Hillel Wright

For Hillel Wright's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Kokusai Dori: Getting bitten by Okinawan Culture

Jun 21, 2014

Kokusai Dori: Getting bitten by Okinawan Culture

Kokusai Dori is the name of a 2 km stretch of shops, hotels, bars and restaurants which cuts through the heart of downtown Naha, the largest city in Okinawa. The street’s name in English is International Road, supposedly named after the Ernie Pyle’s now-closed ...

Island hop to friendly Okinoerabu

Mar 8, 2014

Island hop to friendly Okinoerabu

At the end of March, having reached the age of 70 three months ago, I’ll retire from my post as a lecturer at Okinawa Christian University — mandatory retirement. Knowing this has given me a real sense of liberation in the past year or ...

Two's company on laid-back Zamami

Aug 24, 2013

Two's company on laid-back Zamami

Being naturally averse to traffic jams, long lines at airports, overcrowded trains and cranked-up hotel rates, I’ve never been one for traveling far on a national holiday in Japan, especially during Golden Week in May when a few of them cluster together. But this ...

Hot weather's cold comfort for eels

Jul 13, 2013

Hot weather's cold comfort for eels

In March this year, I spent a week in Taiwan as a guest of the Taiwan Fisheries Agency. My hosts had laid on a relentless daily schedule that took in a complete circuit of the island nation, visiting nearly all the major commercial fishing ...

Sand, sea and stars on idyllic Akajima

Jun 16, 2013

Sand, sea and stars on idyllic Akajima

Back in 1972 when I first lived on Denman Island in the Georgia Strait of British Columbia between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, I was one of about 300 residents. By the time I left 25 years later for Japan, its population had just topped ...

Get set for boating in Naha and Itoman

Apr 21, 2013

Get set for boating in Naha and Itoman

May and June are the months in which to visit Okinawa if your aim is to witness the spectacle of fiercely contested races between crews paddling dragon boats or the Ryukyu Islands' small traditional fishing boats called sabani.

Jan 6, 2013

Remembering that 'life's a beach' keeps winter at bay

Summer to me has always meant the beach, and now in the depths of winter it’s to sun-kissed strands and sparkling blue seas that my thoughts are prone to wander. In my childhood days, from kindergarten through high school, I was lucky enough to ...

Motobu: A stopover in paradise on the way back home

Dec 2, 2012

Motobu: A stopover in paradise on the way back home

An enjoyable experience is worth repeating. So when I finished teaching a two-week Summer Intensive at a university in Tokyo and was ready to return home to Okinawa, I decided to again take the ferry from Kagoshima as I had done the year before. ...

Summer in the city's Todoroki Valley wilderness

Oct 7, 2012

Summer in the city's Todoroki Valley wilderness

Where does an expatriate living in Okinawa go for a two-week summer holiday? Why, to Tokyo, of course — if it’s a working holiday — as there’s no better place in Japan to make good money than the Big Mikan. So, for the past ...