Oct 31, 2011

All too familiar signs of state paralysis in Thai crisis

Like the Japan tsunami, flooding in Thailand will have a global impact on the supply and price of rice, cameras, computers and cars. Yet many are wondering who is overseeing crisis management in Bangkok: fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, exiled in Dubai; or his ...

A heartrending drive on the rebuilt roads of Tohoku

Sep 11, 2011

A heartrending drive on the rebuilt roads of Tohoku

Before the March 11 tsunami, the Miyako area of Iwate Prefecture was a beloved tourist destination, famous for the beaches of Jodogahama and a national park with majestic views of coves and shimmering Pacific waters. On March 11, an indented coastline funneled a surge ...

A winter wonderland

Feb 13, 2011

A winter wonderland

Here I am, taking a holiday in minus-20 Hokkaido instead of plus-20 Okinawa. I’m either losing my marbles or just a normal Canadian pining for a winter wonderland. At this season, for sure, Hokkaido can be Japan’s Siberia, a world of white where everything ...

Catching autumn's glory on camera

Dec 5, 2010

Catching autumn's glory on camera

At this dazzling time of year, it seems that half of Japan’s population turn into photographers journeying to their favorite spots or seeking out new ones around the city as they try to capture the myriad colors of autumn leaves. Doing that, though, is ...

Kujukuri: the long, long beach on Tokyo's doorstep

Jul 18, 2010

Kujukuri: the long, long beach on Tokyo's doorstep

If it was thousands of miles from home, I would wistfully think of this as an exotic and special place. It has almost everything I want in a seaside hangout: Empty beaches backed by pine forests, not condos; surfing waves; fishing piers; hilltop viewpoints; ...

May 30, 2010

Healing Thailand's broken spirit

BANGKOK — To pacify a divided nation, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva — blamed for a military crackdown on protesters that left more than 80 dead and 1,500 injured over two months — says Thailand needs to “heal the mind.” He could start with himself. ...

May 13, 2010

A turning point in Thailand

BANGKOK — Massive occupations of two areas of central Bangkok the past two months show that the rise of Thailand’s “red shirt” protesters is one of the most significant developments in Asia in 25 years, as it signals a new type of conflict involving ...

The Zen nothingness of Zamami

May 2, 2010

The Zen nothingness of Zamami

Thinking that Japan is too expensive for them, many budget travelers eschew this archipelago for Southeast Asia. But with a mountain bike and a tent, it’s quite possible to travel in Okinawa on ¥1,000 a day — and enjoy it — especially on Zamami ...

Painting Tokyo red and gold

Dec 6, 2009

Painting Tokyo red and gold

In times past, some Native Americans believed the autumn colors were made when the Great Hunter finally shot the Bear, whose blood spilled across the landscape in the form of red leaves. In my view, as I cycle around Tokyo, the trees appear to ...

Dec 6, 2009

Painting Tokyo red and gold

In times past, some Native Americans believed the autumn colors were made when the Great Hunter finally shot the Bear, whose blood spilled across the landscape in the form of red leaves. In my view, as I cycle around Tokyo, the trees appear to ...