Filed under History

Japan 2015: Hiroshima

Japan 2015: Hiroshima

Moving on from Matsuyama and back to the mainland, on Sunday 13th December I took the ferry to Hiroshima (広島), one of my favourite cities in Japan. I don’t know what it is about Hiroshima, and I’ve only been there a few times before, but I absolutely love it. It’s a well-designed city, and I like … Continue reading

Japan 2014: Matsushima

Japan 2014: Matsushima

In my last post I wrote about a morning visit to Shiogama (塩釜), and left you waiting for me to move on to Matsushima (松島). So, here goes! After visiting Shiogama Shrine, I made my way back to Hon-Shiogama Station and waited for the next sightseeing boat to Matsushima. It was a dull day, and … Continue reading

Japan 2014: My Tale of Tono

Japan 2014: My Tale of Tono

昔々あるところに Mukashi mukashi, aru tokoro ni… Once upon a time, in a certain place… I woke up in a land full of fairytales – Tono (遠野) in Iwate Prefecture. My guide, Matsumoto-san, came to pick me up from my hotel around 10:30am, and she brought with her a fantastic taxi driver, Suzuki-san, who was tasked with … Continue reading

Japan 2014: Naruko Onsen (Part 2)

Japan 2014: Naruko Onsen (Part 2)

Continuing on from my Naruko Onsen (Part 1) post, I’m finally back with Part 2! (Sorry it’s taking me forever to write up my Japan adventures!) On Wednesday 28th May, I woke up relaxed and refreshed in Naruko Onsen (鳴子温泉) and ate the most amazing breakfast at the Taishokan (大正館) ryokan. The food there was just so good – … Continue reading

Japan400 Plymouth: Sun, Sea & Saris

Japan400 Plymouth: Sun, Sea & Saris

Last weekend I took myself off for a mini break in Plymouth. I’d never been to Plymouth before, and might not have considered it as a place worth visiting had it not been for Japan400 Plymouth which was taking place that weekend. As it turned out, Plymouth is a jolly nice place and I’m very … Continue reading

Japan 2014: Yamadera – the Mountain Temple

Japan 2014: Yamadera – the Mountain Temple

After the excitement of Rokkonsai I opted for a more solitary day, taking my first steps along haiku poet Matsuo Basho’s ‘Narrow Road to the North’, or ‘Oku no hosomichi‘ (奥の細道). In the late spring of 1689 Matsuo Basho (松尾 芭蕉) and his haiku poet apprentice Kawai Sora (河合 曾良) set out on their epic journey, and … Continue reading

Japan 2014: Hakone – Amazake-chaya

Japan 2014: Hakone – Amazake-chaya

Did you like the little teaser I left you with in my last post? Well, now all is revealed! The place I simply couldn’t leave Hakone without visiting was the Amazake-chaya (甘酒茶屋). The Amazake-chaya in Hakone is an old teahouse along what used to be the Tokaido (東海道), a road that linked Tokyo with Kyoto … Continue reading

Japan 2014: Takayama

Japan 2014: Takayama

I’ve been spending the bank holiday weekend here in the UK trying to catch up with life. I still have hundreds of photos to edit and upload, but I’m making progress. Today I’ve reached 16th May, which was the day I left my tour group behind and made my way to Takayama (高山) by myself. It … Continue reading

The 400th Anniversary of the English East India Company in Japan – 1613 – 2013: A Forgotten Episode in Cultural History

The 400th Anniversary of the English East India Company in Japan – 1613 – 2013: A Forgotten Episode in Cultural History

A few weeks ago I attended a free public lecture at the University of Bristol. The ‘George Hare Leonard Memorial Lecture’ was entitled ‘The 400th Anniversary of the English East India Company in Japan – 1613 – 2013: A Forgotten Episode in Cultural History’ and the speaker was the wonderful Timon Screech, Professor of the History of … Continue reading

Word of the Week: ええじゃないか

Word of the Week: ええじゃないか

It’s time for Word of the Week again! Last week we looked at a Japanese word or phrase beginning with ‘u’ (う), and focussed on the phrase うまい (umai), meaning ‘delicious’ or ‘good at’. This week I’m looking for a word or phrase beginning with ‘e’ (え). A big thank you to those who joined in with suggestions this … Continue reading