The Temple of Hercules at sunset.
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Amman: Middle East Meets West

Look at Jordan on a map and you might not think “tourist destination.” Bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the east, Israel and Palestine to the west, Jordan is the calm eye in the center of the Middle East storm. And its capital city of Amman is full of surprises…

Read more on CascadianAbroad.com

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Kawagoe Matsuri
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Kawagoe Festival 2016

There are many things I miss about Japan, but festivals have to be near the top of that list. This weekend marks the 368th anniversary of the first Kawagoe Matsuri, the main festival event in our former hometown.

If you’re in the area, take some time and check it out. Kawagoe is less than an hour from Tokyo by local trains. In the meantime, enjoy our posts from the 2014 festival and the 2015 festival.

Yokohama's iconic Landmark Tower at dusk
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Yokohama in Pictures

Yokohama is one of my favorite Japanese cities. Its unique development from the influx of foreign traders—Chinese, Americans and British in particular—give the port city a different ambience from its giant neighbor of Tokyo.

We hosted family for a short visit last week and immediately put Yokohama on the itinerary. Despite being bone-chilling cold, the sun was shining and we had some great light at dusk, leading to some inspiring photos. Enjoy Yokohama in Pictures…


The Cosmo Clock 21 in the Minato Mirai 21 district was the world's largest ferris wheel when built in 1989.

The Cosmo Clock 21 in the Minato Mirai 21 district was the world’s largest ferris wheel when built in 1989.


A few brave riders take on the Disko ride at Yokohama's Cosmo World amusement park

A few brave riders take on the Disko ride at Yokohama’s Cosmo World amusement park


Cosmo Clock 21 frames the Ice World attraction at Cosmo World amusement park in Yokohama's Minato Mirai 21 district

Cosmo Clock 21 frames the Ice World attraction at Cosmo World amusement park in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai 21 district


Yokohama Bay's industrial area at dusk

Yokohama’s industrial area on Tokyo Bay at dusk


The Yokohama Bay Bridge spans Tokyo Bay

The Yokohama Bay Bridge spans Tokyo Bay


Yokohama's Red Brick Warehouse at dusk

Yokohama’s Red Brick Warehouse at dusk


The Yokohama Skyline—Red Brick Warehouse, Landmark Tower, Minato Mirai 21 and the Yokohama Grand Hotel

The Yokohama Skyline—Red Brick Warehouse, Landmark Tower, Minato Mirai 21 and the Yokohama Grand Hotel


The glowing facade of the Red Brick Warehouse after sunset

The glowing facade of the Red Brick Warehouse after sunset


The blue lights of the Yokohama Bay Bridge deep in the background of the Red Brick Warehouse

The blue lights of the Yokohama Bay Bridge deep in the background of the Red Brick Warehouse


Friday night family fun at the Red Brick Warehouse ice skating rink. The tower of the Yokohama Customs Museum is illuminated in the background.

Friday night family fun at the Red Brick Warehouse ice skating rink. The tower of the Yokohama Customs Museum is illuminated in the background.


The colorful streets of Yokohama's Chinatown

The colorful streets of Yokohama’s Chinatown


Fukahire Man, a masked wrestler mascot for the Kouseiwa restaurant in Yokohama's Chinatown. His head is shaped like the famous steamed buns you'll find around town.

Fukahire Man, a masked wrestler mascot for the Kouseiwa restaurant in Yokohama’s Chinatown. His head is shaped like the famous steamed buns you’ll find around town.


The bright lights and ornate decorations of Yokohama's Chinatown

The bright lights and ornate decorations of Yokohama’s Chinatown