Edible Lilies: a Tasty Way to Welcome the New Year

Edible Lilies: a Tasty Way to Welcome the New Year

In early December, I paid a visit to my friends Elizabeth and Satoshi at their lovely ryokan, Mori-no-yado Gableview Forest Inn, in Nikko. At dinner, Satoshi served a delicious appetizer I’d never had before: sautéed lily bulbs. I was so excited when I found them in the market, so I could enjoy them at home too!

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Egrets! and Meiji Shrine

Egrets! and Meiji Shrine

A few weeks ago, I ran an errand in central Tokyo that took me within a short walk of Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine). Since I doubted the shrine would be busy on a weekday morning, I headed over for a visit. Meiji Jingu sits on 70 hectares of forested land in central Tokyo; the shrine was established in 1920, after the death of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Although the Emperor and Emperess are buried in Kyoto, they were posthumously enshrined at Meiji Jingu as protective Shintō deities. Emperor Meiji played a major role in the modernization (and

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Hiking Mt. Muine (Sapporo, Hokkaido)[#140]

Hiking Mt. Muine (Sapporo, Hokkaido)[#140]

Last September, I headed up to southern Hokkaido for a week of traveling and mountain climbing with my friend Ido. He knows Hokkaido far better than I do, so when he was extra excited about our climb of Mt. Muine, near Sapporo, I knew to expect something special . . . and as you’ll see, Muine delivered.

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A Holiday Tea With Snow White at the Hotel Intercontinental Tokyo Bay

A Holiday Tea With Snow White at the Hotel Intercontinental Tokyo Bay

n late November, when I learned the theme of the 2021 Christmas Tea at the Hotel Intercontinental Tokyo Bay was “Snow White, Awakening With Strawberries” (which is doubly clever, since strawberries are just coming into season–i.e., “awakening”–in Japan), I immediately bought tickets for the very first sitting on the very first day.

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A Hidden Bamboo Grove on Mt. Inari

A Hidden Bamboo Grove on Mt. Inari

oto’s Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is among the most famous–and, as a result, most crowded–options, and while it’s definitely impressive (even more so, if you happen to visit at a time when there aren’t many other visitors), I prefer the less-known, but equally beautiful, natural bamboo forest on Mt. Inari (Fushimi Inari Shrine).

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On Crying-Bug Mountain (Nakimushiyama) [No. 144-146]

On Crying-Bug Mountain (Nakimushiyama) [No. 144-146]

On October 24, I headed north to Nikkō, in Tochigi Prefecture, to hike a new-to-me trail that included Nakimushiyama (鳴虫山), an 1,103-meter mountain not far from Nikkō station. The route went up and over three smaller peaks, too, and though much of the trail is surrounded by trees, there were a few spots with beautiful views as well.

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