Takachiho: Gods and gorges in divine Miyazaki

May 10, 2014

Takachiho: Gods and gorges in divine Miyazaki

by Mandy Bartok

The already cloudy sky darkens perceptibly as our car descends into Takachiho Gorge. This area of extreme scenic beauty — carved out of the earth by lava flow from Kyushu’s volatile Mount Aso and further eroded by local rivers such as the Gokase — ...

Ako: trailing the ghosts of Japan's greatest vendetta

May 3, 2014

Ako: trailing the ghosts of Japan's greatest vendetta

by Alon Adika

By noon of March 14, 1701, Edo was abuzz with rumors about what had happened earlier, in the “Great Pine Corridor” of the shogun’s castle. Officials posted wooden signs around the city stating that Asano Naganori, lord of Ako Domain, had attacked and wounded ...

Spring greening in Koganei

| Apr 26, 2014

Spring greening in Koganei

by Kit Nagamura

It’s time to bask in sunshine, birdsong, and blossom-filled breezes. Koganei Park, situated at the center of the Tokyo metropolis, looks like the ideal spot for such a “spring-gasm.” The JR Chuo express train whisks me from Yotsuya to Musashi-Koganei in less than 30 ...

Premium prime rib; sweet treat; flower power

| Apr 24, 2014

Premium prime rib; sweet treat; flower power

Premium prime rib The Los Angeles-based prime rib specialty restaurant, Lawry’s The Prime Rib Tokyo, formerly located in Akasaka, reopened in Ebisu on April 20. The interior was conceived by renowned designers Jumpei Yamagiwa and David Singer, who have created a warm and luxurious ...

Koza: the carbonized city

Apr 19, 2014

Koza: the carbonized city

by Stephen Mansfield

My first glimpse of Koza was a burned out car on a monochrome print I picked up at a recycle shop in Naha. I would see the image again when I visited the history section of the Okinawa City Hall, where there was a ...

Dresden cashes in on German unification

Apr 19, 2014

Dresden cashes in on German unification

by Michael Roddy

American novelist Kurt Vonnegut, a prisoner of war in Dresden during World War II, has a scene in “Slaughterhouse Five” where time-traveling hero Billy Pilgrim sees the city’s firebombing in reverse, with phosphorous bombs sucked back into warplanes. Today, visitors to the German city ...