Iain Maloney

  • Shirakawa-koen: A Work of Art.
    September 28th, 2009By Category: Travel
    I find attending art exhibitions in Japan to be a frustrating experience. The prices are often extortionate, the pieces badly displayed, and the visitors herded through like cattle on their way to an abattoir. Exhibitions of work by artists like Monet, Dali, Van Gogh ... » Continue Reading
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    Gujo-Hachiman: Are You Dancing?
    September 24th, 2009By Category: Arts & Entertainment, Travel
    Gujo is rightly famous for it’s dance festival, considered amongst the top three in the country by whoever decides these things. Initiated over 400 years ago in an act of socialist generosity by Endo Yoshitaka, the festival was meant as a way of levelling Japan’s rigi ... » Continue Reading
  • Himeji Castle
    August 5th, 2009By Category: Uncategorized
    Himeji Castle was probably the first part of Japan I ever saw. I don't remember it happening but I've been watching Bond films all my life, and You Only Live Twice is on UK television a couple of times a year without fail. In the film, for those who haven't seen it, Bon ... » Continue Reading
  • Magome and Tsumago: Following the Footsteps
    June 10th, 2009By Category: Uncategorized
    All roads led to Tokyo. Anyone who has travelled in Japan will have heard of the Tokaido, even if they didn't know the significance of the word. The eastern sea road ran between the Emperor's court in Kyoto and the Shogun's capital in Edo (Tokyo). Now it's the nam ... » Continue Reading
  • Yoro Park and the Site of Reversible Destiny
    May 12th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    At the western edge of Gifu Prefecture, resting between the mountains and Ibigawa river lies Yoro, a daytrip idyll. Gifu can be short of ideas for those with children during the warmer months, but Yoro provides an inexpensive, varied and fun day for all. Yoro pa ... » Continue Reading
  • Okazaki
    April 14th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    For the Nagoya day-tripper, Okazaki makes for an effortless and engaging change of scene. Less than 30 minutes from Nagoya station on the Meitetsu line, Okazaki is renowned for being the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu, first Shogun of the Edo period (1603 - 1868). ... » Continue Reading
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    Meiji Mura and Showa Mura
    March 11th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    The Meiji era ran from 1868 to 1912, and all aspects of Japanese culture underwent fundamental change as Japan opened its ports to the outside world. Architecture is one area in which this shift is most obviously seen, as tastes moved from the traditional wooden str ... » Continue Reading
  • Kamikochi – My favourite place in Japan
    March 2nd, 2009By Category: Travel
    Kamikochi is, without a doubt, my favourite place in Japan. It is an area of astoundning natural beauty in the highlands of Gifu easily reachable from Takayama and Matsumoto. Jagged snow-covered alpine peaks encircle a network of small lakes, melt-water rivers, wi ... » Continue Reading
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    Tokugawa Art Museum and Garden
    February 19th, 2009By Category: Travel
    The first known novel written anywhere in the world is The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu. It's not known exactly when it was written but there is a reference to it in a diary dating from 1008AD making it at least 1000 years old. The Tokugawa Art Museum's main c ... » Continue Reading
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    Nagoya Castle and Nagoya Noh Theater
    February 13th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    A necessary part of any Aichi based travel plan, Nagoya Castle was completed at the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Shogun, in 1612. The Tokugawa family came from this area and, despite Ieyasu making Edo (Tokyo) his capital, Nagoya Castle became the home of the ... » Continue Reading