| Feb 11, 2002

Cold lands but warm hearts


The literally hang out the flags for visitors to the small town of Nishikawa in the snowy foothills of Yamagata's Dewa Sanzan mountains. A large British Union Jack was crossed with a Japanese Hinomaru over the entrance to Tamaki, a riverside restaurant famous for ...

| Oct 8, 2001

Adventures in wine country


For many years, Hakushu village, tucked away in Yamanashi Prefecture, was the venue for a colorful international festival featuring avant-garde performances by musicians, dancers and other artists. That, sadly, no longer takes place, but vestiges of the event remain. Drawn to the beauty of the ...

| Sep 15, 1999

Scarecrows are sprouting in Shitamachi


Over one hundred jauntily clad figures line the street where the Koto Ward Office once stood. Ever since the ward office moved to more spacious quarters elsewhere, the local merchants association has worked hard to keep pedestrian traffic heavy along this venerable shopping street. The ...

| Mar 10, 1999

The seductive stench of Yurakucho


"Shall We Meet in Yurakucho (Yurakucho de Aimasho)" was the title of a 1958 megahit number, sung by the king of Japanese blues, Frank Nagai. As Frank described it, Yurakucho was always misty with fog and the collective sighs of hundreds of lovers, the ...