Haruna adds sparkle to a seasonal getaway

Dec 14, 2013

Haruna adds sparkle to a seasonal getaway

by Wes Lang

As the brilliant red, green and white explosions reflected off the surface of the lake, I turned to my partner with two simple words: “Merry Christmas.” Our journey had begun eight hours earlier at Takasaki Station in eastern Gunma Prefecture. Alighting from the Niigata ...

Fabled strand of 500 pines

Dec 7, 2013

Fabled strand of 500 pines

by Steve John Powell

Beautiful beaches, we’ve all seen our share, right? But a beautiful beach that’s also historic and sacred? That sounds worth driving out of our way for — especially as the way takes us over a span I’ve long yearned to traverse: the Ondo Bridge, ...

Autumn escape in the home of the Heike clan

Nov 30, 2013

Autumn escape in the home of the Heike clan

by Mandy Bartok

The road has thankfully just widened — and by that I mean it’s more than 2 meters across — when we meet our first oncoming car. I’ve been dreading this moment since we turned onto Route 445, a twisting “highway” that leads up into ...

Fun for all on Tokyo's Oku-Tama wild side

Nov 16, 2013

Fun for all on Tokyo's Oku-Tama wild side

by Stephen Mansfield

Before I’d even set eyes on the river I heard a deep rumble from its bubbling gash of white and cobalt water rending apart the Tama Mountains. Officially part of Tokyo, Oku-Tama seems at a planetary distance from the metropolis of 35 million people. ...