Riding the Big Tuna

When Kayoko at the Sakuraya Guesthouse in Nara had helped me figure out my transportation logistics, she saw the Nankai Ferry ticket in the folder from the travel agent, and exclaimed,…

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Bus train taxi ferry taxi train

At the long-sought end of the Kumano kodo lies Nachi-san, a sort of religious Shangri-la nestled in the mountains with---finally!---a view of the Pacific Ocean. While some pilgrims do it…

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Yunomine Onsen

Yunomine Onsen is an ancient spa town in the middle of Kumano kodo territory. A hot creek runs down the middle of the town next to the road; you can…

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Mt Koyo

Getting to Mt Koyo from Nara took a taxi, two different trains, a cable car, and a bus. Mt Koyo itself is kind of like Arlington National Cemetery and Westminster…

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On the Kumano Kodo

I am hiking on the Kumano kodo at last. It seems like a long time ago that I started planning this trip. Amazingly, everything is working. To get to the…

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Of Deer and Men

There are many things both old and new to be seen when wandering Nara, Japan. I particularly liked the gardens and temples. But oddest of all are the tame deer…

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Coming into Nara

I took a casual inter-urban train from Kyoto to Nara. The ride was about an hour. Nara is a city with ancient roots---it was an imperial capital before Kyoto, and…

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Getting lost is good

Getting lost can be frightening, and at the least provokes anxiety. But getting lost can be good because it compels one in adventures and directions one would not have undertaken…

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Coming into Tokyo

We were landing at Narita, Tokyo's biggest airport. Waking up, I groggily pulled the shade up and looked down on an almost nighttime landscape wracked with fog. There was something…

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