Category Archives: People

Cafe Aun quiet beside the Tama River

From the riverside walking track only a small wooden gate sign lets you know that both a gallery and cafe lie on the other side. The short path leads you past kid’s bikes, a cubby house and a deflated football … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, People, Small Towns and Villages, Walks | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yasu’s favourite izakaya is now mine. IZAKAYA たいと

I met Yasu at the Japan Council of Local Government Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) in Sydney a few years ago. With his posting over and a trip to Tokyo coming up for Veronica and I, some loose arrangements were … Continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Eating and drinking, People | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Images of the Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival

Big festivals in Japan are vibrant and exiting, the energy of the massive crowds palpable. But small festivals with rich history and cultural connections are worth finding. On such festival is the Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival, in Hongu, Tanabe … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Festivals, People, Small Towns and Villages, Temples and Shrines | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Umbrella

The simple question from my work colleague was “where did I get my umbrella?” It might look like an ordinary, cheap looking, clear plastic, black ribbed and black handled umbrella. But that umbrella is a link to disaster, resilience, hope … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Disasters, People, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Remains of the Stay

Traveling brings with it an accumulation of momentary conversations and connections. Relationships that are never developed, and highly unlikely to be rekindled. Like a variant on Kazuo Ishiguro’s fantastic book The Remains of the Day. I smile to myself at … Continue reading

Posted in Disasters, People, Small Towns and Villages, Temples and Shrines, Volunteer Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2:46pm, March 11, Kakunodate, Akita Prefecture

2:46pm today was the fourth anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. As I make my way lazily toward Sendai for the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) I wanted to take time out from my … Continue reading

Posted in Disasters, Fire fighters, People, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fire Station 21, Matsumoto, Japan

Originally posted on Having a ball in Japan:
Matsumoto Fire Station #21 covers Uchida and Kotobukidai areas south-east of Matsumoto CBD where 2,646 households and 6,357 residents are there. This cross-cultural exchange had been arranged via Yuri at the Matsumoto City Government…