Monthly Archives: May 2012

Kiyomizudera: Saved by the rain

“After all we are in Kiyomizudera, the temple of pure water.  In a way, this torrential rain could not be more appropriate.” Advertisements

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Nagano: Raised under an umbrella

Inheriting a job is easier for some than others.  My Dad was an accountant; my grandfathers were a printer and a dairy farmer.  As a tour leader in Japan, I can hardly say I have followed in their footsteps.  A good job … Continue reading

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The fish, you know, THE FISH!!!!!!

“There is a fish, isn`t there Tom? “Yes Tom, tell us about the fish?” “The fish?  What fish?” “Oh, you know.  The famous fish.  The fish that kills you.  The puffer fish.” The puffer fish, or fugu to give it its … Continue reading

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Fickle friends

Vending machines have taken over Japan.  About 6 million of them stand bored on street corners, station platforms and even on top of Mount Fuji.  6 million machines.  That is about one for every 20 people, or about two for each schoolroom.  Looking back, … Continue reading

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Searching for shelter

The sky was grey and the rain torrential.  In the small coastal town of Oga, the station kiosk was closed for lunch.  I was stuck until a shy man at the tourist information lent me his brand new umbrella.   Clutching it grimly, I climbed the hill to … Continue reading

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No longer alone in Fukaura

“Japan is a land that preeminently knows how to make one feel alone,” wrote writer and long-term Tokyo resident Donald Richie.   If this is true, Japan is also a master at making you feel wanted and welcome.   When rejection comes, it hurts because … Continue reading

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Genghis Khan does not make reservations

“Yes, we have a spare room.  Without meals, it will be 4,500 yen.” “Ok, I`ll take it.” Perfect, I thought.  The ryokan was right by the Japan Sea in Fukaura, a beautiful little fishing port lying at the foot of the World Heritage … Continue reading

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