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Meet Japan's Most Cuddly Tour Dog

Whether you've been to Japan or are dying to go, you would be hard-pressed to find a better guide than this friendly pup.

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Maru can teach you about Japanese culture, like the geisha...

The Maiko are apprentice geisha in western Japan, especially Kyoto. Their jobs consist of performing songs, dances, and playing the shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese instrument) for visitors during feasts. Maiko are usually 15 to 20 years old and become geisha only after learning how to dance, play the shamisen, and speak Kyō-kotoba (dialect of Kyoto), regardless of their origins.


Takachiho is a town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture that is steeped in Japanese mythology. It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shinto Sun Goddess, disturbed by her brother's cruel pranks, hid herself in a cave, prompting the other gods and goddesses to try and lure her out.

And is not one to miss out on a good photo op.

Kumamoto Castle is one of the most impressive castles in Japan. Few structures have survived the centuries since the castle's construction in 1607 intact. The castle keep and most other buildings are modern reconstructions, and new buildings are continually being added.


The carp streamer festival at Tsuetate hot springs features about 3,500 carp streamers swimming through the air, and is the oldest and largest carp streamer festival in Japan. “Koinobori,” meaning "carp streamer" in Japanese, are wind socks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate "Tango No Sekku," or Children's Day.