City life: Harajuku & Togo Shrine

Harajuku fashion is always prominent in fashion magazines and videos about underground cultures. Plastic romantic, gothic lolita or glam rock, all styles have representative shops in Harajuku’s tiny alleys. The shops are mostly tiny, hidden away in basements at Takeshita street. As you move towards Urahara and Omotesando, the space opens up and stores getContinue reading “City life: Harajuku & Togo Shrine”

The golden boy and the mountain

Maybe it’s time to unbury the hatchet. Or perhaps not, since it’s standing right there, as if looking at you from the rock’s edge. Who’s the one who used to carry that hatchet, who did he fight with, and which mountain are we going to hike today? In the south part of Kanagawa lies theContinue reading “The golden boy and the mountain”

Day hike from Tokyo: The other giant Buddha

Tokyo is all fun and dandy, but have you ever wondered what is there on the other side of the pond? The pond being the Tokyo bay. Well, the other side of the bay is Chiba prefecture, home turf to farmers and fish. Luckily for us, in order to get to Chiba from Shibuya, youContinue reading “Day hike from Tokyo: The other giant Buddha”

Sengakuji and the graves of the 47 ronin

It’s a cloudy, but not yet rainy day in Tokyo. The other day, I was reading an article about the 47 ronin and realized that they are buried in Tokyo. Who are these 47 you ask? They are the reason why you know the word ‘harakiri’ and ‘samurai’, they are the ideal of the honorContinue reading “Sengakuji and the graves of the 47 ronin”

In memory of 311: The town of Yamamotocho

Last year, just before the pandemic became a thing, I had an opportunity to visit the city of Kakuda for a homestay program organized by my university. Kakuda is a small town in Miyagi prefecture, notable for being home to one of JAXA’s aerospace research and development facilities (JAXA is the Japanese NASA, Japan AerospaceContinue reading “In memory of 311: The town of Yamamotocho”

Day trip from Tokyo: Sarushima island

Today we will talk about Sarushima, an “Uninhabited island in Tokyo Bay”. As the name hints, no people live on the island, and no monkeys (Saru-shima means monkey island) for that fact. The area of the island is approximately 55.000 km, equivalent to 4 times the area of Yokohama stadium, while the maximum altitude is 40Continue reading “Day trip from Tokyo: Sarushima island”