The Airports of Tottori: Tourist Destinations in their Own Right

Tottori is known for many things including being the least populous prefecture in Japan and being the home of some of Japan's most famous manga cartoonists. In spite of its small population, Tottori is host to two airports, one international and the other purely domestic.  Both airports feature in their names and decor some of … Continue reading The Airports of Tottori: Tourist Destinations in their Own Right

Hagi’s Camellia Festival – a celebration of the Rose of Winter

It's called the "Rose of Winter", and with good reason.  Tsubaki, Japanese camellia, blooms most prolifically from January to early April.   One great place to enjoy these blooms is the Hagi Camellia Festival (February 17, 2018-March 21, 2018). Hagi is an old castle town on the Japan Sea coast of Yamaguchi Prefecture.  It is particularly … Continue reading Hagi’s Camellia Festival – a celebration of the Rose of Winter

Nihonga: Distinctly Japanese Modern Art

"Modern" Japan dates from the Meiji Restoration of 1868.  During the reign of the Emperor Meiji (1868-1912), Japan modernized and Westernized.  This transformation included not only Japan's political, economic, and education systems, but also various aspects of fine arts.  With respect to the latter, many feared that Japan's cultural identity might be lost in the … Continue reading Nihonga: Distinctly Japanese Modern Art

Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festa – absolutely a reason to go north in winter

I'm not very fond of cold weather, which is perhaps one reason I particularly love the soothing steam of a good hot bowl of soup when I come in from the cold. I daresay I'm not alone in these sentiments. The Tohoku region of Japan, famously cold and snowy in winter, has many hearty winter … Continue reading Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festa – absolutely a reason to go north in winter

The colors of Ko-Imari: it’s all about the glaze

Stepping into the latest exhibition at Shibuya's Toguri Museum of Art, I felt as if I was in heaven. The exhibition, entitled "Beautiful Glazes in Ko-Imari Ware", features the glazes used on Ko-Imari ware, some of Japan's earliest refined porcelains, dating back to the 17th century. The pieces on display are exquisite. It was refugee … Continue reading The colors of Ko-Imari: it’s all about the glaze

Nokogiriyama – stepping it up on Sawtooth Mountain

Old stone quarries are fascinating places to explore.  They are full of man-made shapes and angles that nature is working to reclaim.  At Nokogiriyama (lit. Sawtooth Mountain) in Chiba--a perfect distance for a day trip from Tokyo--, part of the mountain was quarried away over several decades, leaving lots of fun nooks and crannies to … Continue reading Nokogiriyama – stepping it up on Sawtooth Mountain