Samurai graffiti, mountaintop enlightenment, & Yakitori Chicken Mini-Burgers

Photo of author wearing face mask

Hi friend. It’s me, Jonelle

This month, instead of searching out killer Instagram shots or rare souvenirs, we’re thinking about the bigger picture, and how our lives fit into it. Let’s stop, exhale, and be refreshed by a very different kind of travel: a pilgrimage.

Links to May 2020 Japanagram newsletter features:

Let’s go to Koya-san, one of the most mystical pilgrimage sites in all of Japan

Statue of Kobo Daishi (Kukai) at Koya-san

Whether you’re searching for enlightenment, want to test whether you’re pure of heart or not, or just want to see the tomb that’s carved in the shape of a giant coffee cup, Koya-san is well worth the trip…read more

Six things you didn’t expect to discover on a pilgrimage

Photo of goshuin Japanese pilgrimage stamp books

Pilgrimages can deliver so much more than sore feet and eternal brownie points! We might find anything from samurai era graffiti to shortcuts to paradise on our journey to spiritual enlightenment…read more

Book Review: Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye by Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Cover of Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye with Jizo figures

This is the book that made me want to see Koya-san for myself.The author leads us on a journey to legendary places––from meditating at an elite Zen monastery to standing in line at the haunted lake where you can consult a blind medium to speak with the dead––and asks all the right questions…read more

Japanese Home Cooking recipe: Yakitori Chicken Mini-Burgers

Photo of Yakitori Chicken Min-Burgers (tofu hamburgers) in pan

While these are cooking, I guarantee everyone you live with is going to appear in your kitchen at some point, asking, what smells so great? And when’s dinner? Then they’ll inhale these as though they hadn’t eaten for a week, never stopping to ask what’s in them or suspect how insanely healthy they actually are…read more

And in JUNE

🎐 Let’s give in to micro-nostalgia (you know, that longing for a simpler time…like, four months ago?) June’s features spotlight Japanese places, traditions, and things that haven’t changed, and never will. If you’re not a subscriber, you can’t read them until the end of the month, but it’s easy to join and get full access now! Click on the link at the end of each article or scroll down to the Get Japanagram button.

Here’s what’s in the June issue:

Let’s go Okunoshima, a step back in time, to an uninhabited island whose only residents are lots and lots of bunnies

Small child in red raincoat feeding rabbits at Japan's bunny island Okunoshima

The flocks of bunnies are extra cute and friendly, but I picked this destination for a different reason. Read why this place struck me as exactly the kind of place we all need to visit right now. (To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

How to stay cool in the summer, the Japanese way

Photo of goldfish in bags of water at the Edogawa Goldfish Festival in Japan

Let’s be honest, Japanese summers are miserable. Hot, humid, don’t get me started. How did they survive, in the days before A/C? Here are five traditional summertime hacks that will amuse and amaze. (To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Book Review & Giveaway: The Essential Haiku edited by Robert Hass

Cover of The Essential Haiku edited by Robert Hass, with koi fish swimming

The Essential Haiku is the perfect read for these chaotic times, reminding us that despite the disaster we’ve all been living through, the seasons still turn, the moon still waxes and wanes, and small moments of joy and insight and beauty still touch each of us in small ways, as well as great ones…read more and enter to win

Japanese Home Cooking recipe: Japanese Chicken Salad with Tangy Soy-Lemon Dressing

Photo of Japanese Chicken Salad with Soy-Lemon Dressing

As the warm June rains arrive with the monsoon, this chicken salad is the perfect fresh and summery meal. It’s satisfying all by itself, or paired with rice and grilled meat for a heartier supper. (To get the recipe, click here to get Japanagram)

Beyond the Only In Japan blog post:

How did Japan beat the virus without lockdowns or mass testing?

Here’s some background and insider scoop on the 43 reasons that the Japanese believe they escaped the pandemic, to help you separate the facts from the merely hilarious. (To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Get all delightful features like these every month and be entered to win the June book giveaway when you sign up for

(And, of course, it’s free.)

You can easily unsubscribe at any time, of course, using the link at the foot of every newsletter. And, just so you know, I hate spam too, so I’ll never share or sell your info.

Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, the monthly Japanagram newsletter, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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