Essential Business Etiquette in Japan

Essential Business Etiquette in Japan

This is a guest post sponsored by Palace Hotel Tokyo. Though Japan is a modern country with a thriving economy, in many ways it is still deeply traditional. And in a country so steeped in tradition, etiquette is incredibly important, especially when it comes to...

Rain, Incense and Fortune Telling at Tokyo’s Senso-ji Temple

Rain, Incense and Fortune Telling at Tokyo’s Senso-ji Temple

The rain was lashing down and we emerged from the Asakusa Metro Station into a throng of umbrellas. The weather had done nothing to deter the crowds surging down Nakamise-dori, the street that leads to Tokyo’s Senso-ji Temple. The road was packed with market stalls...

Finding Peace at Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine

Finding Peace at Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine

A few white robed monks were silently raking the gravel, and there was no sound but birdsong. We were in the Outer Precinct of the Meiji Shrine, a massive forest with trees of every species. The morning was bitterly cold, and there was hardly anyone about. A far cry...

Springtime in Tokyo’s Shinjuku National Garden

Springtime in Tokyo’s Shinjuku National Garden

According to ancient tradition, Spring in Japan begins at the start of February. We had seen people with their cameras, eagerly snapping pictures of early narcissi, but this did not stop the snow from tumbling down. The snow was still on the ground when we visited the...

Tokyo: Urban Sprawl or City of Beauty?

Tokyo: Urban Sprawl or City of Beauty?

It is said that the Japanese have a great sense of beauty, but no sense of ugliness. I pondered this as I took the airport train to Tokyo, a brief stopover on my way to New Zealand. From the window I could see a hotchpotch of houses, some elegant and well designed,...

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My novel “Shadow of the Dome”
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