Languid Lumbini: Just visit and you'll understand

Jun 24, 2012

Languid Lumbini: Just visit and you'll understand

It’s a pilgrimage site, a UNESCO World Heritage site — and a building site. Lumbini in southern Nepal, less than 10 km from the Indian border, should be a name as familiar as Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Mecca, the holy places of Judaism, Christianity and ...

May 27, 2012

Trekking: 10 things you need to know

Before you head for the heights in the Himalayas, you’d be advised — in terms of safety and expense — to give some thought to the following considerations: 1. Don’t spend lots on expensive gear in your home country — treat yourself in Katmandu’s ...

Japan's Everest timeline

May 27, 2012

Japan's Everest timeline

Japan has had a tumultuous, and at times controversial relationship with Mount Everest. Its history features the first woman summiteer, a heated race to claim the crown of oldest person to the top, a disastrous early expedition — and one of the mountain’s most ...

A lifelong dream comes true on Everest

May 27, 2012

A lifelong dream comes true on Everest

I always keep a journal when I travel, but something’s different about the one open in front of me now — the notebook in which I was writing just a few weeks ago. My normally smooth script has deteriorated into a scrawl, the black ...

Shakespeare's Globe hails a Japanese 'Coriolanus'

May 10, 2012

Shakespeare's Globe hails a Japanese 'Coriolanus'

In fewer than 100 days time, athletes and spectators from around the world will be pouring into London to fill the great steel and concrete “O” of the Olympic Stadium. But there’s another major venue that is already welcoming international audiences and stars — ...

Platter of the day: Flash Sushi

Dec 3, 2009

Platter of the day: Flash Sushi

LONDON — Nyotaimori — aka “female body arrangement” aka “naked sushi,” in which the food is eaten from the nude body of a beautiful woman — is as much legend as fact in Japan (see accompanying article). But that hasn’t stopped the Western imagination ...

Bringing Japan to Britain

Nov 27, 2009

Bringing Japan to Britain

When she looked at the floor plans for Oxford’s redesigned Ashmolean Museum and saw that her two Japanese galleries formed an L-shape in one corner of the building, curator Clare Pollard didn’t see an awkward space. “I saw a tea-house,” she explains. And there ...

The dogu have something to tell us

Oct 2, 2009

The dogu have something to tell us

LONDON — They are, according to their kanji, part earth and part spirit, somewhere between animal and human. They are dogu, the most remarkable products of Japan’s Jomon Period, a Neolithic era before the advent of rice cultivation, when the Japanese archipelago supported higher ...

Rapa Nui

Jan 23, 2005

Rapa Nui

Easter Island has been many things in the three centuries it has been known to the West: mooted landing site of UFOs; exotic long-haul holiday destination; and favorite location of the Discovery Channel — to name just a few. “Collapse: How Societies Choose to ...

Women to the fore in study of statues

Jan 23, 2005

Women to the fore in study of statues

At midday on March 29, 1914, a yacht named Mana, flying the British colors, dropped anchor in the tiny inlet of Cook’s Bay, Hanga Roa. On board was an anthropologist who would carry out the first systematic survey of the Easter Island statues, and ...