No16 [Travel] Welcome to Tokyo-upon-Avon

If you feel like wallowing in one of the capital’s 700 thermal baths, here are three top places to visit. On the morning of the 1st of September 1923, there were more than 2,000 sento in Tokyo. Just two days later only 400 were still standing following the biggest earthquake to ever hit the city. [...]

No15 [Travel] Extraordinary Dazaifu

Just twenty minutes from Fukuoka, this beautiful sanctuary is the result of a most fantastic story. The story of this shrine is one of the most extraordinary. It concerns a gifted child who became an outstanding scholar, poet and statesman. It also involves political skullduggery, tragedy, magical r[...]

No14 [Travel] Her majesty Mount Fuji

Perhaps the most widely recognised symbol of Japan that there is, the Mount Fuji volcano has been dormant since 1707 and is now a UNESCO registered world heritage site. Lets take a tour. On June the 22nd last year, most Japanese daily newspapers published a special edition to announce UNESCO’s dec[...]

No13 [Travel] High up on the sacred mountain

Designated as a Unesco World Heritage site in 2004, Mount Koya, an important Buddhist shrine, holds many surprises. This place is often neglected by foreign tourists who prefer to visit Kyoto or Nara. Yet Mount Koya, or Koya-san to the iniated, is an amazing location that deserves a visit. Getting t[...]

No12 [Travel] Kawagoe, a journey through time

Less than an hour away from the capital, a city situated in the heart of Saitama prefecture will take you back in time 200 years. It’s a well-known fact that public transport is close to perfect in Japan. So much so that it’s better to catch the train to travel to Kawagoe, in the middle of Saita[...]

No11 [Travel] The art of the Inland Sea

The second Setouchi Triennial takes place this year. It involves twelve islands and two ports. To look at a Japanese landscape is, ofetn, to think of art. To look over the middle Inland Sea is, for me, to think of the rock garden at the Ryoan-ji in Kyoto – a rectangle of white sand from which [...]

No10 [Travel] A Tramway Named Desire

A unique survivor of Tokyo’s old tram network, the Arakawa line has a few beautiful surprises in store for eager visitors. I’ve always had an obsession with trams. Maybe it’s because I love trains as well and trams look like trains that happen to criss-cross our cities. So I was somewhat disap[...]

No9 [Travel] Onomichi, from Ozu to Wenders

For ages, this quiet port city situated by the Inland Sea has attracted appreciators of tranquility and good food. The town of Onomichi, on the Seto Inland Sea Coast, is a living monument to literature. Its great beauty has been inspiring writers and artists for centuries. It was even mentioned in t[...]

No8 [Travel] Amakusa, welcome to paradise

A few kilometres southwest of Kumamoto, the Amakusa archipelago is an astonishing place full of charm. Majestic but not overpowering, Matsushima Bridge is a work of art that you cross before getting to the heavenly Amakusa islands, the two main ones being Amakusa Kamishima and Amakusa Shimoshima. T[...]

No7 [Travel] Enjoy travelling through books in Jimbocho

There are many bookshops in this area situated in the heart of the capital, where Chinese revolutionaries used to come a century ago to form their plans. Along the docks of the Seine in Paris, tourists often stop and leaf through the second-hand books on sale. The booksellers’ lack of courtesy is [...]