Category Archives: Japan

Wangkou Village

It had been a long day. We’d already visited three previous villages and all had been crowded, touristy, cleaned up and some partially rebuilt. I was not hopeful that the last village – Wangkou – would be any different. But … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | Leave a comment

10 days in a Chinese ink painting

Our 10-day trip to China was mostly rained out. But for once, boy were we glad it rained. Grey skies almost 80% of the time, with rain and mist and fog, this would have been a dampener on any holiday … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 1 Comment

Daibutsu at Kamakura

A tourist-show, a legend told, A rusting bulk of bronze and gold, So much, and scarce so much, ye hold The meaning of Kamakura? – Rudyard Kipling, Buddha at Kamakura Neither tsunami nor earthquake could put a dent in the … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bessho Onsen

If you asked me where my deep affinity for all things Japanese came from, I guess it must started with┬áthose calendars. As a child, I was always drawn to the beauty of the Japanese garden scenery reflected in the glossy … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 1 Comment

Nagano’s Path to the Pure Land

In Nagano, all paths lead to Zenkoji. Possibly one of the most important and influential Buddhist centres of worship in Japan and a pilgrimage site, Zenkoji has had a long and important history in Nagano. In fact, with Zenkoji being … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Togakushi: Soba, Ninjas and Shrines

As with any pilgrimage, it is often the journey that is just as, if not more important than the destination. In the magnificent tree-lined path leading to the innermost sanctuary of one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, there is time … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

In the shadow of Beijing’s towers

Before the skyscrapers on the outer ring roads sprang up, in the heart of the inner city, the tallest buildings around Beijing’s hutongs were the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. These are no tall, spindly needles but short fat hulks … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | Leave a comment