Tokyo day trip: riding into Shibamata on Tora-san’s coat-tails

Intro This post started with a question from one of my readers: what is Katsushika? A few things come to mind: Katsushika 葛飾区 is one of Tokyo’s 23 main wards; it’s on the fringes and probably one of the least well-known The Nakagawa river 中川 dominates the geography of the ward, essentially splitting it down the middle While riding the Skyliner to Narita Airport, Katsushika surrounds…

Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum (Kawasaki City)

There’s a wonderful museum in Kawasaki not too far from central Tokyo: Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum / 川崎市立日本民家園 (Kawasaki Municipal Nihon Minka-en) The museum has over 20 historic houses that illustrate traditional Japanese folk architecture. The houses were moved from other parts of Japan to this park in the hills of western Kawasaki. This brochure shows all of the structures,…

Visit beautiful Kawasaki! (You can’t get there from here!) かわいい川崎に行こう

Kawasaki-ku 川崎区 is not known for tourism. Ask Wikipedia and you’ll find that the city has been known for “grime, labor unrest, organized crime and pollution-related diseases.” So it’s a surprise to me (and my coworkers) that I so often find myself in Kawasaki. I. The world’s shortest escalator On three occasions I’ve visited the world’s shortest escalator, located…

Yabusame on Zushi beach 逗子海岸流鏑馬 (horseback archery)

Updated for the 2016 edition, to be held November 20, 2016 (source). Here’s the thing about yabusame…it’s pretty freaking awesome. In yabusame 流鏑馬 (やぶさめ), the objective is to hit a target with an arrow while riding on a fast-moving horse. The arrows have blunt, “turnip-headed” tips [hikime 蟇目/ ひきめ], which carry enough mass to splinter…