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Archive for October, 2013

Which Way’s Up for Japan Tourism?

While we were on our way to Japan it was announced that Tokyo would host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Over the next six weeks, I tried to imagine how visitors from around the world would find touring around Japan. Specifically, outside the Tokyo Games and the special arrangements for press and athletes, will Japan […]

5 Reasons to Take a River Cruise with Scenic Cruises

I’m the person who wants to win a European Scenic River Cruise for two and not take my husband. There’s someone else I have in mind. My friend, Kit, is my age, 60. For several years she’s been suggesting–sometimes gently, sometimes urgently–that those of us in book group together ought to celebrate our sixtieth birthdays […]

Autumn Leaves in Japan Alps

We didn’t make it quite to the top of the mountain, but our hike in the eastern part of the Japan Alps was on a completely clear Sunday. We could see snow-covered peaks to the Northwest, big stands of birch trees with leaves already turned to yellow, a cold mountain stream stumbling over rocks, and […]

Welcome Grass Mats and Futons: Ryokan Stays in Japan

Nagano was our second stop out of Tokyo, and our first experience staying in a ryokan guest house. We found Chuokan Shimizuya Ryokan on Booking.com. With grass mats and sparse furnishings, it seemed huge in comparison to our city hotels. We took advantage of the baths, relaxed with tea in our room, used the window […]

Lean On Me

Driving through the fields behind Grand Lake, near Rockville and Cold Spring, Minnesota, we stumbled on this hamlet of twig houses. You can walk through and amongst them. “Lean on Me” houses woven of willow and ironwood, in the arboretum of St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN.    

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