Perhaps it's the result of a frugal upbringing or perhaps it's the fact that the day is cold and rainy and I want something to warm me, but as I am walking along the street, a sign that says "free coffee" catches my eye. What's weird is that a price is given just below those … Continue reading What does it mean to be free?
Old stone quarries are fascinating places to explore. They are full of man-made shapes and angles that nature is working to reclaim. At Nokogiriyama (lit. Sawtooth Mountain) in Chiba--a perfect distance a day trip from Tokyo--, part of the mountain was quarried away over several decades, leaving lots of fun nooks and crannies to explore, … Continue reading Nokogiriyama – stepping it up on Sawtooth Mountain
Old Edo was a firetrap. One and two-story structures, made mostly of wood, straw and paper, standing cheek-by-jowl with the neighbors, with everyone cooking and heating with open fires or charcoal braziers. Any little fire quickly got out of control and equally quickly spread to neighboring structures. Major fires were so common in the Edo … Continue reading Hashigo-nori (ladder-top acrobatics) at Ikegami Honmonji