Category Archives: Beyond Tokyo

frozenwaterfall11 February 02

Rainbow Icicle Wonderland

  On the way to the Werewolf Shrine in remote Chichibu, locals have enterprisingly turned the frozen waterfalls that spangle the cliffs and caves alongside the Arakawa River into a winter wonderland! • Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo. Her fourth book – Painted Doll – is just out in paperback  “A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the […]

mitsuminefeat December 17

The Werewolf Shrine

  High on top of a snowy mountain in Chichibu – so far from any train station that you’ll be eligible for a senior citizen discount by the time you get off the bus – is the Mitsumine Jinja. At first it looks like a typical Shinto shrine with fox messengers at the gate… …but a […]

I guess all those baby foxlets grew up, because it seemed like there were a lot more foxes this time November 25

Fox Village Videos!

Here’s what it’s like to visit Fox Village in the snow, when the foxes are at their fattest & fluffiest! I have to confess, when it comes to which animals would get to sit in business class in my ark, it’s all about the tails. Foxes, of course, have the most magnificent fruffy tails in all of the animal […]

FoxVillageFeat February 26

Fox Village: Even Better With Snow On Top!

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I finally made it to Zao Fox Village last spring, but it’s a good thing I didn’t actually shuffle off this mortal coil due to fox-induced bliss, because then I would have missed seeing all these fluffy vixen in the SNOW! This is just the first installment of fox-centric posts, because the second I walked through […]

The local school is surrounded by a sea of mini-igloos... February 19

Thousands Of Glowing Igloos, Oh Yeah

How could you not love a 400-year-old festival that’s all about glowing igloos inhabited by children serving sweet sake, and a tournament that features teams of guys battling each other with giant decorated q-tips? The only catch is that the Kamakura Matsuri takes place in northiest north Yokote on only two days a year, so START PLANNING NOW! […]

...and rainbow mixes. January 09

Yomiuriland Illuminations

By the time I took four trains and a bus to the gates of the aging amusement park Yomiuri Land, I had already decided that no illuminations could possibly be worth the schlep. Good thing I was SO WRONG! Hats off to whoever produced this kerbillion-light extravaganza – it totally exceeded expectations. Best ¥1000 entertainment I’ve seen in ages. I’m sure my impression was […]

MtFuji September 13

My Worst Foreigner Moment

True confessions time. I was just reading my fellow blogger Ben’s account of climbing Mt. Fuji (it’s pretty excellent – check it out here) and it occurred to me that, as an exercise in not being That Foreigner (the smug one who thinks she’s the boss of J-culture), I really ought to divulge my most cringeworthy moment in Japan. Not that […]