Nambu tekki is a Japanese trademark that is now being used to market Chinese knock-offs. Beware!
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
When making your pilgrimage to Beppu, the unrivaled hot spring mecca of Japan, keep in mind that this sprawling old town in Oita Prefecture is almost as famous for its seafood cuisine as for its healing waters. The following is advice to the lucky traveler who makes it to this beautiful corner of Kyushu, but … Continue reading A Primer to the Seafood Delights of Beppu
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
Jalan.net (www.jalan.net) a Japanese publication promoting domestic travel to the Japanese traveler, has published its members’ "Top Hot Springs of Japan" selections for 2018. I’m always complaining about the silly and inaccurate travel writing on Japan by English-language writers, so if you’re a traveler or newcomer to Japan, and interested in soaking in the country’s … Continue reading For the Japanese Hot Spring Enthusiast
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 recently joined Eijiro Ozaki in a coffee shop in Beverly Hills to talk about his career as a screen and theater actor in Japan and the U.S. He had just finished a high-energy, forty-minute seminar with a group of visiting Japanese college students, an event he kindly invited me to observe. He has … Continue reading To Imagine without Limits
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…