Literary travel: The Lady and the Monk

Initially, I was really excited to read Pico Iyer's The Lady and the Monk. For those in the know, Iyer is one of the world's leading travel writers today (travel writer, not blogger) whose observations have made him quite famous. I was especially attracted to this book because it features Kyoto, my soul city in Japan. I [...]

Get to know Trini food: Trinidadian corn soup

Make no mistake, Trinis love food. The size of the waistlines in Trinidad and Tobago bear testament to the favorite local expression,"Better belly buss than good food waste!" Side note: you can learn 19 Trini sayings in this article I wrote for Matador Network. In this foodie nation, there are many favorites. One is Trinidadian corn soup. [...]

A day in the life of an ALT in Japan

Every day, I take the Sakaiminato-bound train from platform zero. Its carriages are pink, purple, yellow, green, and blue and plastered with characters from a manga called Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro. One character, Nekomusume, a wide-eyed, fringed-faced girl, flashes razor sharp teeth. Daily life is punctuated by sound. In the morning, the jaundice-eyed train lumbers [...]

Photo essay: Day trip to Miyajima

Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, is one of Japan's most popular and iconic tourist destinations. It's located in Hiroshima Prefecture and is accessible by ferry. When you step off the boat, you really do feel you are on sacred ground, 11.73 square miles to be exact. Did you know historically, regular folk were not allowed to set [...]

Photo essay: Day trip to Mihonoseki

Seki is a goodly place, facing the morning sun; there, from the holy mountains, the winds blow softly, softly Soyo-soyoto! - Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan by Lafcadio Hearn Looking for more off the beaten track Japan? Mihonoseki should be your next stop. This small fishing town straddles the invisible border between Shimane and Tottori prefectures in [...]

Daisen Natsuyama Festival

 In Japan's Tottori Prefecture, Mount Daisen is the most popular hiking destination. Every June, at the start of the rainy season, the mountain hosts the Natsuyama Festival. During the two-day festival, Shinto priests from Daisen’s ancient Ogamiyama Shrine pray for a safe hiking season. In fact, Ogamiyama Shrine marks the start of one of the [...]