Hiroko Kimura

For Hiroko Kimura's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Here's to the mother of all matsuri

Oct 15, 2004

Here's to the mother of all matsuri

Although Japan has a wealth of interesting festivals celebrated up and down the archipelago, taking in only a few requires considerable planning, effort and money. There is a short-cut, however. The 12th All-Japan Festival of Folk-Performing Arts, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 22-24 in ...

On the path of poets

Aug 20, 2004

On the path of poets

Utter silence, Piercing the stone walls, The cicada's cry Gathering the rains of May, How swiftly it flows, The Mogami River Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) Many people know that these two haiku are among the most famous by Japan's legendary poet Matsuo Basho, but probably many of them do not realize ...

How green is my Happy Valley

Jul 30, 2004

How green is my Happy Valley

While Tokyo is unbearably hot and humid in the heat of the summer, in Karuizawa verdant grass and moss carpet the floors of forests and the mountain air is perfumed with the scent of larch leaves and wild flowers. The area is a little ...

Getting to the top in Japan

Jul 2, 2004

Getting to the top in Japan

There is a Japanese proverb that says only a fool has never climbed Mount Fuji -- or has climbed it twice. The 3,776-meter dormant volcano, referred to as Fuji-san by Japanese, is the nation's highest mountain and one of the best-known symbols of Japan. This ...

Blossom, blossom, briefly everywhere

Mar 19, 2004

Blossom, blossom, briefly everywhere

Yes, the sakura has for ages been the favorite of our people and the emblem of our character. . . . But, its nativity is not its sole claim to our affection. The refinement and grace of its beauty appeal to our aesthetic sense ...

Creature comforts fuel business boom

Feb 29, 2004

Creature comforts fuel business boom

The growing popularity in Japan of dogs as pets has turned its pet industry into a lucrative market in which suppliers and sellers are eagerly competing to offer products and services from the pet's cradle to its grave. According to Yano Research Institute, pet-related businesses, ...

Pooch paradise

Feb 29, 2004

Pooch paradise

A dog's life in Japan can be about as close to canine heaven on earth as it gets. Sure, just like anywhere, there are losers, too -- the unfortunate ones who are abused, neglected or abandoned to their fate, perhaps passing through a pound before ...

The great treasure hunt

Jan 9, 2004

The great treasure hunt

A few months ago there was a news story about a painting bought at a flea market in France for around 200,000 yen that turned out to be by Vincent van Gogh and worth upward of 300 million yen. That was an extreme case, but ...

Topping off your tipple

Nov 9, 2003

Topping off your tipple

As wine has become more popular in Japan, an increasing number of related goods have appeared on the shelves of the nation's shops. Of these, what's needed first and foremost is an opener to get at the bottle's contents without too much trouble. Although there ...

In with le new!

Nov 9, 2003

In with le new!

It's Beaujolais Nouveau time again, and Japan -- despite its piffling per capita consumption of just three bottles of wine a year -- will suddenly become a nation of tipplers and quaffers (if not connoisseurs) of this fresh-from-the-vine red wine from France. One of the ...