Hitachino Nest: The Happiness of Beer on a Hot Summer Day

Craft beers have proliferated in Japan since the deregulation of beer production in the mid-1990s. One of the early leaders in micro-brewing is Kiuchi Brewery, an Ibaraki brewery that started making sake in 1823 and first produced beer in 1996. Kiuchi Brewery's beer is branded Hitachino Nest, with a cute little owl on the label. … Continue reading Hitachino Nest: The Happiness of Beer on a Hot Summer Day

A German Advisor and Japan’s Hot Spring Connection to Europe

During the late nineteenth century, when Japan was modernizing/Westernizing, many European and American were invited to Japan to advise the government and business. One such individual was Dr. Erwin von Baelz (1849-1913), a German physician who came to Japan in 1876 to teach medicine at the Imperial University (now known as the University of Tokyo). … Continue reading A German Advisor and Japan’s Hot Spring Connection to Europe

A Japanese Garden à la française: The Jardin Japonais of Toulouse

Japanese gardens, with their strolling paths offering different views of the landscape at every turn, seems to hold a special fascination with people all over the world. Indeed there are many Japanese gardens outside of Japan, replicas to allow fans of the genre to enjoy the placid serenity of a Japanese garden even when they … Continue reading A Japanese Garden à la française: The Jardin Japonais of Toulouse

Putting Nature Into Perspective: The Photographs of Norbert Schoerner

It is often said that a deep and abiding respect for nature is a fundamental part of the Japanese psyche. Yet, Japan is also well known for its attempts to bend and control nature, for example through intense shaping of the landscape for purposes of agriculture, flood control or protection from tsunami and landslides. One … Continue reading Putting Nature Into Perspective: The Photographs of Norbert Schoerner