After finishing last week’s climbs in Kyushu, I decided to travel home by a slower, and often (wrongfully) underrated means of transportation: an overnight ferry across the Inland Sea. The shinkansen (bullet train) is faster, and the overnight bus much cheaper, but overnight ferries have a surprising amount to offer . . . especially when you splurge on a private room. Like most Japanese ferries, the Meimon Taiyo ferry that sails between Kitakyushu and Osaka (the black line on the map below shows the route) offers several classes of accommodation. Tourist and economy classes basically consist of dormitory-style rooms with futon on the floor for sleeping and shared bathroom and showerRead more
Susan Spann is the award-winning author of the Hiro Hattori mystery novels, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo.
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This morning I took a break from mountain climbing to visit Suizenji Jojuen, a 17th century garden established by the Hosokawa samurai clan, who ruled Kumamoto at that time. At the entrance to the garden, a gentleman sells food for the koi and birds that inhabit the park — the English translation of his sign reads “Bait for Dove,” which sealed the deal for me. I love birds (including the ones called “doves” in Japan but known as pigeons in the USA) and jump at the chance to feed them. That being said…I didn’t anticipate the unusual friendliness of these doves. They ran to me the moment they saw the bag of popcornRead more
Praise for the Hiro Hattori Novels
Spann keeps getting better . . . a taut closed-circle mystery with perilous consequences. Fans of classic whodunits will be pleased.
July, 2017 Publisher's Weekly review of BETRAYAL AT IGA
Spann once more shows herself as a master storyteller. A nail-biting tale of ninja assassins and a man who must choose between honor and his family in feudal Japan.
New York Times–bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc Investigations
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