Crash Course: Ikebana

Chances are if you've spent any amount of time in Japan, you've seen an ikebana arrangement - at a tea ceremony, at a flower exhibition, in the lobby of a posh hotel or even in the alcove of a Japanese friend's home. These asymmetric creations bare little resemblance to the full-bodied bouquets of the flower... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Itako

It's nearly iris time again here in Japan. I love how Japanese seasons - even specific months or weeks really - can be determined by what's in bloom. The azaleas are currently ablaze on the hillsides and the wild wisteria are just reaching their end. Still, with a lifelong love of the color purple, I... Continue Reading →

Manhole Monday: Kumamoto

In an ode to my new home, this week’s manhole cover is from Kumamoto. (Surprise! 🙂 ) When we first came to Kumamoto back in July to house hunt, I immediately noticed the colorful covers just outside our center-city hotel.  What I didn’t quite get was what the flowers had to do with Kumamoto. Thankfully,... Continue Reading →

5 Faves: Tokyo Gardens

Think Tokyo is just a tangled mess of sidewalks and skyscrapers? For a breath of greenery in the middle of Japan's largest metropolis, check out these five garden escapes (and no, unlike msot guidebooks, the Imperial Palace Gardens are NOT on this list): Koishikawa Korakuen - This is one of my favorite gardens in Tokyo. Right in... Continue Reading →

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