The temporal shift of Ainokura village

Apr 25, 2015

The temporal shift of Ainokura village

by Stephen Mansfield

The tour conductor waved her flag furiously as she directed the bus driver into the last remaining slot in the parking lot that serves the village of Shirakawa-go. The jam of large vehicles and private cars was replicated in the droves of visitors streaming ...

Kochi doesn't need to fish for compliments

Apr 18, 2015

Kochi doesn't need to fish for compliments

by Mandy Bartok

The fire is supposed to be searing my skipjack tuna, but I feel as if it’s my cheeks that are cooking instead. Turning away from the intense heat, I extend my arm as far as it can go while still keeping my speared hunk ...

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 ...

A swim with turtles (maybe)

Sep 14, 2013

A swim with turtles (maybe)

by Christopher Johnson

For snorkelers, there’s perhaps nothing better than hanging out underwater with a hawksbill sea turtle. Safer than sharks, they are graceful and beautiful, ancient and wise. But sightings are rare. Of my hundreds of snorkeling adventures, I’ve only seen turtles, from a distance, in ...

Tracing the path of history in northern Nagasaki

Sep 7, 2013

Tracing the path of history in northern Nagasaki

by Mandy Bartok

The horn blast from the incoming ferry echoes clearly through the top-floor hall of Hirado Castle. From the donjon’s vantage point, my husband and I can clearly see the large passenger ship as it enters the sheltered bay of Hirado’s port, marking the end ...