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Visiting Gunkanjima: a Bond Villain’s Lair in Japan

The Japanese call it Gunkanjima. But Bond knew it as the base camp for Silva, […]

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7 Things To Do With A Volcano – Visit Volcanoes in Japan

Japan is a land of volcanoes. Around 200 in fact. They hubble and bubble and […]

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Nagasaki at night

“There Was A Large Light” – A Nagasaki Survivor Speaks

There was a large light. I fell. And then no-one came to rescue us. Nagasaki, […]

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And From The Fire…Kyushu, Japan

Amid the smoke, the fire, and the ferocious turquoise bubbles in this part of Kyushu, […]

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Igloo festivals last for such a short time

An Igloo Festival in Japan

Kamakura. It’s one of those words I’d never heard until I went to Yokote in north Japan.

Snow was falling as I arrived in the city, 260 miles from Tokyo. Softly at first, like…

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Book tower in Tokyo

The Beauty of Ignorance: When It’s Better Not to Know

Dusty, ink-filled pages bound together and towering upwards from the street. Shelves spilling knowledge like Waterloo Station churns out commuters at six o’clock before Saturday. Paperbacks, like people, squeezed…

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Asukasa golden dragon

Swastikas & Smoke: Sensoji in Japan

I love this photo. I love the smoke, I love the skin creases…

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A Quiet, Snowy Village in Japan

Ouchijuku Village, Japan For some reason, these photos look calm. Yet in reality, a blizzard […]

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Enburi ribbons at a winter festival

Hot Octopus & Straw Shoes: Winter Festivals in Japan

Whenever I feel the cold breath of winter on my neck as autumn runs out of time, my tastebuds turn to octopus, the signature dish at…

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Hot Sizzle & Sake: Yaketori in Tokyo

Photos of a sizzling Yaketori bar in Tokyo for Photo Friday. Mmmm….

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Hotel Niwa - Inside Room

Bamboo & Clear Water in Tokyo’s Concrete Jungle

Tokyo’s a crowded, industrial place, particularly around Suidobashi station. Yet Hotel Niwa resists the greyness by bringing the essence of a traditional Japanese Ryokan into this thoroughly modern hotel.

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The Most Peaceful Place in the World: Hiroshima

People often describe the view from Miyajima Island as one of the most beautiful in

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Photo of Matsushima Bay in Sendai Area, Japan

Sendai Before the Earthquake

Today I turned on my computer as usual, ready to upload images for another Photo Friday post. Then I saw the news: earthquake in Sendai, tsunami to follow.

These images…

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Zao Snow Monsters Closeup in Yamagata, Tohoku, Japan

Snow Monsters in Zao – The Secret Revealed

I’m thousands of miles from home, suspended in the night sky of Yamagata, watching the snow fall and fall. In Europe, snow covers pine trees evenly, as though nature took a stash of icing sugar and ran it through a tightly meshed sieve. Here in Japan…

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Zao Snow Monsters stretching over hill, Yamagata, Japan, Zao Onsen Resort

Snow Monsters in Zao – A Volcano’s Secret

A legend. A volcano. A full moon and swirling, falling snow. The cable car creaks through the night sky to reach the peak of the Zao volcano in the snowy

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kayaking in alaska - scarlet kayak paddle in southeast alaska innersea discovery cruises

Kayaking in Alaska – Alone in the Wild

Finally, I stop. My heartbeat reels like a dizzy child who’s been spinning around on the spot, my lungs test their boundaries and my soul smiles with joy. This must be what they mean by a natural high.

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Best Inspirational Cultural Travel & Adventure - Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers: Clunky cliche or the point of it all?

I’m far from the first to string those four words together. Legendary journalist Kate Adie looped them in a line to describe her autobiography; Vivien Leigh sighed them in A Streetcar Named Desire. Writing courses rail against them and editors hang their heads and demand something fresh.

I’ve even…

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Okinawa Island Photos

Perhaps there’s a danger precisely because these islands have so much going on, that I’ll miss the obvious part: the Okinawa Islands are beautiful. To hell with it: turquoise water, blue sky, white sand, the holy-trinity-of-cliche beautiful…

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Featured Okinawa Ice Cream from Purple Potato in Japan

Seaweed, Sugar & Living Forever: Food in Okinawa

Have Japan’s Okinawa Islands found the secret to a long and healthy life?

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An Unusual Journey in Japan’s Okinawa Islands: Island-Hopping By Water Buffalo

When the US occupied the Okinawa islands in southwest Japan, they switched the rules of the road to make everyone drive on the right. These remote Yaeyama islanders did what they had always done: they let the water buffalo choose the route.

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