Tokamachi City Museum – great on a rainy day, or when the sun shines

A few months ago I visited the Niigata town of Tokamachi with the intention of attending a local festival.  Alas, the festival was rained out and it seemed there wasn't much to do after checking out the intriguing sculptures on the high street. Fortunately, I found that Tokamachi has a wonderful city museum that proved … Continue reading Tokamachi City Museum – great on a rainy day, or when the sun shines

Obsidian arrowheads and other Jomon archaeology

Jomon is the name given to Japan's prehistoric "stone age" period, thought to be from 30,000 to 2,500 years ago.  The name means "rope marks" and derives from the markings on the pottery of the period.  During this period the people of the archipelago went from simple hunter-gatherers to being users of tools, the beginnings … Continue reading Obsidian arrowheads and other Jomon archaeology

Nagoya’s Osu – a fascinating temple and market district

Thanks to its position as the leading city of central Honshu island, Nagoya has a long and fascinating history.   One place where some of that history can be discovered is the neighborhood of the Osu Kannon. Osu Kannon Temple (official name Kitano-san Shinpuku-ji Hosho-in) was originally founded in 1324 to house a wooden statue of Kannon, … Continue reading Nagoya’s Osu – a fascinating temple and market district

Shakado Museum of Jomon Culture – really digging back in time

The valleys and mountains north of Mt. Fuji are full of remnants of the lives of some of Japan's earliest inhabitants--the Jomon hunters and gatherers of Japan's pre-agricultural period (traditionally dated between 14,000 and 300 BCE).  But archaeologists have had to dig for it. Archaeology has only been undertaken in Japan for about 150 years, a … Continue reading Shakado Museum of Jomon Culture – really digging back in time