Not ducking tradition in Higashi-Ueno

| Jun 28, 2014

Not ducking tradition in Higashi-Ueno

by Kit Nagamura

With its lotus-laden Shinobazu pond, park grounds, and national museums, the Ueno area in Tokyo draws millions of visitors a year. Nearby Higashi-Ueno (Eastern Ueno), however, seems to be another world altogether. When I exit Shin-Okachimachi station, under skies portending summer heat, this low-lying ...

Spring greening in Koganei

| Apr 26, 2014

Spring greening in Koganei

by Kit Nagamura

It’s time to bask in sunshine, birdsong, and blossom-filled breezes. Koganei Park, situated at the center of the Tokyo metropolis, looks like the ideal spot for such a “spring-gasm.” The JR Chuo express train whisks me from Yotsuya to Musashi-Koganei in less than 30 ...

Solitude is where you find it

| Sep 28, 2013

Solitude is where you find it

by Kit Nagamura

Under cartoon-blue skies washed by early-autumn typhoons, I stand at Sendaizaka-ue (summit of Sendaizaka Slope) in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. Sendaizaka was named for daimyo lords from Edo Period (1603-1867) Sendai, now in Miyagi Prefecture, who maintained a yashiki (suburban home) on the slope that ...

Log-jamming in Shin Kiba

| Jul 27, 2013

Log-jamming in Shin Kiba

by Kit Nagamura

Last month, readers of this column found me frolicking in the sawdust and lumberyards of Shin Kiba — meaning “New Wood Place” — which arose on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay in the 1970s when the city’s timber businesses were moved there from their ...