A water-filled volcanic crater is a thing to behold. One spectacular example in Japan is Lake Towada which sits on the border between Aomori and Akita Prefectures. Here one finds a crater within a crater and a volcano that vulcanologists regard as still active even though it hasn't erupted in a millenium. Sitting 690 meters … Continue reading Towada-ko: Exploring a northern crater lake
This article takes a dive into the culture; history and meaning associated with Japanese zen gardens.
teamBorderless exhibits mind-bending experiences that constantly change to give the audience a new experience every second of their visit.
Mt. Asama, on the border of Nagano and Gunma prefectures, is one of Japan's many active volcanoes and the most active one on Honshu island. Yet it is usually relatively approachable and some interesting sights nearby testify to its geological impact. Two of those are Shiraito Falls and Onioshidashi Park. Just a 25 minute bus … Continue reading Water, rocks and devils: the geological impact of an active volcano
The small city of Kamaishi, on the Sanriku coast of Iwate Prefecture, for more than a century a thriving center of Japan's steel production is, these days, supported by fisheries, shellfish farms, and eco-tourism. It was badly impacted by the 2011 Tohoku disaster, with the tsunami waters reaching 4.3 meters, easily breaching the Kamaishi Tsunami Protection … Continue reading Kamaishi Kannon: guardian goddess and witness to history
It isn't every day that you get to see the birth of a river. Yet that is exactly what visitors see in Kakita River Park in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture. Every day a million tons of water burbles its way to the surface through the sandy soil in this park to form the Kakita River, already … Continue reading Kakita River Park – where a river is born
Japan's "Kofun Period", from the 2nd century to the 7th century, is named for the tumulus burial mounds that characterize it. Of the 30,000 tumuli extant in Japan, some 750 are believed to contain the remains of emperors or members of the imperial family. Most of the others were used for local chieftains or other … Continue reading Where the bodies are buried: Kofun burial mounds along the Tama River
The bright lights of the big city that is Tokyo so dominate that it is easy to forget that Tokyo also has a number of fascinating suburban neighborhoods worthy of exploration. In search of the last of the hydrangeas that are so prolific this time of year, I thought I'd take a half-day walk through … Continue reading A Walk in the Rain: Exploring the Ota-ku suburbs
It is often said that Japan has a way of borrowing from other cultures and adapting that which is borrowed to make it both distinctly Japanese and better than it was originally. In the case of quilting, I can attest to the former, but am not prepared to make any judgment with respect to the … Continue reading Quilting Japanese style
A couple of weeks after a trip to Tottori earlier this year, I was delighted to take delivery of a small package from Tottori, but a bit puzzled and surprised by how light it was. While I was in Tottori, I had the pleasure of visiting Hoshoji-yaki Kaikegama, a pottery studio/kiln in Yonago, where I … Continue reading Experiencing Japanese ceramics firsthand
Saitama is often considered just a "bedroom" of Tokyo, but it has much to recommend it to tourists and day trippers, especially in its western reaches. This is an especially good time of year to explore one little corner of the Sayama area of Tokorozawa--the area around Seibukyujo-mae station. Throughout the summer, this is a … Continue reading Early summer exploration in Saitama
Ibaraki, though not far from Tokyo, is not widely regarded as a destination for international tourists. Yet it can be quite rewarding to get off the beaten track to explore "real" Japan. Moriya, just 30-some minutes from Akihabara on the Tsukuba Express, is a great example. Here, in a day trip from Tokyo, the intrepid … Continue reading Moriya: History, Countryside, Beer and Bath