Arai is Japan's only surviving feudal era checkpoint. Nestled on the west bank of Lake Hamana in modern day Shizuoka Prefecture, in feudal times access eastwards (to and from the capital Edo, modern Tokyo) was only by boat. Bridges were prohibited by the Shogun to make it difficult for any would-be upstart from the provinces … Continue reading Arai Checkpoint
Towards the close of the 19th century, Japan was adding Okinawa and small islands to the southwest to its territory, followed by the not-so-small island of Taiwan. Then, at the dawn of the 20th century, the unthinkable happened. Japan engaged the mighty European empire of Russia in war and won convincingly. The infallibility of the white man to the yellow man had been challenged.
Daily our headlines give us horror stories of more species sent to extinction by the destructive activities of our species. But did you know that one tree species at least, the Ginko, has enjoyed the reverse experience?
Snow melt from Mt Fuji seeps down through porous volcanic rock to resurface here as crystal clear springwater, feeding the river.
Hodogaya was established in 1601 as the 4th stop westward of Edo (now called Tokyo) for weary Tokaido walkers to rest for the night