Stories of people & places, festivities & traditions from my travels around the world


Waterlily season at Takamatsu's beautiful Ritsurin Gardens

Takamatsu's Ritsurin Koen is a classic Japanese stroll garden, the highlight of which, in mid-May, is a superb display of waterlilies.

The 1995 Great Kobe Earthquake: a recollection

A visit to the Nojima Fault Preservation Museum on Japan's Awaji Island evokes personal memories of the 17th January 1995.

Japan, Kyoto

Hot Springs and a Holy Mountain: Kyoto's Kurama Temple & Open Air Baths

Tucked away among the cedar forests of Kyoto's northern hills lies the tiny village of Kurama - a superb place to relax after taking in Kyoto's sights.

Japan, Hiroshima

Okunoshima: Japan's secret poison gas island

This tiny island in the Inland Sea has a dark history as Japan's most important poison gas manufacturing facility from 1929 to 1945.

Japan, Hiroshima

Kiyoko Komeyoshi: Hibakusha A-bomb survivor

A hibakusha talks about her experience, aged 13, of 6th August 1945 when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Japan, Hiroshima

The World Friendship Center, Hiroshima

Hiroshima's World Friendship Center is a peace-orientated guesthouse offering hibakusha A-bomb survivor talks & guided tours for interested visitors.

Bunnies everywhere! Japan's Rabbit Island

Hundreds of semi-tame and very hungry rabbits attract bunny lovers from all over the world to the small island of Okunoshima, in Japan's inland sea.

Gorgeous floats & amazing children: Nagahama's Hikiyama Matsuri

Every April the lakeside town of Nagahama comes alive with sumptuous festival floats & virtuoso kabuki drama performances by children as young as five.

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