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Davey Young
For Davey Young's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Oct 26, 2018
Unveiling Kinosaki Onsen's Heian Period treasure
With a lively local culture and seven public baths spread out between Kinosaki Onsen Station and the base of Mount Daishi, Kinosaki warrants a full weekend to unwind.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Aug 31, 2018
The Tango Peninsula: A grand day out for the geologically inclined
The remote Tango Peninsula might be off the typical traveler's itinerary for Kyoto Prefecture, but its scenic views, unique geological formations and stunning coastline make this 'Kyoto by the Sea' a worthwhile trip.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jan 27, 2018
Okinawa soba: Noodle of the island king still popular today
Okinawa soba: Noodle of the island king still popular today
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Oct 7, 2017
Hokkaido's Hakodate is heaven for gourmands of all stripes
Hakodate occupies a unique place on the Japanese landscape, both literally and gastronomically speaking.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Sep 15, 2017
Views both old and new of Aomori's Tsugaru
Cut off by the Ou Mountains to the south and far removed from any center of power, Aomori Prefecture's remote Tsugaru Peninsula was largely left to its own devices until the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573-1603).
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 3, 2017
Tokyo Beer Week underway with events across Tokyo and Kanagawa
Behind the usual assortment of fresh produce and their derivative goods at the UNU Farmers' Market in Aoyama last weekend, Tokyo Beer Week 2017, which runs through June 11, was quietly kicking off by offering nearly four dozen taps of craft beer from in and outside of Japan. This year's event spans venues in Tokyo and Kanagawa and is the biggest incarnation yet.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Feb 24, 2017
Koenji's alehouses and brewpubs put the craft back in beer
Often touted as Tokyo's apex of cool, Koenji is a maze of narrow mixed-use streets, where the city's trendsetters, en route to hip cafes, cross paths with pensioners browsing cheap vegetables and various knickknacks.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Jan 27, 2017
Finding craft beer in the shadow of Tokyo's high-rise offices
For the first few days of each year, Tokyo is relatively quiet. Businesses are shuttered for the New Year's holiday, and many of the city's inhabitants retreat to family homes in the countryside to unwind with loved ones. Neighborhoods that are typically crowded with office workers, such as Yaesu, east of Tokyo Station, become ghost towns. However, it isn't long before workers return to their daily grinds — and watering holes. In Yaesu, bars are plentiful, including conventional standing bars and traditional izakaya taverns. But I'm not here for the conventional and traditional; I'm looking for Yaesu's best craft beer bars.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Dec 23, 2016
Sugar, spice and all things nice in Roppongi's craft beer bars
Depending on who you ask, Roppongi is either Tokyo's most sophisticated neighborhood or its seediest. Yet everyone can agree it's one of the city's most international. Each night, expats, emigres and immigrants wend their way through a landscape of restaurants, hostess bars, art galleries and nightclubs. Roppongi is a place of often garish contours and contrasts, its visible surface masking secrets at turns mundane and outlandish. There's a place here for anyone and everyone to while away the hours until dawn. And when it comes to craft beer bars, Roppongi does not run short.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Nov 25, 2016
A journey to the center of Tokyo's crowded craft beer scene
It may be located in the center of Tokyo but people always seem to be passing through Kanda on their way to someplace else: north to Akihabara, east to Asakusa, south to Tokyo Station or west to the Imperial Palace. This liminal neighborhood can feel like a no man's land of offices, banal apartments and elevated train tracks, but it is not without its charms. Off the street, many Tokyoites find refuge in its pachinko parlors, cramped izakaya taverns and, unexpectedly, craft beer bars.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Oct 21, 2016
Cozy bars and complex brews on Shibuya's busy backstreets
A short distance from Shibuya's madding crowds is Craftheads, a veteran bar in Tokyo's craft beer scene. I drift into this basement bar, grab a seat and reach for the menu before the masses arrive. I find a short roster of stalwart Japanese beers overshadowed by a catalog of American ales that are hard to find in Japan. The bottle menu in particular reads like a beer geek's Christmas list — including brews from Lost Abbey, The Bruery, Founders and AleSmith but, with prices exceeding ¥4,000, I opt for a more reasonable ¥1,200 bottle of Alpha King from Three Floyds in Indiana. This pale ale packs an initial punch with its caramel malts and grapefruit bitterness, but that soon gives way to a minty, astringent finish — delicious. Reaching the bottom of my bottle, I head for somewhere a little cozier.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Sep 23, 2016
