Bessho Hot Spring is said to be Japan's oldest spa. It is easily reached from Tokyo for a day trip, though a longer stay at an inn is highly recommended.
The Miyasako reliefs are rarely visited, making for a peaceful and meditative experience in a lovely setting not far from Harajiri Falls.
This relief is said to have been carved in four or five years by a monk who went to Kumano for permission to do the work, near the end of the Heian period (794-1185.)
Like a refugee camp from the war on literacy, Jimbocho is a haven where the printed word has taken refuge.
Before I pitch a visit to this gem of architectural history, a word of caution; if you like throngs of sightseers, busy souvenir traps and long, clamorous lines outside noodle and ice cream shops, Unnojuku is not the day trip for you. This old post town in Nagano Prefecture is a portal to the past, … Continue reading The Solace of Unnojuku
A seminar on Kuromontsuki dyeing Nagoya and the surrounding environs, which lay rightful claim to the birthplace of modern Japanese culture, offer the visitor to Japan unlimited potential for historical and cultural exploration. If one is fascinated by traditional Japanese apparel, for instance, there is no better place to study the art of silk kimono … Continue reading The Creations of Yamakatsu
In a Kodo workshop, there are more challenges than simply identifying different scents. You must grind your own india ink, take notes with a calligraphy brush, and listen very carefully. On the other hand, you will not be asked to sit seiza - though you may do so if you wish. Ask your Japanese passerbye on the street … Continue reading Kodo – the Way of Incense
I've been talking about this place ever since I got back from my recent visit to Japan. Perhaps it cast a spell on me! Usuki is an old castle town about an hour south of Oita, Japan, and it is surely one of the prettiest places in the prefecture, if not on the entire island … Continue reading Usuki calling…