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Felicity Hughes

For Felicity Hughes's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Grape adventures in northern climes

| Aug 12, 2011

Grape adventures in northern climes

If you’re thinking of taking a break from the sweltering heat of Japan’s southern and central regions, Hokkaido is the perfect destination. As well as its wonderfully fresh local cuisine, stunning natural scenery and balmy climate, the northern island is also home to a ...

Jul 10, 2011

Banana's fabulous fables

THE LAKE, by Banana Yoshimoto. Melville House, 2011, 192 pp., $23.95 (hardcover) It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since Banana Yoshimoto had a new novel published in English. Her early novel “Kitchen” was hugely popular with foreign audiences, but since the release ...

Kusuda makes NZ wine his own way

| Jul 8, 2011

Kusuda makes NZ wine his own way

Pinot Noir is one of the world’s most challenging grapes: Sensitive to frost and rot, this thin-skinned varietal really tests the limits of a winemaker’s skill. But tenacious winemaker Hiroyuki Kusuda wouldn’t have it any other way. This Japanese national has fought against the ...

Koshu wine gets uncorked abroad

| Jun 10, 2011

Koshu wine gets uncorked abroad

On June 19, Shizen, a white wine made in Japan with the native Koshu grape, will make its debut at Vinexpo, Bordeaux. By exhibiting at one of the wine industry’s most important events, Ernest Singer, the man behind Shizen and a project to improve ...

Wine is no game for Capcom boss

| May 13, 2011

Wine is no game for Capcom boss

Hurricane-kicking its way onto the wine scene in 2009 was a new brand, Kenzo Estate, owned by the CEO of video-game giant Capcom. Clearly playing to win, Kenzo Tsujimoto hired California’s brightest wine talents to create a wine for the Japanese market that combines ...

Pedal-power pleasures on Kansai's byways

May 8, 2011

Pedal-power pleasures on Kansai's byways

Spring is the perfect season to explore Kansai by bicycle. Going with the flow along largely flat cycle routes beside the Yodo, Katsura and Kizu rivers, it’s possible to chart a comfortable six-day trip — or, in my case, a rather challenging four-day one ...

Won't somebody think of the wine?

| Apr 8, 2011

Won't somebody think of the wine?

Many Tokyoites counted themselves lucky when the March 11 quake left their homes largely intact, except, perhaps, for the odd broken glass. But while the damage was of course far more grave in the northeast, this wine writer would like to spare a thought ...

SonarSound Tokyo

Apr 1, 2011

SonarSound Tokyo

Six years ago at a party in Brighton, England, a hooded Japanese man entered the room and proceeded to tear up the place using only a Game Boy and a megaphone. Sofa cushions were flying all over the place as the crowd at this ...

Savor the taste of bottled sunshine

| Mar 11, 2011

Savor the taste of bottled sunshine

Last year’s World Cup gave Japan the opportunity to discover more about South Africa than just vuvuzelas: In 2010, packaged wine exports from South Africa to Japan grew by an impressive 11 percent. While the noise of the hornlike instrument is happily fading away ...

Kaisoku Tokyo

Mar 11, 2011

Kaisoku Tokyo

Kaisoku Tokyo pride themselves on blazing through their setlist so fast that you can almost see smoke rising off their instruments when they’re done. Combining the terse punk power of Melt-Banana with the bounciness of Polysics, their supercharged performances last around 15 minutes (with ...