Mirei Shigemori: at home with stone

Nov 29, 2014

Mirei Shigemori: at home with stone

by Stephen Mansfield

Between the years 1924 and 1975, Mirei Shigemori (1896-1975) designed more than 180 gardens in Japan, an extraordinary creative output by any standard. If Shigemori was best known as a landscape designer, an artist in the placement of stones, it is worth noting that ...

Hihōkan: Japan's vanishing sex museums

Nov 22, 2014

Hihōkan: Japan's vanishing sex museums

by Kayleigh Barr

The real world ends beyond a thick, black curtain. On the other side is one of Japan’s last remaining hihōkan (sex museum, literally “treasure palace”) in the faded resort town of Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture — a strange, dimly lit space of questionable morals and ...

Get a taste of Denmark in California's Solvang

Nov 22, 2014

Get a taste of Denmark in California's Solvang

by Solvej Schou

As a Southern California native with a Danish dad and the tongue-twisting Danish name “Solvej,” I’ve always been asked, somewhat cheekily, “Hey! Do you know the town Solvang?” I do, of course. Yet, as an adult, I only passed through the touristy enclave of ...

Discovery Park dazzles crowds in Tennessee

Nov 15, 2014

Discovery Park dazzles crowds in Tennessee

by Adrian Sainz

When Discovery Park of America opened on a cornfield in rural Tennessee, its founders expected the museum described as a “mini-Smithsonian” to draw about 150,000 visitors in its first year. They exceeded that goal by 120,000, with a total of 270,000 people visiting since ...

Yamadera: 1,000-step staircase to paradise

Nov 8, 2014

Yamadera: 1,000-step staircase to paradise

by Mandy Bartok

We’re only a few minutes into our climb up one of Yamagata Prefecture’s holy mountains, Mount Hojusan, and already our pace has slowed considerably. Our destination is Risshakuji Temple, more colloquially known as Yamadera (literally: “mountain temple”), a far-north outpost of Tendai Buddhism since ...

Italy's Tuscany is best savored on foot

Nov 8, 2014

Italy's Tuscany is best savored on foot

by Karen Schwartz

Walking from the towns of Buonconvento to Montalcino as part of a weeklong trek through Tuscany, I was faced with a tough decision. How many bottles of wine could I reasonably carry in my daypack? The road that led to this quandary had passed ...