THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

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Matsuyama (松山市) is the largest city on the Japanese island of Shikoku. It has a population of 516,459. The city’s name means “pine mountain”. Matsuyama was founded on December 15, 1889. The city is known for the Dogo Onsen [hot spring], which is among the oldest in Japan, The current Onsen building is a Meiji Period wooden public bathhouse dating from 1894.  Matsuyama castle is on top of a scenic hill in a centrally located park. Eight of… Read More

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

After a pleasant week in Pokhara I returned to the big city. Soon after I got back to the Potala Guest House I was walking over to a friend’s gem and jewelry shop when I encountered a parade of school children. They were all wearing their traditional clothing so I had to stop and take some photos. READ MORE…

I took the Greenline Bus to Pokhara and was there for Holi, which was a bit more laid back than Kathmandu would have been. I like using the Greenline Bus Company for several reasons. First, it leaves an hour later than the cheaper Tourist buses, and second, it includes a buffet lunch in the ticket price. Lunch is always served at a very nice riverside hotel about half-way between Kathmandu and Pokhara…. Read More