In 1842, Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860), ninth lord of the Mito Domain (north and central part of modern day Ibaraki Prefecture) created a pleasure garden for the enjoyment of his people. His garden, situated on a hillside above Lake Senba, a natural lake forming a defensive boundary on one side of his capital city, was dubbed … Continue reading Kairakuen: Plum Perfect Pleasure
This article introduces leisure and sightseeing at Lake Suwa, Nagano's largest lake. It also describes the Suwa Grand Shrines, their history and their major festival, the Onbashira Festival, which takes place in April and May every six years (including in 2022). (Archived article – Originally published by Japan Today.)
These days, Gunma's Tomioka is best known as the site of the World Heritage-listed silk reeling factory, Japan's first modern production facility. But it has more ancient roots and more modern history as well. Some of this can be found on a hilltop about a 10 minute walk from Joshu-Ichinomiya Station. Nukisaki Shrine: Nearly fifteen … Continue reading Ichinomiya: an historic hilltop in Tomioka
I recently enjoyed a lesson in yabusame, Japan's traditional horseback archery. What an interesting sport! What fun! Read about it in this article in All About Japan.
"I caution all masters of vessels to give a good berth to the Loo Choo Islands, as several coral reefs are now known to exist, and I suspect many more whose places are not noted in any charts." So wrote Captain William J.S. Clark (some sources say "Clarke"), master of the Elizabeth and Henry, from Shanghai on 20 … Continue reading Kumejima’s Hate-no-hama: site of a 19th century shipwreck
Okinawa, Japan's 47th prefecture, is different and distinctive from the Japanese mainland in myriad ways relating to its location and geology as well as its people and their unique cultural history. A surprising place to explore some of those differences is Yajiyagama Cave on Kumejima island, about 100 kilometers west of Naha. Yajiyagama, once the … Continue reading Yajiyagama Cave: telling geologic time and human history