Kofu: the mountain fortress of warlord Takeda Shingen

Nov 5, 2016

Kofu: the mountain fortress of warlord Takeda Shingen

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In Akira Kurosawa’s classic 1980 film “Kagemusha” (“Shadow Warrior”), the 16th-century daimyo Takeda Shingen is mortally wounded by a sniper after being lured by the sound of a flute during a castle siege. Takeda’s clan know that rival warlords Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu ...

Planning a trip to Nashville with your mom

Nov 5, 2016

Planning a trip to Nashville with your mom

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I’ve always wanted to have a mini-reunion in Nashville with my college girlfriends. I imagined hanging out at honky-tonk bars like the famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, listening to country music and meandering along Music Row. Instead, I found myself in Tennessee’s capital city with ...

Halloween treat: a night at Dracula's castle in Transylvania

Oct 18, 2016

Halloween treat: a night at Dracula's castle in Transylvania

Dracula’s castle will have overnight guests on Halloween, marking the first time since 1948 that anyone has slept in the Transylvanian fortress. The site’s actual name is Bran Castle, and two people will get to sleep there Oct. 31 thanks to a promotion by ...

Salt-stained and steamy: life in Izu's lush torrid zone

Oct 15, 2016

Salt-stained and steamy: life in Izu's lush torrid zone

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The Izu Peninsula, just two hours from Tokyo by train, is cherished for the slightly higher temperatures it enjoys compared to the capital. Mild winters and picturesque vacation homes attract the wealthy, brightly lit sanatoriums and retirement complexes draw the elderly, and white-sand beaches ...