Experience: Tea Ceremony (Tokyo)

Did you know you can visit nearly all of Japan's 47 prefectures without ever leaving Tokyo? In recent years, there has been a proliferation of prefectural "antenna shops" in Tokyo (mostly in the Ginza neighborhood). These shops give city residents a taste of the prefectures, while providing former prefectural inhabitants with a taste of home.... Continue Reading →

Experience: Gion Corner (Kyoto)

While I was in Kyoto last month, I attended a show at the Gion Corner. I must admit, staged performances like this are not always the kind of activity I look for as a tourist. Maybe it came from a few years of leading large group package tours to places around Asia (and suffering through... Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Wagashi

The tea has been poured, the porcelain admired. Then the hostess at your tea ceremony lays before you the perfect edible replica of a plum blossom. More than just a casual snack, this portion is a work of art. Welcome to the world of wagashi. Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections, elegant pastries so to speak,... Continue Reading →

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