Celebrate Christmas in style

| Dec 8, 2016

Celebrate Christmas in style

This winter, the Hyatt Regency is offering the “Luxury Christmas Spa Pair Package” through Dec. 25. Guests are given three luxurious opportunities under the plan priced at ¥150,000 for two (including tax and service charge). First is a heavenly 120-minute spa treatment at “Spa ...

Graves and gods of Otsuka

| Nov 26, 2016

Graves and gods of Otsuka

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It’s a bright fall morning when I return to Gokokuji Temple, an Important Cultural Property in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. Exiting Gokokuji Station, it only takes me a few minutes to find the two monks who promised to help me when I visited here earlier: ...

Arlington cemetery offers a history beyond war

Nov 26, 2016

Arlington cemetery offers a history beyond war

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Arlington National Cemetery, final resting place for thousands of American soldiers and others who have served and sacrificed, isn’t just about the history of war. Yes, the rows and rows of white headstones tell war stories across the generations, honoring young soldiers killed in ...

An eerie calm on the dark side of Shibuya

| Nov 19, 2016

An eerie calm on the dark side of Shibuya

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There are many versions of Shibuya. There is one that you see in tourist guides of crowded streets, and another that’s less photographed: for every 10,000 photos of the Shibuya’s famous scramble there are only a handful showing someone walking empty streets. I remember ...

Bora Bora isn't just a trip for celebrities

Nov 19, 2016

Bora Bora isn't just a trip for celebrities

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Somehow I convinced my husband that the fifth wedding anniversary is the Tahitian anniversary. The traditional gift, actually, is wood. For years, I had dreamed of going to Bora Bora in French Polynesia. The lagoon’s glimmering turquoise, jade and cobalt blue waters, the overwater ...

A new luxury hotel — in Fukushima?

Nov 12, 2016

A new luxury hotel — in Fukushima?

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On March 11, 2011, the residents of Fukushima Prefecture felt the earth shake as a massive quake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan. But few could have predicted the explosions that would later follow or that the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 ...

Good times await travelers in Edinburgh

Nov 12, 2016

Good times await travelers in Edinburgh

Rain is pelting the black bulk of Edinburgh Castle brooding over the city, but inside Fingers Piano Bar on Frederick Street, it’s warm and dry as I dance with a throng of cheerful Scots, all of us lustily belting out the chorus of “Sweet ...

Cakes offer Christmas cheer

| Nov 10, 2016

Cakes offer Christmas cheer

The Hyatt Regency Tokyo is offering seven varieties of the hotel’s original Christmas cakes that have always captured the hearts of many. The new creation for 2016 by Koichi Sato, the pastry and bakery chef, is the 40 cm-high Christmas tree (¥17,000 for one ...