Celebrate: Golden Week 2016

The craziest time of Japan's travel calendar is almost upon us. Who's ready for Golden Week 2016?? Golden Week is made up of four individual holidays. Starting off the spree on April 29th is Showa Day. This date marks the birthday of the late Emperor Showa (known to most non-Japanese as Hirohito, Japan’s Imperial ruler during... Continue Reading →

Kumamoto Earthquakes

I'm not quite sure how to begin this post. I've retyped the first paragraph several times now, and nothing seems to quite encapsulate what I want to say, so please bear with this post and its emotional tone. A few days ago, on the night of April 14th, a strong earthquake struck Kumamoto Prefecture, just... Continue Reading →

Friday Photo: March 2016

This month's Friday Photo almost passed me by. Here it is, Sunday afternoon already, and somehow I've managed to neglect the blog again. My picture archives are feeling similarly neglected, but by no means empty. In fact, this month I added what felt like reams of photos ... but because I sort them all by... Continue Reading →

Tohoku and 3/11: Looking Back and Ahead

Five years go, I was sitting in my kitchen in Okinawa, playing cards with a friend while my infant daughter slept at our feet, when the messages started coming through: "Are you alright?" "Oh my word, how devastating!" "Is everything ok????" "PLEASE tell us you're alright." They had every reason to be concerned. A 9.0... Continue Reading →

Great Gardens: Meguro Sky Garden

Most of the gardens I've profiled in this category (and on this site in general) have been traditional Japanese style gardens or gardens dedicated to a particular bloom (like the iris garden outside Beppu). I'm going to break with "protocol" and write up a modern garden I discovered only a short walk from my home... Continue Reading →

Friday Photo: January 2016

I wanted to start this year off with a bang, photo-wise, and what better picture to post than one of the most impressive Japanese landforms of them all? I love Mt Fuji. I love it in pictures, I love it in woodblock prints, but there is nothing that compares to the sheer thrill of seeing... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Agano

Right before the New Year, my family and I took a trip to Niigata. Our time in a ryokan in the snowy mountains was wonderful, our time in Niigata City less so. I'm not blaming Niigata, mind you. It was merely because we'd arrived in a week when nearly everything closes for the holidays. While... Continue Reading →

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