Viewing America’s gun crisis from the shores of Korea

One consequence of living on the other side of the Pacific is that, because of the extreme time difference, news from America hits these shores at odd times of the day (or night). This is especially true with school shootings. I’m usually fast asleep when they go down, which makes them the first item I read about when I groggily come to in the morning, slip on my readers, and take in the events I missed during my slumber from the screen of my phone. And each time it’s the same. I shake my head

Four culinary experiences to try in Hokkaido

2. Try the glory of kombu seaweed Ainu cuisine may not be known internationally, but its influence punches well above its weight. This is thanks to kombu, a large edible kelp that’s both a traditional Ainu ingredient and cornerstone of Japanese cuisine — as well as a precursor to the country’s signature umami flavour. The ‘fifth flavour’, now associated with soy, miso and other fermented foods, finds its roots in this seaweed’s rich, slightly briny taste, which can be detected everywhere in Jap

Discover Japan’s wild north: five of the best nature experiences in Hokkaido

A rugged rise of rock, Hokkaido is a land of pine forests, smoldering volcanoes and jagged coastline. Countless species of marine and avian creatures inhabit the island's shores at different times of the year, while the woodlands and mountains are home to some of the largest mammals in the country, including Ezo red foxes, Ezo sika deer and Ussuri brown bears. Here are five nature experiences to help you make the most of your visit. On the edge of the Sea of Okhotsk, Hokkaido’s northern shore i

Carving a way forward: Toru Kaizawa on preserving Ainu traditions in Hokkaido

Hokkaido's distinctive culture will stay with travellers long after they leave. Originally hunter-gatherers, the island’s Indigenous Ainu people have a different language, religion and culture from the Japanese, all rooted in a strong connection with nature — this influence clear in local crafts. Chief among them is carving, traditionally the domain of Ainu men, who sculpt wood into tools and adorn their surfaces with patterns passed down through generations. In the 19th century, assimilation p

Where to try the ancient tradition of ice fishing in Japan

Like many who make their living fishing, Noto Yoshimi is a man of few words. The wind slicing the shore of Lake Furen, on Hokkaido’s eastern shore, stings my skin, but he remains unfazed, accustomed to such arctic gusts. Squinting, he stokes the coals of a metal barbecue, gesturing for me to warm my numb hands. Then, he gazes out at the flat, frosty expanse of frozen lake ahead of us like a seasoned boxer sizing up his opponent. “Fishermen like Noto-san have been working here for around a centu

Festival season: seven celebrations to experience in Busan, South Korea

Known for its expansive beaches, gleaming high-rises, fresh seafood and laid-back vibes, South Korea’s seaside city of Busan is also home to some of the most distinctive festivals in the country. Combining a trip to Busan with a festival is the perfect way to soak up the infectiously vibrant energy the place has to offer. Here are seven of the best local celebrations and festivities to book in 2023. More than 1,000 participants take to the streets in a spirited ‘Peace Parade’, featuring placards

Five reasons to work remotely in Busan, South Korea

With incredible views, wonderful beaches, quick internet and cheaper prices than the capital of Seoul, South Korea’s second city, Busan, is quickly becoming a draw for the digital nomad set. Here are five reasons why you should consider spending some time working in this ultra-modern, vibrant Asian hub. While Busan is a buzzing, high-tech, 21st-century metropolis, it’s also surrounded by gorgeous natural scenery. The city is home to many stunning beaches, including two of the most famous in the

Discover South Korea's lesser-known past with a history tour through Busan

As a country with a richly political history, a visit to Busan is not complete without a guided tour. With so many must-visit monuments, museums and memorial parks, a heritage tour through Busan helps travellers discover more about the fascinating remnants and relics of the city's past. Here, we delve into the historical tours on offer in South Korea's second city. For history buffs, the Dongnae Walking Tour explores some of Busan’s oldest sites while also illuminating its past. Now a sprawling

Seven ways to enjoy contemporary art in Busan, South Korea

With its sandy beaches, gleaming skyscrapers, thrumming street markets, and ornate temples, South Korea’s second city of Busan has emerged from Seoul’s shadow to enjoy its own moment in the sun. This once rough-and-tumble port town is now home to some of the most exciting places to enjoy contemporary art. For nearly three decades, Busan has been home to the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) — the largest and most influential film festival in Asia — establishing the city as a creative hub.

