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a girl in traditional clothing takes a picture with her mobile phone in Kanazawa

Kanazawa: Worth a Visit?

Kanazawa hit the travel sections in March 2015 with the opening of a new shinkansen (bullet train) line going there from Tokyo. It cut the travel time to less than two and half hours. I’d never heard of it before, but that coverage led me to add visiting Kanazawa to my plans. Kanazawa, I read, has…

Supporters of the Hiroshima Carp release whistling balloons at the top of the 7th inning.

Baseball, Japanese Style

When I took a group of Dutch students to the US a few years ago, I insisted that we attend a professional baseball game, something they were distinctly unenthusiastic about. They said it was a boring game. I told them it wasn’t about the game; it was about the whole event around the game: the…

Row houses in the Emerald Hill neighborhood of Singapore

Singapore, the Old and the New

NEW Singapore After my visit to Pulau Ubin in Singapore, I spent most of the rest of my very short stay visiting with my foster daughter, Krislyn, and her Singapore family. But Krislyn and I needed time for a good long chat, and decided to check out Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. The Gardens by the…

The Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

Hiroshima: An Emotional Visit

I had mixed feelings about visiting Hiroshima and initially decided not to. I know a lot about the atomic bomb attacks on Japan. Back in the early 90’s, I attended a three-week intensive workshop for teachers about nuclear issues. I learned about the science of the various kinds of nuclear weapons, the mathematics of radiation…

another monkey carving in Tosho-gu Shrine in Nikko, Japan

What to see in Nikko, a breathtaking World Heritage site

Nikko, Japan, nestled in the mountains north of Tokyo, is a small town, but is home to an incomparable assemblage of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Sprinkled around a national park forest above Nikko town is a collection of Shinto and Buddhist shrines that are breathtaking in their beauty and workmanship. The first hint that you are nearing…

shoes lined up outside a temple in Himeji, Japan

A Bumbling Fool in Japan

Much of the time that I was in Japan I felt like a bumbling fool. Shoes were a big part of it. The Japanese have a lot of rules regarding footwear. 1. Entering a house Most houses, and many other buildings like museums and some businesses, have a step up just inside the door. I…

the beach on Pulau Ubin next to the ferry ("bumboat") landiing

Pulau Ubin: Singapore’s Memory Lane

When my new friend and fellow blogger, Betsy Wuebker, posted about her visit to Pulau Ubin, near Singapore, it couldn’t have come at a better moment. I was on my way to Hong Kong but had just heard from my foster daughter, Krislyn, who lives in Singapore now. It turned out she couldn’t come visit…

storefront, open to the street in Hong Kong, with large steam baskets holding a variety of dim sum.

Hong Kong Impressions

My less-than-a-week in Hong Kong was a stimulating, perhaps over-stimulating, series of strong impressions. Here are some of the strongest ones: Housing in Hong Kong I booked an Airbnb room for my trip to Hong Kong, so I stayed in a residential neighborhood of Kowloon: the section of the city across the bay from central…

small fishing boats in the foreground, houses partly on stilts in the background, with large balconies: on Lamma Island

On Lamma Island, a Meditative Walk

Hong Kong isn’t just one island; it’s a collection of islands and a piece of the mainland. I already posted about two destinations on Lantau Island: the Big Buddha and Tai O. The other island I managed to visit (besides Hong Kong Island itself) was Lamma Island. Lamma Island is the third largest island of…