Earthquake Heritage Taro Kanko Hotel: reminder of tragedy

Just off the main highway in the fishing port town of Taro, north of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture, stands a curious, derelict-looking building. Derelict buildings are not particularly unusual in Japan, but in this area, which was flooded by the tsunami of March 11, 2011, most buildings are new; their predecessors either destroyed by the … Continue reading Earthquake Heritage Taro Kanko Hotel: reminder of tragedy

Sightseeing in Post-disaster Iwate’s Miyako: Tragedy and Natural Beauty Together

This article features the town of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture, in an area badly hit by the earthquake/tsunami 9+ years ago. Reconstruction is ongoing and "disaster tourists" will find interesting remnants of that sad day. The natural beauty of the coast seems to have bounced back more quickly than humans have, so there is beautiful … Continue reading Sightseeing in Post-disaster Iwate’s Miyako: Tragedy and Natural Beauty Together

Nakatsu Gorge: strength of stone versus power of water

Mountainous Japan is home to many spectacular gorges; deep narrow valleys through which tumble fast flowing rivers. Among these, Kochi Prefecture's Nakatsu Gorge is dramatic, scenic and inspiring, yet relatively easy to access. The mountains and valleys of Kochi tend to feel higher and steeper than mountains in other parts of Japan and the Niyodo … Continue reading Nakatsu Gorge: strength of stone versus power of water

A closer look at some work of manga master Tezuka Osamu

Manga and anime are features of modern Japanese culture that have become popular worldwide. Many visitors to Japan seek out the manga culture and even actual places associated with manga, in a sense, seeking to bring the manga to life. While manga have been around as an art form since the late 19th century, arguably … Continue reading A closer look at some work of manga master Tezuka Osamu

Experience Local Culture at Ishigaki Yaima Village

Ishigaki is the most populous of the Yaeyama Islands, the southern and western-most island group in Okinawa (just 250 km. from Taiwan). As with all Yaeyama Islanders, the people who live on Ishigaki celebrate their local culture and history at every opportunity. Visitors to the island have many opportunities to enjoy that, but for a … Continue reading Experience Local Culture at Ishigaki Yaima Village

Haneda Innovation City: combining technology and tradition

September 2020 saw the opening of an amazing new commercial complex just next door to Haneda Airport. It is called Haneda Innovation City and it is located above Tenkubashi station on the Keikyu and Tokyo Monorail lines. The complex of eleven stylishly low-slung buildings (eight have already been constructed) will be home to various types … Continue reading Haneda Innovation City: combining technology and tradition