Craft beer in Shinjuku: Finding gruit and gueze among the glitz and grime
Shinjuku is, in many ways, the center of Japan. It's the seat of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, home to the busiest train station in the world and has been immortalized countless times in film and literature. For many first-timers, a night in this frenetic Tokyo neighborhood means retracing Bill Murray's steps in "Lost in Translation" to drink at the Park Hyatt or exploring gritty microbars in the Golden Gai entertainment district. But in recent years options have expanded: drinking establishments are catering to a newer breed of drinker.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Sep 16, 2016
Hakata, Nagahama, Kurume: A guide to Fukuoka's best ramen styles
Fukuoka was named the world's seventh most-livable city by Monocle magazine this year for its eco- and business friendly initiatives — but its status as a ramen mecca couldn't have hurt. Within Japan, Fukuoka is known, perhaps more than anything else, for tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen, thanks in part to local ramen giants Ippudo and Ichiran. Both of these mega-chains make Hakata-style ramen: tonkotsu broth cooked at a rolling boil and served with thin, sturdy noodles. Thanks largely to the success of Ippudo and Ichiran, this basic style — named for the Hakata neighborhood where it was born — has become synonymous with tonkotsu ramen itself. Hakata ramen may loom large in Fukuoka, but other local styles still shine in its shadow.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Aug 26, 2016
Ikebukuro's side streets offer up some craft beer gems
Often disparaged as little more than the gateway to Tokyo's northwestern suburbs, the area of Ikebukuro is still shaking off a reputation for delinquency that it got 16 years ago from the TBS drama "Ikebukuro West Gate Park."
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Jul 22, 2016
Heady craft beer in Tokyo's 'Little Paris'
French accordion music is floating out from lamp-post speakers as people crowd into the narrow strips of shade on either side of a street in Tokyo's Kagurazaka neighborhood. Long a cultural center, the gentle slope on which the neighborhood now stands once ended at the moat around Edo Castle. Kagurazaka is Tokyo's "Little Paris," with a high concentration of French restaurants, shops and expatriates.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NEIGHBORHOOD HOP SPORTS
Jun 24, 2016
Finding craft beer among the young tribes of Harajuku
Craft beer has come a long way in Tokyo. Twenty years ago, the market was mostly made up of generic lagers produced by major brewers such as Kirin and Asahi. Brewing laws prevented small players from entering the fray, and regulators were skeptical there would be a market for craft beer. Popeye, a bar in eastern Tokyo's Ryogoku neighborhood, was the first to prove them wrong when it began serving Echigo Beer in 1995. Following Popeye's lead, specialty bars began bubbling up all across the city, serving an ever-expanding array of ales and lagers concocted by small-scale breweries across the country and the world.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jan 9, 2016
The heights and falls of Miyajima Island
My alarm sounded at 6:45 a.m., but I quickly silenced it and rolled over in my futon. I enjoyed a fleeting moment of quietude before the thrumming of rubber soles on pavement and accompanying excited voices crescendoed, a brief multilingual hubbub that then faded away for a minute or two before rising up again. It was starting.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Aug 15, 2015
Dewa Sanzan: The arduous journey from ascetic to aesthetic
The traditional pilgrimage to Dewa Sanzan, or the Three Mountains of Dewa, begins with the smallest and northernmost Mount Haguro. The plaque at the beginning of the path through Zuishin Gate tells of 33 carvings of "gourds, sake cups and the like" scattered along the 2,446 steps to the top of the mountain, and that whoever can find all of them will have their dreams come true.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Apr 4, 2015
Bouldering, a remedy to climbing the walls
I emerged from Mitake Station, on the Ome Line, just after 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning amid a throng of day-tripping hikers easily identifiable by their heavy boots, seam-busting backpacks and seemingly standard issue trekking poles.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Feb 28, 2015
A winter world of monkeys and men
My overnight bus from Ikebukuro, Tokyo, packed full of bleary-eyed college students on holiday, rolled into Shiga Kogen around dawn and began making stops along the belt of 21 interconnected ski resorts that make up Japan's largest ski area.

Longform

Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?