THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

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Itoigawa City– Niigata Prefecture – Japan Golden Week; May 3rd-7th gave me five days to go south and hunt for Japanese jadeite. Part 1 of these notes covered my trip to the Oyashirazu Pier, the Jade Museum there and my interaction with the local jade hunters. In Part 2 I shall relate my adventures in the Kotakigawa Gorge and exploring the ancient Jomon village of Chojagahara. In about 2,500 BCE the Jomon… Read More

Itoigawa City– Niigata Prefecture – Japan Golden Week; May 3rd-7th gave me five days to go south and hunt for Japanese jadeite. I’d tried to get down to Itoigawa twice last year, but the weather was against me. I’d planned on camping, and was washed out the previous occasions. This time the weather was sunny, so, after an eight hour drive to the southwest along a quite scenic coast highway, I reached… Read More

Saturday was the night of our local fireworks display here in Yurihonjo. The Japanese word Hanabi – 花火 – literally ‘flower fire’, sounds so much more descriptive when rendered as ‘fireflower’, that I’ve come to prefer it. It was a short 15 minute bike ride to the river side site of the show. Though it was still light when I arrived, many groups had already staked out their areas. I had a… Read More

This part of my Okinawa trip photos will focus on beaches. Most of these shots were taken on Sesoko Beach, on the northern part of Sesoko Island. A few shots were taken at the Churaumi Aquarium in Ocean Expo Park. Other shots were taken on Kouri Island, off the northern coast of Okinawa. READ MORE…

Okinawa is home to some very unique architecture. It ranges from large, plain above ground tombs, to old farm houses, to a very particular way of tiling a roof. First, one of the main architectural features that differs from prefecture to prefecture in Japan is the color and style of the roof tiles. Up here in Akita, they use shiny black roof tiles, but the tiles on Okinawa are orange with large patches of… Read More