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Alon Adika

Alon Adika, a travel writer for The Japan Times, holds a B.A. degree in East Asian Studies and a M.Sc. degree in education. He lived in Japan for a number of years and returns as often as possible. He currently resides in New York City.

For Alon Adika's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Chasing the ghost of Musashi in Kyushu

Aug 16, 2014

Chasing the ghost of Musashi in Kyushu

In the spring of 1645 a man lay dying in Kumamoto, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. He sensed that his time was near, asked for someone to help him into a seated position and tucked his short sword into his belt. This ...

Ako: trailing the ghosts of Japan's greatest vendetta

May 3, 2014

Ako: trailing the ghosts of Japan's greatest vendetta

By noon of March 14, 1701, Edo was abuzz with rumors about what had happened earlier, in the “Great Pine Corridor” of the shogun’s castle. Officials posted wooden signs around the city stating that Asano Naganori, lord of Ako Domain, had attacked and wounded ...

Tsuruga: truly a 'port of humanity'

Feb 1, 2014

Tsuruga: truly a 'port of humanity'

The man in the black-and-white photograph wore a dark jacket with wide lapels. His hair was cut short and parted to one side. His eyes were directed toward the camera as if he were looking directly at me. I recognized him immediately: Chiune Sugihara, ...

Sweet times beside a scary Kyoto mound

Nov 2, 2013

Sweet times beside a scary Kyoto mound

“You have big hands, so make it a little larger,” Kataoka-san said, referring to the piece of sweet mochi (glutinous rice cake) I’d been shaping as dexterously as I could manage. After stretching it out a little more, I again showed it to her. ...

Tsushima: a boundary island of Japan

Sep 21, 2013

Tsushima: a boundary island of Japan

If you want to get to Tsushima, an island in Nagasaki Prefecture, by ferry, you will have to start in Fukuoka — or a quicker option would be to start your journey in Busan, South Korea. The jet foil from Busan zips passengers across ...

The Emperor and the general: a visit to Fushimi Momoyama

Aug 3, 2013

The Emperor and the general: a visit to Fushimi Momoyama

On the evening of Sept. 13, 1912, a cart decorated in gold leaf and lacquer and solemnly hauled by a team of oxen left the Imperial Palace in Tokyo along with a phalanx of people carrying banners, torches and weapons and beating drums and ...

Temples, dragon boats and fireworks in Chinese Nagasaki

Jun 23, 2013

Temples, dragon boats and fireworks in Chinese Nagasaki

There was a time when the journey from East China to Nagasaki was a long and treacherous one across an unpredictable sea. Once a ship entered the verdant hill-sheltered bay that led to the city, the passengers thanked the gods for their safe arrival. ...

Yagyu: Nara's hidden village of the shoguns' sword masters

May 5, 2013

Yagyu: Nara's hidden village of the shoguns' sword masters

Legend has it that while roaming the wooded hills around his village one day, Yagyu Munetoshi encountered a tengu — a mythical creature, part human and part bird, adept at swordplay. Munetoshi was renowned for his fencing skills and relished the opportunity to duel ...

On the trail of treasures at Toji Temple

Jul 15, 2012

On the trail of treasures at Toji Temple

The man unfurled the scroll and hung it on the wall of the makeshift tent to reveal a majestic mountain soaring to the heights in bold black brush strokes. It was a scene showing nature in all its grandeur dwarfing a lone human figure ...