Tag Archives: Writing

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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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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Zenkoji Temple in Nagano

The stereotype of Japanese tourists abroad is that they’re constantly taking pictures, frantically shooting their cameras in every direction at every little feature of life in the foreign country they’re visiting. But as soon as I arrive in Japan, I … Continue reading

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Sunny Day In Nagano

Morning breaks, and even before I open my eyes, the joyful song of the birds from outside tells me it’s a sunny day. I roll out of the futon, put on the appropriate pair of slippers and walk across the … Continue reading

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Rainy Day In Nagano

It’s only after some time looking at the little garden feature of trees, rocks, plants, flowers and bushes do I realize what it actually is. It’s a border, separating the Kobayashi family from the neighbouring Miki family. There are many … Continue reading

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Arriving In Nagano

By the time we arrive in Nagano, its twilight and as we get off the bus, we notice a big drop in the temperature compared to Tokyo. We gather our bags at the bus stop and then Sachiko goes into … Continue reading

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How To Behave In An Onsen

We’re on the way to Nagano, a mountainous prefecture in central Japan sometimes referred to as the Japanese Alps. In 1998 it had a moment in the international spotlight when it hosted the Winter Olympics games. The prefecture is also … Continue reading

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The High Life

The highlight of the day, quite literally, was our ascent to the top floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which gave us a panoramic view of Tokyo city: the largest metropolitan conglomeration in the world. We had spent the … Continue reading

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Turning Off The Lights In The Red Light District

“It is a fact that fish will not live where the water is too clear. But if there is duckweed or something, the fish will hide under its shadow and thrive. Thus, the lower classes will live in tranquility if … Continue reading

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Walkabout In Tokyo

We leave Tsukiji fish market with no plan, just idling along. After a desultory ramble that ends up at a pay-to-enter park, we decide to walk across town, to the Imperial Palace and to the green space and free park … Continue reading

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