It is still very hot on this November day. Some of my friends living in Saitama, the large prefecture north of Tokyo, have invited me to come and visit them in their city of Kawaguchi for a matsuri, a Japanese traditional festival. The event is rooted in religion linked to [...]
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I have often followed the roads of tea during my stays in Japan. My first visit was in Shizuoka, Japan’s main tea production and transformation area — 70% of Japanese teas are processed in Shizuoka — beautifully settled around Mount Fuji in the center of Honshû island. I was welcomed [...]
For travelers looking for a culturally immersive escape, Japan is full of experiences. And in 2013, the country will offer even more. Easier Access A new airport is opening in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture composed of hundreds of Ryuku islands. Ishigaki Island, the second-largest island in the Yaeyama group, is [...]
“It’s about welcoming the guest and showing them the beauty of making the tea.” I’m in Tokyo at a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at Happo-En, meaning “Garden of Eight Views,” with Shinji Nohara, a local Tokyo guide. He’s translating for me as Minako, the Teishu, or woman leading the ceremony, [...]
Image via shirleybmz Sweat trickles down my neck and runs down the small of my back as I desperately try to shake my loose t-shirt and create a breeze. It doesn’t help that it’s unacceptable in Thailand – especially in a temple – to show your shoulders or knees. I [...]