Mount Nokogiri: a breathtaking climb to enlightenment

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It’s a moot point for those who live there that the name “Chiba” is, in many minds, synonymous with images of hot-rod gangs, peanut farms, car dealerships, pachinko emporiums, empty lots with chain-link fences and giant electric pylons marching across rice fields — a purgatorial transition between city and countryside. ...

The uplifting tones of Okinawan blues

Jan 30, 2016

The uplifting tones of Okinawan blues

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The winter vocabulary of the majority of Japan residents doesn’t include the color turquoise. Or aquamarine, azure or the somewhat intellectually pompous “cerulean.” This, however, is the palette I attempt to describe with my husband as we turn our tiny rental car onto the ...

Kyoto promoting hot springs as additional tourist attraction

Jan 30, 2016

Kyoto promoting hot springs as additional tourist attraction

Kyoto is promoting an additional attraction little known to date — onsen, or hot springs. The city of Kyoto has 15 sources of hot springs featuring hydrogen sulfide, natural radium and other ingredients, and there are a total of 22 spa resorts, according to ...

Tourism on the rise across ASEAN region

| Jan 29, 2016

Tourism on the rise across ASEAN region

ASEAN is enriched with attractive tourism destinations that include renowned resorts in breathtaking natural surroundings and historical places that are designated as World Heritage sites. Additionally, thanks to little time difference with Japan, ASEAN countries are popular destinations for Japanese tourists as one can ...

Sakura opens doors for ASEAN visitors

| Jan 29, 2016

Sakura opens doors for ASEAN visitors

Sakura House, a real estate agency specializing in providing services to foreign residents, and Sakura Hotel & Hostel, an operator of three hotels and a hostel in Tokyo, have seen a definite increase in tourists and residents coming from ASEAN member states. “Both tourists ...

Celebrating Valentine's Day in style

| Jan 28, 2016

Celebrating Valentine's Day in style

The Westin Tokyo hotel is offering a sophisticated lineup of elegant promotions for couples seeking to have a romantic and memorable Valentine’s Day celebration. French restaurant Victor’s — decorated in classic European style — will be serving a limited Valentine’s Day-themed full-course dinner to ...

Exploring Niigata's snow country

Jan 23, 2016

Exploring Niigata's snow country

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Marred though the view is with power lines and other trappings of modernity, the rainbow that appears at the far end of Tsubame-Sanjo Station seems a rather auspicious beginning. The initial impression that greeted us in front of this largely unpopular station just south ...

Step into San Francisco's lively Chinatown

Jan 23, 2016

Step into San Francisco's lively Chinatown

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The best plan for tackling San Francisco’s Chinatown is no plan at all. Simply wandering the wide streets and narrow alleys will take you where you need to go. Whether you just happen to be in town or are visiting for something specific like ...

Dotonbori: Where Osakans eat, drink and be merry

Jan 16, 2016

Dotonbori: Where Osakans eat, drink and be merry

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Comparing Osaka with almost any other Japanese city is akin to likening a bloodied steak to boiled chicken. Its people, a sassy, friendly breed, with a legendary, often ribald sense of humor, carry a swagger you don’t see elsewhere. Unlike Tokyo, where the stranger ...

Skiing in New Mexico's upgraded Taos resort

Jan 16, 2016

Skiing in New Mexico's upgraded Taos resort

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When it comes to skiing, New Mexico has long been the stepchild of sorts to its northern neighbor, Colorado, and its abundance of larger, snowier mountains and well-developed towns and resorts. Still, Taos stands alone, a legend of sorts among even the hardiest of ...