A winter world of monkeys and men

by Davey Young

My overnight bus from Ikebukuro, Tokyo, packed full of bleary-eyed college students on holiday, rolled into Shiga Kogen around dawn and began making stops along the belt of 21 interconnected ski resorts that make up Japan’s largest ski area. I disembarked toward the end of the line in Ichinose as ...

Finding thrills on plum blossom hill

| Feb 21, 2015

Finding thrills on plum blossom hill

by Kit Nagamura

February is a tricky month for venturing out in Tokyo. Daylight hours lengthen and the light softens slightly, but the weather itself seems controlled by a sadist at the thermostat. Blissfully warm one moment and freezing the next, it’s 50 shades of uncertainty. Nonetheless, ...

Panama Canal: Storied waterway links two great oceans

Feb 21, 2015

Panama Canal: Storied waterway links two great oceans

by Joe Kafka

Nina and Fred Fenton have gone on 40 cruises, including five times through the Panama Canal since 1998, but they keep coming back. While aboard the Norwegian Sun on their latest journey into the storied waterway linking two great oceans, the retired couple from ...

'Wild' may attract more to Pacific Coast Trail

Feb 14, 2015

'Wild' may attract more to Pacific Coast Trail

by Beth J. Harpaz

More hikers are expected on the Pacific Crest Trail this year thanks to the movie “Wild,” according to the Pacific Crest Trail Association, which preserves and promotes the trail. The book “Wild,” which has been a best-seller for nearly two years, led to a ...

Kansai proves no barrier to travel

Feb 7, 2015

Kansai proves no barrier to travel

by Suzanne Kamata

Having planned a family trip from our home in Tokushima Prefecture to Kobe and Osaka, we packed our 14-year-old daughter’s wheelchair in the car and took the highway to Awaji Island. By flashing our daughter’s red techo (an identification card for individuals with disabilities ...

Bletchley Park recreates wartime Britain

Feb 7, 2015

Bletchley Park recreates wartime Britain

by Danica Kirka

As a tourist site, Bletchley Park has been something of a well-kept secret. That’s because it was a government secret as well. But the once-classified home of Britain’s World War II code-breakers is finally coming out of the shadows. Though eclipsed by attractions such ...

The mountain village that tried to disappear

Jan 31, 2015

The mountain village that tried to disappear

by Mandy Bartok

Our arrival at Yunishigawa-Onsen Station in Tochigi Prefecture is more than a little disconcerting. The two-carriage train, which until now has been chugging determinedly through an increasingly snowy landscape, pulls to a halt in the middle of a tunnel. The doors slide open to ...