The far-out Ogasawaras

| Aug 7, 2011

The far-out Ogasawaras

by C.W. Nicol

The Ogasawaras are a group of lovely subtropical islands about 1,000 km due south of Tokyo, from where they are administered. As there is no airport, you reach them by taking the 6,700-ton liner Ogasawara Maru from Takeshiba Pier in Tokyo — a 25-hour ...

Here's herbs with a cherry on top

| Jul 3, 2011

Here's herbs with a cherry on top

by C.W. Nicol

“Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” is the refrain to one of my favorite songs, the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair,” which was made famous when Simon and Garfunkel released it in 1966. Though I do like folk songs, I’ve never been to Scarborough (in ...

Beauty and the noble beech

| Jun 5, 2011

Beauty and the noble beech

by C.W. Nicol

The first time that Japan’s nature really made me stop, stand, stare and listen, totally lost in wonder, was — I clearly remember — in the early summer of 1963. I’m not so sure where in Japan that wondrous occurence took place, but I ...

Rethinking Tohoku's rebuilding

| May 1, 2011

Rethinking Tohoku's rebuilding

by C.W. Nicol

The March 11 megaquake and tsunami, and the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that they triggered, has sideswiped all of us. Nagging worries about the dangers of the radioctivity leaking from that crippled facility and concern for those brave ...

A window on our woods

| Feb 6, 2011

A window on our woods

by C.W. Nicol

When I’m sitting at my desk working in my study, I can look up through a large window and enjoy the view of some woods with a meadow beyond. Except that I’m not too happy with the woods, that is, because they belong to ...

A fish that knows not time

| Aug 1, 2010

A fish that knows not time

by C.W. Nicol

Recently, a few days before my 70th birthday, I was visited by the beautiful and vivacious actress Mayu Tsuruta. If you watch Japanese television, I’m sure you will know her from the many films, dramas and documentaries in which she has appeared. Rare in ...