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Kit Nagamura

For Kit Nagamura's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Backstage drama on Ginza's Konparu-dori

| May 28, 2016

Backstage drama on Ginza's Konparu-dori

A temperate breeze swings through the surrounding willow trees as I pass jewel-encrusted ball gowns in the display windows of Ginza Takaraya, near Shinbashi Station in Tokyo. I’m scouting out Konparu-dori, a street named for the eponymous noh troupe that was gifted land here ...

The big-ticket gifts of Kumano-dori

| Nov 28, 2015

The big-ticket gifts of Kumano-dori

As November grows chilly, I warm up with an urban hike to hunt out seasonal gifts for friends and family. Tokyo is a bastion of creativity and craftsmanship, and shopping the backstreets is like touring a gallery of desires you never knew you had. ...

Grave company at Zoshigaya Cemetery

| Oct 24, 2015

Grave company at Zoshigaya Cemetery

When persimmon leaves and the tips of maples take on color, and chilly air rattles windows, composer Yoshinao Nakada’s haunting song “Chiisai Aki Mitsuketa” (“A Bit of Autumn Found”) floats through my mind. Having just learned that the song’s lyricist, talented poet Hachiro Sato ...

Circumnavigating joys in Kaminoge

| Sep 26, 2015

Circumnavigating joys in Kaminoge

Decades ago, I strolled around the quiet neighborhood of Kaminoge in Setagaya Ward with professor Shuichi Kato, the scholar who convinced me to come study in Tokyo. I vividly recollect, on my first day in Japan, encountering the fragrance of tiny orange kinmokusei (fragrant ...

The 'other' Jizo-dori: culture set in stone

| Jul 25, 2015

The 'other' Jizo-dori: culture set in stone

Mention Jizo-dori in Tokyo and everyone will think you mean the street in Sugamo, Toshima Ward, where the silver set combines bargain hunting with visits to the famous stone jizō (bodhisattva statue) there. Walking near Edogawabashi Station on the Yurakucho Line, I pass a ...

The custodians of culture in Koishikawa

| Jun 27, 2015

The custodians of culture in Koishikawa

Exiting the Nanboku subway’s Korakuen Station near Tokyo Dome, I gaze up at clouds resembling bunches of purple hydrangeas. Directly overhead, a roller coaster car swooshes by, its passengers shrieking, which is a good sign, because, despite its aquatic name, the Thunder Dolphin coaster ...

Flora, fauna and fellows on the river

| May 30, 2015

Flora, fauna and fellows on the river

With summer’s heat punching in early this year, I’m already angling for riverside relief. I trundle down to Ota Ward’s Rokugodote, the southernmost train station in Tokyo’s 23 wards, and a stone’s throw from the Tamagawa (Tama River). The 138-km-long Tamagawa, which in this ...