Review: My Year of Dirt and Water

A few weeks ago, Stonebridge Press sent me an advance copy of My Year of Dirt and Water: The Journal of a Zen Monk's Wife in Japan by Tracy Franz. I've been fortunate to review a good many Japan-themed books on this blog over the years but never before have I been privileged to review the book... Continue Reading →

Review: Tokyo Geek’s Guide

October is here and the past weeks have flown - the start of school, a flurry of traveler itineraries, plans for the autumn pilgrimage "home" to Japan. (I can't miss foliage season!) Meanwhile, the pile of books by my bedside table has continued to grow. This week, the stack finally reached a guilt-inducing height and... Continue Reading →

Review: Japanese Tattoos

A few months ago, I was asked by Japan Travel to cover a story on a Tokyo-based tattoo artist and his French assistant. I don't know much about tattoos, don't personally have any tattoos and had never really educated myself on the subject. (I'm in no way anti-tattoo, mind you. But I do find it easier to... Continue Reading →

Review: Once Upon a Time in Japan

A few months ago, a package arrived from Tuttle publishing with a new book to review entitled Once Upon a Time in Japan. Not only is this a collection of multiple tales, perfect for short stints and bedtime reading, but it also comes with an audio CD (which is what took so long to get around... Continue Reading →

Review: A Tale for the Time Being

A visit to the library the other month landed me with a Japan-related book I'd never heard of (I always love stumbling across surprises like that). Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being had an intriguing premise. A lunchbox washes up on a Canadian beach, filled with the diary of a young Japanese girl. What... Continue Reading →

Review: Tokyo Heist

An art theft, a trip to Japan, a rural Kyoto ryokan, a talented teen with a love of manga ... bring it all together and you have one of the latest offerings on the YA reading scene for those who love Japan-based fiction. This novel by Diana Renn opens in coffee-crazy Seattle with Violet, a talented... Continue Reading →

Review: Koishikawa Korakuen E-Book

Since moving to Tokyo, I've had the pleasure of connecting with many people who share my interests, particularly in the food and garden category. One of those new acquaintances is Anika, who is part of the team behind Real Japanese Gardens. After exchanging numerous emails and bonding over our mutual love of gardens (though her... Continue Reading →

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