Winning the Hakone Ekiden: greatest comebacks, 1986-2016

In the last two years I’ve gotten hooked by the Hakone Ekiden relay race due to its mixture of tradition, athletic excellence, and aesthetic beauty. I saw the 2015 race in person and watched most of the 2016 edition on TV. As much as I enjoyed it, I was mildly disappointed by the lack of…

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“You in Tokyo” – THE NEW YORKER, 1946

The November 23, 1946 issue of The New Yorker ran an article by Helen Mears in their “Our far-flung correspondents” section. Titled “You in Tokyo“, the piece was named after a pamphlet given to new American arrivals that explained things like protocols, customs and recreational activities. Excerpt from You in Tokyo pamphlet, published by SCAP GHQ for civilian employees of…

A fishing village, then a Sky Tree mystery

Part I: the fishing village The existence of Tsukudajima 佃島 is no secret (map). The Japan Times has written about it (“Casting around in Tsukudajima“), bloggers write about it (佃島~島の名残り “Tsukudajima ~ island remnants”), and it’s easy to access from central Tokyo (it’s a 6-minute ride from Shiodome Station via the Oedo-line). Tsukudajima, until modern times, was a small…

Walking on water: the underground rivers of Tokyo 東京の地下河川や運河の地図

Underground rivers and streams course below the surface of Tokyo, making fascinating walking paths all across the city. The Tokyo Files is mapping pedestrian paths and “green roads” that follow the route of old rivers and streams. This is a travel guide to Tokyo’s rivers of the past.