Author: Allison Binkley

A few of us laying in a circle in the grass.
Personal Essay

An emotional trip

To be completely honest, I didn’t know how I felt about going to Japan. As someone who’s been interested in various aspects of East Asian culture nearly my whole life, I’ve seen a lot of discourse between people who romanticize/admire Japan far too much and those who demonize it because of its bad traits. Both […]

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Bustling crowd on Ninenzaka street.
Feature Story Kyoto

Locating the perfect shops in Kyoto

Kyoto is a beautiful blend of traditional and modern cultures, which makes it a wonderfully versatile place to go shopping. Like Tokyo, Kyoto has areas with completely different vibes within a 10 minute walk of each other; one can go from praying at a shrine or temple to enjoying multi-story gachapon stores within half an […]

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Feature Story Tokyo

The magical world of MUJI Tokyo

To most Americans, MUJI is just another stationery company, but its flagship stores are so much more than that. The MUJI Ginza flagship store in Tokyo has five floors of products, a restaurant and an art gallery to explore.  Anyone familiar with MUJI knows about their simplistic style, both in their products and marketing. The […]

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Wooden Starbucks sign out in the front of the building.
Feature Story Kyoto

Kyoto’s traditional take on Starbucks

Located a mere 10 minute walk away from Kiyomizu-dera, Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya mashes traditional Japanese style with international coffee shop sensation, Starbucks. While it’s similar to most other coffee shops, there are a few things visitors should know before heading in to enjoy their refreshing cup of coffee.  First, this location is liable […]

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The emperor's quarters in the Imperial Palace.
2023 Daily Blog Posts

A royal day in Kyoto

Day eight was a decadent experience for the team. We visited the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Nijo Castle and attended a traditional tea ceremony before attending our official farewell dinner. Impressive Kyoto Imperial Palace Our first stop was the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The wide and rocky pathways at this palace are rich with history from the […]

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Feature Story Tokyo

Hasedera Temple: hydrangeas and the Eleven-Headed Kannon

Travelers looking to visit Japan during June shouldn’t be discouraged by the rainy season. The plants in the region flourish most when it’s raining, and Hasedera Temple is a beautiful place to see just that. Religion Buddhism is one of Japan’s main religions, alongside Shintoism. Hasadera is a beautiful place for the locals – or […]

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Me sitting in front of bushes
Introductions

Allison Binkley

Hello, I’m Allison Binkley, and I’m a senior public relations major at Texas State University. This School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) trip to Japan will be my first international trip, and I’m absolutely thrilled! I’m from Austin, Texas, and I’ve traveled to California twice when I was younger, but I haven’t traveled much […]

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