Yearly Archives: 2014

Legendary Nagano: Folk Tales and Legends from the Roof of Japan

December 24, 2014 by Ray Proper

The Story of Lazy Taro is one of 23 stories in Legendary Nagano: Folk Tales and Legends from the Roof of Japan, a collection translated by Peter Ninnes and Sachiko Miyairi. The book is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon, and in other e-book formats from We have a short interview with Peter, below, followed […]

Skiing in Aichi and Gifu

December 24, 2014 by Mark Guthrie

There’s nothing more exhilarating than standing on the top of a slope, the pure white snow stretching out below you, that moment when you lean forward and the wind begins to rush around your face and you head in graceful arcs to the bottom. Yes, the first snow has fallen, which means that the season […]

Hatsuhinode in Nagoya 2015

December 24, 2014 by Ray Proper

Among the many customs associated with “oshogatsu,” or New Years, are a good many firsts; from the first trip to the shrine to the lesser practiced first tea ceremony of the year, New Years in Japan is about moving forward and marking the occasion. A popular first is the practice of “hatsuhinode,” or taking in […]

Nagoya Ramen Festival

December 22, 2014 by Ray Proper

Ramen is classic Japanese food.  If you ask a random person, foreign or Japanese, male or female, what their favorite food is you are highly likely to get “ramen” back as your answer.  Ramen is a noodle soup of wheat noodles served in a meat-based broth.  Standard flavors include: Shio or “salt” Tonkotsu or “pork bone” Shōyu  or “soy sauce” Miso […]

Tokyo Antique Jamboree

December 21, 2014 by Ray Proper

The largest antique event in Japan, the Tokyo Antique Jamboree, is an annual event with as many as 500 vendors from all over Japan selling a variety of items with different tastes and styles; including both Japanese and western antiques.  The event is especially famous for collectible toys and playthings, but there is a wide […]