Kumano Magaibutsu: immoveable in more ways than one

In last week's blog post, I introduced a temple founded to house a statue of Fudo Myo-o, the great immoveable deity, carved by no less than the great Kobo Daishi (774-835). But Kobo Daishi is not alone in his admiration of Fudo Myo-o, whose image is found and worshiped across Japan. Even the earliest Buddhist … Continue reading Kumano Magaibutsu: immoveable in more ways than one

Let it wash over you: A sampling of Kyushu waterfalls

There is something amazing and energizing about a waterfall. That is a scientifically-proven fact. The tumbling of the water generates negative ions, which research has shown to reduce depression and stress, boost the immune system and improve metabolism, among other benefits. Volcanic Japan has innumerable waterfalls, great and small. It doesn't take a lot of … Continue reading Let it wash over you: A sampling of Kyushu waterfalls

Entrepreneurs on the Rise: Second Career Women in Regional Japan

I'm fortunate that in my travels I often get to meet local people who are doing interesting and creative things.  I was able to write a profile of a couple of groups of women in Kyushu and Shikoku who have become successful small business entrepreneurs, producing condiments featuring local produce and local flavors.  (Archived article … Continue reading Entrepreneurs on the Rise: Second Career Women in Regional Japan

A Goto Island of Quarantine: the perfect place to hide

Since everyone is thinking quarantine, isolation and hiding away these days, I thought it might be appropriate for this month's travel article to be about a place in where such things happened in the past.  Enjoy this as "armchair travel" now, and perhaps get there yourself sometime in the future.  (Archived article originally published by … Continue reading A Goto Island of Quarantine: the perfect place to hide

Sakitsu: a remote Amakusa port where Christians once concealed themselves

On the west coast of Shimoshima, the largest of the Amakusa Islands of Kyushu, is a large bay known as Yokaku Bay. Because of its location on the East China Sea, the bay, and particularly the town of Sakitsu in a small, but deep, harbor on the north shore, has a centuries-long history as a … Continue reading Sakitsu: a remote Amakusa port where Christians once concealed themselves