Dead reckoning in the haunts of Honancho

| Oct 25, 2014

Dead reckoning in the haunts of Honancho

by Kit Nagamura

Halloween in Tokyo rarely gets scarier than the price of imported pumpkins, but I’ve heard that Honancho — a terminal station on the Marunouchi subway line — hosts an uber-spooky obakeyashiki (ghost house). Navigating the station’s dank, barely-lit stairwell at Exit 2, I’m already ...

Not ducking tradition in Higashi-Ueno

| Jun 28, 2014

Not ducking tradition in Higashi-Ueno

by Kit Nagamura

With its lotus-laden Shinobazu pond, park grounds, and national museums, the Ueno area in Tokyo draws millions of visitors a year. Nearby Higashi-Ueno (Eastern Ueno), however, seems to be another world altogether. When I exit Shin-Okachimachi station, under skies portending summer heat, this low-lying ...

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 ...

Solitude is where you find it

| Sep 28, 2013

Solitude is where you find it

by Kit Nagamura

Under cartoon-blue skies washed by early-autumn typhoons, I stand at Sendaizaka-ue (summit of Sendaizaka Slope) in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. Sendaizaka was named for daimyo lords from Edo Period (1603-1867) Sendai, now in Miyagi Prefecture, who maintained a yashiki (suburban home) on the slope that ...