Category Archives: An Eventful World

Travel Writer and Photographer Diego Rojas: My Japan Is…

Odigo Travel Blog

In an ongoing series of mini posts we asked our most passionate writers in Odigo this question, “What is your Japan? ” In their own words and photos.

By Contributor Diego Rojas

MyJapan is a mix of the old and new, the combination of urban excitement and countryside peacefulness.

You can find my Japan here:

1. MT. FUJI 

Fujisan on its own is an amazing spot to visit but driving along route 139 towards the Fuji Five Lakes offers some breathtaking views of  the surrounding farms and mountains.

Mt. Fuji Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji Five Lakes Area Around the Mt. Fuji Five Lakes Area

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See Into The Future at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015

Please checkout my latest contribution with Odigo Travel as I visited the Tokyo Motorshow.

Odigo Travel Blog

By Odigo Contributor Diego Rojas

Since arriving in Japan, I commute on two wheels (that is bicycle wheels) or on the fantastic train system we are fortunate enough to have here in Tokyo. Except for renting a car every once in a while, it is safe to say that cars are not a big part of my current lifestyle. Even so, being a driver back home in Columbia, I do enjoy getting behind the wheel of a car. I have had a few chances to drive around Japan’s scenic routes, and I appreciate the state-of-the-art technology of the modern automobile. Which brings me to the reason of why I’m typing these words, The Tokyo Motorshow 2015.

Tokyo Motor Show 2015 The 2015 Motor Show at Tokyo Big Sight by Diego Rojas

Ranked among the best in the world alongside Frankfurt, Geneva, and Paris’ auto shows, Tokyo’s own is held every two years at Tokyo…

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Japan Festivals: Spotlight on Suginami

This is a post I wrote for Odigo Travel about one of the most exciting festivals that Tokyo offers in the summer. It is extra special since is held in my neighbourhood, Koenji. Please take a look and if you get the chance, come and visit.

Odigo Travel Blog


Long working hours and other stressful aspects aside, you can easily say that life in Japan is a party, or better yet: one big festival. If you stay long enough, you’ll notice that from January to December there are festivals or celebrations of some sort held for every month and season that passes by: The Dezome-shiki (Parade of Firemen) in Tokyo in January, the Sapporo Snow Festival in February, Shiga’s Sagicho Matsuri in March, the Sanja Matsuri (Three Shrine Festival) in Tokyo in May, the Soma-Nomaoi (Wild Horse Racing) in Fukushima in July, or the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) in Kyoto, just to name a few. The style, size, and raison d’être of the festivals vary a lot according to the season, but the common denominators are usually lots of dancing, fervor, drinking, and colourful outfits.

Koenji Awa Odori by Diego Rojas

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Surf’s up in Chiba, Japan

Odigo Travel Blog


Surfing in Japan… Say what? That’s right! The land of manga, temples, sumo, and ramen is also the land of a vibrant surfing culture. Bordered by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, Japan has an extensive list of surf spots to choose from with some locations even offering world-class waves. Luckily for those visiting or living in Tokyo, a mecca of surfing in Japan can be found in Chiba Prefecture. Though not as famous internationally as a tourist destination within Japan, the Boso Peninsula is the place to be when looking to hit the waves and at the same time enjoy some beautiful scenery and lively small beach-town atmosphere.

Surfing in Chiba

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Emma Parker – From the UK to 20 Years in Japan!

An exceptional person and excellent writer! If you are ever in the Itoigawa or Niigata area of Japan give her a shout!

Odigo Travel Blog

We’ve profiled a few people from our team over the last few months, but what really makes Odigo is the community and the excellent content we receive  from our contributors. One of those people, who’s been with us from the start, is our superstar contributor Emma Parker. Read on to find out more about Emma’s story…

Emma initially heard about ODIGO through our Community Manager Lauren, they knew each other from having taken a couple of creative writing courses together. As soon as Emma heard about the project, she wanted to get involved, as she loves travelling, writing, and introducing her favourite places in Japan to her visitors. She recently moved to a small town in the countryside, and was particularly keen to show that there is much more to Japan than Tokyo and Kyoto: ODIGO’s mission to introduce spots that are off the beaten tourist track matches her own philosophy very well.

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Colourful Asakusa Rejoices During Sanja Matsuri in Tokyo

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Having lived in Japan for a year to date, I am now getting used to being amazed and filled with awe by the various aspects of the local customs and the intricate cultural details that the Japanese hold dear to their hearts and spirits. But I have to admit that it had been a little while since the last time I was struck by this sense of wonderment. And although in my life I’ve experience a good share of joyful carnivals and festivals, – Easter processions and the Barranquilla Carnival in Colombia, Holy Week in Lorca, Spain, the “Murgas” in Buenos Aires, Awa Odori in Suginami, Japan – I never experience something with the rarity and intensity as the day 3 of the Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa, right in the traditional heart of Tokyo…cont.

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Getsemaní embraces graffiti to showcase its spirit and heritage

On a recent visit to Cartagena, Colombia, the city that makes my mind wonder like no other, I got to experience first-hand the creativity and imagination that is brewing in Getsemaní, Cartagena’s not-so-well-kept secret.

Thanks to the first edition of the “Ciudad Mural” Urban Art International Festival,  the streets of this magical up-and-coming neighbourhood were covered with bright graffiti, history and lots of culture.  38 urban artists where responsible for this feast of colour, including 11 local artist who got the chance to showcase their city to the world.  I love the fact that one of the main goals of this festival was to create a new cultural experience for the local community which often time is forgotten in the midst of all the foreign tourism.

It is projects like this that make me proud of being Colombian.  It is also gratifying to see the attention the local communities get for something other than drugs and coffee.

Next time you are in Cartagena, be sure to get out of the now-common walled city to explore Getsemaní.  It holds many surprises and stories at every turn.  Let it dazzle you with its art and talent.

For more information on the festival visit:

A day of arts, music and hype crawls into Hamilton’s summer event listings

So it seems that we are now in the clear in Canada and the bbq and patio season is here to stay.   Time to finally call up your friends or gathered your loved ones and head outdoors to enjoy the endless list of activities on offer as the summer solstice arrives yet one more time.

If you happen to be in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario and are trying to figure out which festivals not to miss this season, then pay close attention.  Your to-do list must include the Hamilton James Street Supercrawl.  You heard right…HAMILTON!

Heading into its 6th season, the Supercrawl showcases the local artistic and cultural community of this historic and up-and-coming neighbourhood.  Having set a record attendance (100,000 people), the Supecrawl hosts musicians, artists,  local business owners, chefs, and an all-ages crowd of people just looking to have a good time.  Just wonder up and down good old St. James Street and you’ll be sure to find a delicious treat, a compelling art performance, some folky tunes, or just a wall to draw on and really get involve.

So mark down your calendars:  September 12-14, 2014.  Believe me…you don’t wanna miss it!  For more information on these year’s music and performance lineup visit

Shooting the streets as fashion moves forward

As Fashion Week Toronto carries on, photographers and bloggers alike hunt down the fashionistas of the city to document how fashion is moving forward on the streets of the city.  It is a pleasure to see how the street becomes the runway turning the spotlight (if only for a few seconds)

to real people and their fashion sense.