a day until lunch time and/or close on certain days. So if you want to have udon in Kagawa, lunch hour is probably the best. Besides, not all restaurants are served at the table. Many restaurants are self-served which means that you have to go pick your own toppings, side dish, then order udon at the cooking counter. Of course, you would have to clean up (turn tray) as well. In addition to buying and tasting, you may also try to make…

Locating at the southern tip of Okayama prefecture, Chukoku Japan, Kojima is the last stop along the JR line before you cross the famous Seto Inland Sea and go to Shikoku Japan. In addition to the popular jeans street, Betty Smith Jeans Museum, you may also get a great view of Seto Inland Sea from Mount Washuzan. Seto Inland Sea (Setouchi) is the water separating Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū, three of the four main islands of Japan. It is the largest inland sea in Japan, surrounded by Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kagawa, and Ehime prefectures. There are about 700 large and small islands in Setouchi. The Setouchi region is known for its moderate climate, relatively warm and sunny compared to the rest of Japan. The coastal area of the Seto Inland Sea was appointed the Setonaikai National Park (瀬戸内海国立公園) in 1934, one of the oldest National Park in Japan. In 1980s, 3 bridges were constructed to connect Shikoku with Honshu, making it easy to travel around Setouchi Area. Besides, the Setouchi Triennale Art Festival has boosted even more international…

If you were jeans fans visiting Kojima, don’t miss the jeans museum where you can learn about some history of jeans, the evolution and process of jeans manufacturing, buy or customize your own jeans, or even DIY a pair of jeans or make an accessory strap yourself.

Locating at the southern tip of Okayama prefecture right by Seto Inland Sea, Kojima is a the last stop of JR train south before you connect to Shikoku from Okayama. As a seaside land, the soil was too salty to grow rice. Hence all farmers started to grow cotton. During the Edo Period a few hundred years ago, Kojima flourished to become a textile town producing Sanada-himo (the cotton strap of swords), then Tabi (the traditional split toes socks in Japan), and later uniforms for students from all over Japan until synthetic fibre became popular in 20th centuries. Inspired by the casual jeans look of the America, one of the textile company (now Big John) produced the first Japanese jeans in Kojima in 1965. It was a big hit in Japan. Soon after, more jeans factories joined the production of jeans. Kojima becomes the jeans town in Japan and famous for producing high quality denim products.

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