Suruga Bay from Isaba Ryokan

Americas Cup Roots at Heda

Americas Cup Heda (photo: expansive views over Suruga Bay from the roof top hot spring bath at Isaba Ryokan, Heda. Views of Fuji in the distance on a clear day) 1851. A precocious American schooner by the appropriate name of America thrashes the British fleet on their home seas. The world's eldest continuous international sporting … Continue reading Americas Cup Roots at Heda

Hamamatsu Castle

Hamamatsu Castle

Hamamatsu Castle Japan's most famous Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was Lord of Hamamatsu Castle for 17 years, from age 29 to 45. Here he is said to have matured as a samurai leader, and lessons he learnt protecting this local realm no doubt helped him in his eventual quest to unify Japan after two centuries of … Continue reading Hamamatsu Castle

Arai Checkpoint

Arai Checkpoint

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

Mishima Taisha

A Visitor’s Guide to Good Behavior in Japan

You know how it goes. “When in Rome…” Except, when the crunch comes and you are confronted with a cultural anomaly, do you revert to form? If you are an impatient, hot-headed individual, like me, with a fierce sense of personal freedom, and have a Japan trip coming up, read on. Visitor good behavior in … Continue reading A Visitor’s Guide to Good Behavior in Japan