japan by rail

No44 [Book] The Bible for train travel in japan

Nothing beats traveling around Japan by train, and there’s nothing better than a good guidebook to avoid getting lost. For many of the tourists who are increasingly visiting Japan, one of the biggest fears is being unable to travel around due to difficulty with the language or the complexity of th[...]

No43 [Travel] Hachijo, Pearl of the Pacific

Located to the south of Tokyo, this volcanic island excites the curiosity of visitors with its many cultural and maritime treasures. All of a sudden, our boat’s whistle sounds. Passengers stand up and hurry to put away their belongings before heading to the stairs to disembark. The long night sinc[...]

No42 [Taste] Nara and Kyoto, food and drink (2/2)

The two ancient imperial cities are full of history and have a long tradition of fine cuisine. Among the many trains circulating on the busy Kintetsu Nara line linking the two ancient imperial capitals is the Shimakaze, a different kind of train that offers passengers extraordinary levels of comfort[...]

No41 [Travel] Nara and Kyoto, food and drink (1/2)

Japan’s two ancient imperial cities are full of history, and have a long tradition of fine cuisine. Kyoto and Nara are two cities that are almost obligatory destinations for visitors to Japan. Both ancient imperial capitals are full of hidden treasures, and the charms of the numerous important[...]

No40 [Travel] On Iwakuni’s bridge

Every year, 40,000 people attend a celebration unlike any other, in an amazing setting. Under the Kintai bridge, flat-bottomed wooden boats carry passengers through the water, just as they used to centuries ago before the general population was allowed to cross over its span. One long vessel glides [...]

No39 [Travel] Okinawa – A relaxing time in Taketomi

Situated in the extreme south of Japan, this little island has found a way to control the growth of its tourism successfully. A glimpse of paradise is the first impression you get when you set foot on Okinawan soil, especially if your first point of contact is Ishigaki, at the southern tip of the Ry[...]

No38 [Travel] Samurai spirit, are you there?

Just like the Siena Palio, Fukushima prefecture’s Soma Nomaoi is an event where riders can represent their region with pride. The sun is rising over the Nakamura Shrine and Ito Kazuhiko is hard at work in the stables where he is preparing his horse for the annual Soma Nomaoi races. With velvet[...]

No37 [Travel] The divine at Togouchi

There is an ancient ritual held in the mountains surrounding Hiroshima that is well worth seeing. Yabusame (horseback archery) originated in the 6th century as a ritual for warriors to pray for health and good fortune. It was originally performed only within shrine precincts and during the Kamakura [...]

No36 [Travel] Tomioka, a taste of France

Japan owes a Frenchman for its its first modern silk mill, now listed as a world heritage site. While their economy might not be doing too well, the Japanese are taking great pleasure in rediscovering their industrial heritage. After having neglected this aspect of their history somewhat, they have [...]

No35 [Travel] The hidden face of Yokohama

The second largest city in Japan is known for its harbour and Chinese quarter. Let’s discover its hidden treasures. Ten years ago I discovered the manga writer Taniguchi Jiro thanks to a work of his called “Aruku Hito” (Translated into French and English as “L’Homme qui Marche” and [...]