In 1994 I planned a three week journey from Tokyo to Kagoshima with a friend who was a Japan neophyte. I included in the itinerary several of Japan’s castles. When my friend saw the itinerary, he scoffed saying, “I’ve seen plenty of castles in Europe; I don’t need to see more castles.” Nevertheless, I left … Continue reading Kumamoto Castle: rising from the rubble
Month: May 2021
Kujukushima – how many pretty little islands?
Kujukushima Bay in Nagasaki Prefecture is both a popular recreation/sightseeing spot and a thriving fishing port especially known for its pearl farming and oyster production. Although "Kujukushima" literally means "99 islands", there are actually 208 islands in the bay not to mention a number of rocky outcrops that don't meet the technical definition of island. … Continue reading Kujukushima – how many pretty little islands?
Seeking Sakura and Samurai in Tohoku: Past and Present Glories of Kakunodate and Hirosaki
This article introduces two Tohoku destinations with fascinating samurai history and beautiful cherry blossoms. (Archived article – Originally published by Japan Today.)
Lighthouses and Lines on a Map
Humans have been using imaginary lines on a map to navigate the world for over two millennia. The concept is simultaneously practical and romantic. The same can be said of shining a light from a high place to warn sailors of unseen dangers, the magic of a lighthouse. In Japan, 40° North latitude seems to … Continue reading Lighthouses and Lines on a Map