Category Archives: Nagano

Togakushi Shrine

To get up the mountain to where the upper Togakushi Shrine is located, you start by going down. This gentle descent after lunch makes for a pleasing start. We pass under a large Torii gate and after a few minutes walking, … Continue reading

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I’m Going To Ninja College!

Me: “That’s it, you people have stood in my way long enough. I’m going to ninja college!” [I leave] Haruo: “I don’t think any of us expected him to say that.” Okay, okay the conversation didn’t happen exactly like that. … Continue reading

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Matsumoto

And without even saying a word, I have the full attention and co-operation of ten Japanese girls, all smiles and peace-signs. “Thank you!” they call out. I thank them in return, bow, and walk away. A very short, but intriguing … Continue reading

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Morning in Tsumago

According to the United Nations, 30% of the world’s fresh fish is eaten in Japan; and this morning, I’m face to face with another statistic. It’s just what the doctor ordered though. After the turbulent visitation of the night before the … Continue reading

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A Night In Tsumago

If you happened to live in Tokyo over three-hundred years ago, it’s possible that the Japanese Emperor would have summoned you to his court in faraway Kyoto. If this happened, your only choice would have been, which of the two … Continue reading

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Morning Walk In Kamikōchi

We waken before seven. The promise of the starry night sky has been fulfilled, the long black veil of the shivering night has floated away and we emerge from our cabin, blinking in the soft morning light. The temperatures are … Continue reading

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Planet of the Snow Monkeys

Another morning in Japan, another whiskey hangover. The cure is a full Kobayashi breakfast (miso soup, sticky rice, nori seaweed, tofu, pickled vegetables, grilled salmon, noodles, spring onions, an omelet, satoimo potatoes and green tea) and as it gets to … Continue reading

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