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

Unganzenji: a legacy of swordsmanship and piety

On the outskirts of Kumamoto City sits an isolated Zen temple that guards over an historic cave and a hillside of rakan (arhat) statues. Rakan are devout Buddhists who have attained enlightenment and live in a state of Nirvana. In Japan, collections of statues of 500 rakan, the number of disciples of Buddha believed to … Continue reading Unganzenji: a legacy of swordsmanship and piety

Takachiho Farm: fun hands-on experience of life on a farm

The Kirishima volcano system in Kagoshima Prefecture is fascinating for the variety of landscapes visitors can experience.  The flanks of some of the volcanoes are covered with grassland conducive to raising cattle.  Takachiho Farm is a kind of "show farm" within sight of Mt. Kirishima where visitors can see a working dairy and experience several … Continue reading Takachiho Farm: fun hands-on experience of life on a farm