Six of the best hiking trails in Seoul

Hiking is the national pastime in South Korea, a country where mountains cover 70% of the landscape. Seoul is no exception: despite being one of East Asia’s most exciting urban destinations, the capital is also a unique place to spend time in nature, with ancient peaks rising in the middle of its neon-lit streets. In the wake of the pandemic, hiking has experienced a renaissance of sorts in the city, and routes have been spruced up with new stairways, pavilions and observation platforms. What’s

Eat like a local in Busan, South Korea

Modern South Korea is a delicious place, home to a bold cuisine that assaults the senses. In South Korea, almost every social gathering is centred around an array of dishes. From high-end beef barbecue joints to humble street stalls selling tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), South Korea is awash with comestible choices, making it a great destination for gourmands. Any visit to Busan should start with a stop at Jagalchi Market, a fish and seafood market that’s been in business for over 600 years

The inside guide to Busan, South Korea

Once content to linger in the shadow of Seoul, Korea’s second city is now a destination in its own right, home to marvelous stretches of coastline, lively street markets and a boisterous local spirit that’s nothing short of infectious. While South Koreans flock to Busan in the summer to sunbathe on the wide sands of Haeundae Beach, this city has much more to offer than just seaside splendor. Start your visit off in Seomyeon, Busan’s hopping downtown and central business district. Grab a bowl of

A Guide to Barbecue Around the World—in All Its Tangy, Spicy, and Charred Glory

When I was growing up in Atlanta, my dad grilled almost every weekend. It was often impromptu, but folks were bound to show up as soon as they found out he was making Puerto Rican–style churrasco—tender beef skirt steak marinated in garlic, lime, oregano, and black pepper, and seared to perfection. After all, there are few things as intoxicating as the smell of barbecue. Whether it’s charred chicken on skewers or caramelized sweet potatoes, the smoky aroma of grilled food lures people toward roa

How to plan a road trip through Gangwon, South Korea

With its craggy peaks, pine forests, world-class ski slopes and beaches home to ideal surfing conditions, Gangwon is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. It’s also a fascinating cultural destination, with vibrant cities, warm people and hearty cuisine. And, given that the province is easily accessible by car, a road trip is the perfect way to take in this magical corner of the country. Gangwon’s laid-back provincial capital is nestled on the shores of a lake at the confluence of the North Han and Soyang

The highlights of Gangwon's cuisine, according to celebrity chef Edward Kwon

Largely isolated from the rest of the country by its mountainous landscape and rugged coastline, the northern South Korean province of Gangwon has developed a cuisine all of its own. Due to the short growing season and hilly terrain, potatoes have long been favoured over rice, while the nearby East Sea provides plenty of fresh seafood. Typical Gangwon dishes include dak galbi (spicy stir-fried chicken), makguksu (cold buckwheat noodles), gamjajeon (potato pancake) and ojingeo sundae (stuffed squ

On a Hunt for Birria in Its Hometown of Guadalajara

I’m struck by how rich the broth is; both dishes deliver more of a spice kick than what I had in 9 Esquinas the night before. The goat is served as rib meat on the bone, and the buttery pork melts in my mouth. I’ve come to La Panga, however, to check out one of their specialties: birria de almeja. This twist on the classic dish uses a beef broth—but instead of meat, it’s served with a large clam and a couple of fat shrimp. “My partner comes from Mexicali in the north,” says Javier between sips

The inside guide to San Antonio, the Texan city famed for cuisine and culture

Founded as a Spanish missionary settlement in 1718, San Antonio offers an intriguing blend of traditional Mexican and cowboy culture. Although a pilgrimage to The Alamo — the famous 18th-century mission — usually tops visitors’ must-do lists, a deeper dive reveals a surprisingly modern city with a booming food and cocktail scene. The San Antonio River Walk can’t be missed. The 15-mile network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River is lined with bars, shops and restaurants. As well

How to explore the landscapes of Japan's Mount Akagi on a cycling adventure

Best for: Countryside and cuisine Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced Distance: 75 miles Elevation gained: 5,249ft Start and end: Maebashi Station, Maebashi City Although possible to tackle on an solo excursion, the Ride Around Mount Akagi is best experienced following the lead of a local, knowledgeable guide. This two-day, 75-mile cycling route around the base of the mountain, rewards riders with spectacular countryside scenery, plenty of pit stops to sample delicious, local delic

Wellness travel: five ways to relax and reset in South Korea

From temple stays to teahouses, this East Asian destination is an ideal place for visitors with wellness on their minds. In recent years, the country has built up an industry dedicated to self-improvement, with spas and health resorts up and down the peninsula welcoming guests. Rural areas also offer a rich bounty of natural attractions, which include tranquil islands, mountain hiking trails and hot springs to help clear the mind and soothe the soul. Seek solace and enlightenment by experiencin

Kiwis vent anger at the lottery that locks them out

When Covid-19 swept the globe in the first few months of 2020, much of the world looked to New Zealand as an example of how to handle the crisis. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was already an international darling, and the swift and proactive measures her government put in place early on only served to cement her reputation as a dynamic young leader. In March 2020, Justin Walker, a general manager for a medical manufacturing company, had just returned to New Zealand from a regular stint in Yongi
Load More Articles