A west side love story

| Jan 25, 2009

A west side love story

by Kit Nagamura

With Valentine’s Day approaching, Tokyo’s lovers dust off chocolate-tempering pots, scope out sweet shops and reserve bouquets of roses. Of course, savvy romantics know a midwinter stroll along a back street, with requisite snuggling for warmth, works nearly as well to stoke affection as ...

'Tis a gift to be simple

| Nov 21, 2008

'Tis a gift to be simple

by Kit Nagamura

The best holiday presents wrap themselves — in your arms, that is. The rest of your gift-list responsibilities, whether for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Japanese oseibo (yearend gifts), can be taken care of near Asakusabashi Station. I’m usually way behind schedule getting presents together, ...

In the realm of fall's senses

| Oct 17, 2008

In the realm of fall's senses

by Kit Nagamura

With autumn nipping at the air, deciduous trees are primed to put on a color display known in Japanese as koyo. Though usually written with Japanese characters for “crimson” and “leaves,” koyo can also be written with the characters for “yellow” and “leaves” when ...

I ain't afraid of those ghosts

| Jul 18, 2008

I ain't afraid of those ghosts

by Kit Nagamura

There are lots of yureizaka (phantom slopes) in Tokyo, and at least seven of them have been spooking lily-livered pedestrians since the Edo Period (1603-1867). The slope I head for, in broad daylight, slants through the somnolent graveyards of old temples from the early ...