All entries by this author

Silver Week in Japan

Sep 17th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events

All that glitters is not gold, in this case it’s silver and the name of the newest grouping of holidays on the Japanese calendar.  Golden Week in Japan takes place in late April or early May each year and, like Silver Week, it incorporates a number of national holidays into a short period.  Both weeks [...]



Tweet Your Way to a Stay at The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Sep 4th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Tokyo and Vicinity, Travel

Located in the tallest building in the city, The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo offers guests an understated and luxurious environment high above the hustle and bustle of Roppongi’s trendy Tokyo Midtown complex. I recently had the pleasure of a relaxing one night retreat from my daily life and thanks to the generosity of The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo you [...]



Ukiyo-e – Woodblock Prints

Sep 2nd, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: History & Culture, Museums

When one thinks of items representative of Japan the list inevitably includes kimono, sushi and bullet trains but one shouldn’t overlook the beauty of Japanese woodblock prints or ukiyo-e.  The word ukiyo refers to the world of common people and e means picture. This art form originated in the late sixteenth century in the ancient [...]



Tenugui, Furoshiki & Kimono Sleeves

Aug 31st, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Lifestyle

Kimono sleeves, or tamoto, meaning “by the side of”, were the pockets in traditional Japan that allowed wearers to stash all manner of small items while keeping their hands free.  The unique construction of a kimono from strips of fabric allowed the sleeves to be used in such a manner.  The fabric strip that makes [...]



Gundam Taking Flight in Odaiba

Aug 26th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery

The full scale replica of Gundam is quite a sight and one that can only be seen in person until the end of this month in Tokyo’s modern Odaiba area. Gundam is quite an impressive sight towering over surrounding trees and appearing to be larger than the buildings on the horizon.   At intervals he turns [...]



Heaven & Hell in Ishikawa

Aug 24th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Travel

It’s cold year round, not hot, in the Hanibe Cave where the “Fushi Jigoku” (Satirical expression of Hell) sit alongside eerily lit statues on a winding path through this natural cave. Located in the Chubu region of Japan, Ryumyoji Town in Ishikawa Prefecture is home to a paradox of peaceful prayer and images of hell.   [...]



Explore Japanese Handicrafts in Kyoto

Aug 21st, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Kyoto, Travel

Get your hands dirty!  Well, maybe not dirty but get some paint on them and learn about Japanese traditional crafts by making some yourself in the historic city of Kyoto. You will walk away with a better understanding and appreciation for the art forms than you will get from any museum – and you’ll have [...]



Double Your Money in Kamakura

Aug 19th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Temples & Shrines, Travel

Take a gamble on the strength of your faith the next time you visit Kamakura and you may leave richer in both spiritual and monetary terms. The Zeniarai Bentzaiten Ugafuku Jinja (shrine) is dedicated to Benzai, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, who is revered as the Goddess of knowledge, art and beauty, [...]



Daibutsu

Aug 18th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery

The Great Buddha of Kamakura, better know as the Daibutsu, is a sight to behold and was one of the highlights of my trip to the area. Sitting peacefully on the grounds of Kotoku-in in the hills to the southwest of Kamakura station this weathered bronze statue was erected in 1252, weighs in at 121 [...]



Where to see Noh in Japan

Aug 17th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events, History & Culture

It’s art in the park, Japanese style…one of Japan’s oldest traditional performing arts will be enacted in the shadows of historic Osaka Castle in the Kansai region of Japan this month but you can also witness it outdoors on Sado Island and in Tokyo or Okinawa in a more traditional setting at various times throughout [...]