No5 [Travel] When Kyoto goes up in flames…

The ancient imperial capital welcomes visitors all year around, but autumn is the best time of year to visit, and this is why… “I was there, standing near the “water mirror”, and the other side was bathed in light under the setting sun. The fishing pavilion on the left was half hidden. The p[...]

No4 [Travel] So close, yet so different from Tokyo

Just an hour away from the capital, Kamakura is so full of charm that you will forget how close you are to a big city. Leaving Tokyo at this time of the year, with its stifling heat, is rather a good idea. Even more so now, since the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power station means that air co[...]

No3 [Travel] Monsters and all that

Sakaiminato is the birthplace of mangaka Mizuki Shigeru, a charming port city that pays tribute to his comic strip characters. Since the end of March there has been a certain soap opera broadcast on Japan’s NHK at 8am that has achieved a passionate following. “Gegege no nyobo” is an adaptation[...]

No2 [Travel] Hiraizumi’s secrets

Japan’s former cultural and intellectual centre, in the north east of the country, makes a beautiful stop off the beaten track. Iwate’s main city was hit by last year’s earthquake and tsunami. The effects of the disaster are still very obvious along the Pacific coast, but many inland areas wer[...]

No1 [Travel] Miyajima, more than just a cliché

Out at large from Hiroshima, a site registered as UNESCO World Heritage will make you picture-crazy. By choosing to write about Miyajima in the main column, the next question is what picture to choose for the opening. The island facing Hiroshima is so beautiful that the choice was far from easy. Eve[...]