For years, I’ve wanted to see the old-fashioned farmhouse hamlet of Shirakawa-go all lit up at night in the snow, and this week I got half my wish. It turns … Continue Reading Shirakawago In The Snow
Because I’m helplessly drawn to things that glow in the dark (gee, ya think?), I recently returned to two of my favorite lit-up-for-winter amusement parks, because I’d heard that they’d … Continue Reading Lighting Up The Winter Night
Free displays of holiday illuminations have become a huge attraction in Tokyo – probably because they’re the most instabae invention since selfie sticks – and every year they get bigger and … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Illuminations In Tokyo 2018
Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like. A fuzzy green polka-dot toilet seat cover. Because Japan delivers a whole new level of hurt to the concept of freezing your butt … Continue Reading Things I Never Envisioned Myself Owning
It’s time again for the best free holiday light show ever! Here are this year’s Tokyo Illuminations offerings, some of them even better than before: • TOKYO MIDTOWN This year’s … Continue Reading The Best Tokyo Illuminations 2017
All of February (and a little of March) is the best time to see fluffy pink and white and red beauties bursting like popcorn all over Tokyo. Here are the … Continue Reading Plum Blossom Countdown
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! … Continue Reading Rainbow Icicle Wonderland
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 … Continue Reading The Werewolf Shrine
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 … Continue Reading Fox Village Videos!
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 … Continue Reading Fox Village: Even Better With Snow On Top!
Because what do snow and tropical fish have in common? They both make killer themes for a bar! Yes, this aquarium has a bar (because Japan). Usually it’s called the Coral Bar, but until mid-April, the same artists … Continue Reading Snow Aquarium
If I were Queen Of The World, there would be a Japanese Complaints Choir* and they would sing about this. If anyone’s ever invented a more feeble excuse for a … Continue Reading Every Japanese Room I’ve Ever Lived In
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 … Continue Reading Yomiuriland Illuminations
Are you ready once again to have holiday lights spoiled for-e-ver by the insanely great Tokyo Illuminations? This year, the old favorites do not disappoint, but there are a couple of … Continue Reading The Best Tokyo Winter Illuminations 2015
In Japan, the frenzy of weird Santas and blue poinsettias are whisked away the day after Christmas, and replaced with something far better…new year’s decorations! I never saw them before I lived … Continue Reading I Love Japanese New Year’s Decorations!
It’s that time of year again! Tokyo’s Illuminations are free, and they never disappoint! Here are my favorite places to see them. New this year! NAKAMEGURO One of my favorite places to … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Holiday Illuminations In Tokyo!
When I was a kid, every year in mid-December we’d all pile into the car and drive around to find the house with the most over-the-top Xmas decorations. No surprise, I am … Continue Reading The Mother Of All Illuminations Theme Parks!
It’s that time of year when too much is just enough. And biggest of all, my thanks to all you wonderful readers and commenters (and especially those of you who … Continue Reading At New Year’s In Japan, Bigger Is Better
Conveniently scheduled for a national holiday so hundreds of thousands of commuters wouldn’t be inconvenienced by trains that occasionally had to pause while snow and/or ice and/or tree limbs could … Continue Reading Today’s Special Guest: Winter
One thing I have to say about the seasons in Japan is that they’re relentlessly picturesque. And convenient! When I woke up Wednesday morning, I looked out the window and … Continue Reading Today’s Cute Little Season: Winter
For your wintertime beverage enjoyment, behold the Hot Orange. At first I figured the distributor was just getting rid of last summer’s overstock, but the packaging definitely says this vending … Continue Reading Steaming Hot Orange Soda
It’s the season when warm drinks reappear in vending machines all over Japan, offering morning jolts of coffee, black tea, cocoa, green tea and…red bean soup? Yes, it’s time for … Continue Reading Coffee, Tea, or a Shot of Hot Red Beans?