KCP Fall 2015 Students Visit Yamanashi Winery


Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture, with all its rich, cultural, and historical aspects, is also responsible for 40% of domestic wine making production. Hokkaido in Miyazaki Prefecture also cultivates grapes and produces wine although in more limited quantities. Japan has a wide range of grape varieties. However, most are for table consumption and only a small percentage […]

A Brief History of Japanese Wines


Viticulture is the science, production, and study of grapes. The native territories of the common grape vine are from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea. But grape vines have proven to show adaptability to new environments, promoting the popularity and spread of viticulture in every continent except Antarctica. Grape growing in Japan […]

KCP Fall 2015 Students Experience Zen Meditation


Throughout history, Buddhism and Buddhist institutions have had great influence on the Japanese people, peaking during the Kamakura and Muromachi periods. Buddhism was introduced to Japan by five Chinese monks from Gandhara (an ancient kingdom extending to the Swat valley and Potohar plateau regions of Pakistan and the Jalalabad district of northeastern Afghanistan) who traveled to the country during […]

The Art of Zazen


Japanese culture is deeply rooted in Zen, a school of Mahayana (Sanskrit for “Great Vehicle”) Buddhism, one of the main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. Zen is a practice that was passed on from master to disciple in the purest context known as “uninterrupted bloodline,”  believed […]

Get a Taste of Hōtō


Hōtō is a famous regional dish from Yamanashi Prefecture. Made with stewed, dumpling style noodles, vegetables, and miso soup, it is a delicious, hearty meal that epitomizes the unique tastes and culture of Japan. At a time in Japan’s history when the country was experiencing shortage in rice crops, hōtō was created to address food […]

Discovering Myōhōkekyōzan Ankokuron-ji


Myōhōkekyōzan Ankokuron-ji  is a Buddhist temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism in Kamakura, Kanagawa, in Japan. Nichiren was a Japanese Buddhist priest of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). He was known for his devotion to the Lotus Sutra, and his belief that the ultimate teaching of Siddhārtha Gautama was the way to achieve true enlightenment.  […]

The Pristine Beauty of Ogasawara Islands


In this modern age, it’s a refreshing change of pace to be able to get away from all the technology that dominates everyday life. Many opt to relax and get lost in all that nature has to offer in remote corners of the world. There are very few places left on earth that are untouched by […]

Traditional Japanese Arts


Japanese traditional arts and handicrafts have been subjected to many outside influences from other cultures. It was a result of the numerous sudden invasions the island nation endured through the course of history, followed by long periods of minimal contact from the outside world during Japan’s sakoku period. The earliest complex Japanese art form was […]

Unique Non- Food Japanese Souvenirs


Travelling to new places introduces us to other cultures and wondrous sights, out of which we create memories that we can look back on. Whenever visiting a new country or place, we almost always want to take back home with us souvenirs either to give as presents to family and friends or to keep for ourselves. […]

KCP Spring 2016 Students Experience Chanoyu


Matcha, a finely ground powder of specially processed and grown green tea, is a popular flavoring in Japan for many types of food.  Matcha is also used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony that centers on the preparing, serving, and drinking of green tea. KCP Flickr. Chanoyu (“hot water for tea”) is the Japanese term for […]