Yesterday, the state of emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted in Tokyo and its surrounding area. The state of emergency lasted 49 days from April 7th. For most of the rest of Japan, it started a week later and ended a week earlier, but regardless of where you […]
I am attracted to the old buildings in my neighborhood, particularly those with the ubiquitous vending machine standing out front. They are a nod and a wink to the days of Japan’s fading past. Some of the buildings are completely abandoned save the pleasant hum and glow of the vending […]
I road my bicycle from home to the bamboo forest, carefully avoiding the walkway along our river which on weekends has become a superhighway for stir-crazy Tokyoites to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Unfortunately if everyone goes to the same location to get fresh air, perhaps it isn’t […]
Each time I practice tea ceremony, I liken my practice to a wave breaking on a rocky shoreline. Eventually, the waves transform the sharp rock into soft velvety sand, but even after the waves have washed over the shore for decades, that transformation is difficult to discern. Meanwhile, in America, […]
Many people in the world dream of living in Tokyo. Do you have the personality type that can thrive in Tokyo?
Last summer on a writing assignment, I visited Okamoto Castle, “The Shining Crow”, known for its black exterior complemented by a set of gold-leafed koi ornaments along the roof, reflecting the rays of the setting sun. In a display by artist Kimiya Masago depicting the life of the first lord […]
The love the Japanese people have for cherry blossoms may finally be their downfall. This week as cherry blossoms reached full bloom around Tokyo, crowds of thousands gathered in parks to celebrate the symbolic coming of Spring. Even a ban on alcohol and warnings from the local government couldn’t stop […]
The dancers are fools, everyone is a fool, so why not dance? A glimpse at Japan’s Awa Odori festival.