A wonderful introduction to Japanese cuisine and more

JAPAN EATS! AN EXPLORER’S GUIDE TO JAPANESE FOOD By Betty Reynolds (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2020, 72 pp., $12.99, hard cover) As travelers to Japan know, eating out can be an adventure. You need to know what you’re ordering, how to order it, and how to eat it properly. “Japan Eats! An Explorer’s Guide to Japanese Food” is the guide to help you navigate your way through the pleasures and pitfalls of dining in […]

An illustrative guide to Japan

Cool Tokyo Guide: Adventures in the City of Kawaii Fashion, Train Sushi and Godzilla By Abby Denson (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2018, 128pp., $14.99, paperback) Those prone to wanderlust beware: Comic book writer Abby Denson’s illustrated handbooks to Japan will have you looking up flights to Tokyo before you’re even finished reading. In “Cool […]

THE KAERU KID: Northwest USA road trip, part 2

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series. On our way south on Interstate 93 a sign for the National Bison Range Visitor Center lured us in for a short stop. A tour to see the herd takes one and-a-half to two hours because it is via a one-way road and once started must be […]

THE KAERU KID: Northwest USA road trip

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series. The goal for this road trip was to meet George Kubota Jr., who I wrote about in my preceding column (in the June 9, 2016 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly), but the route also gave me an excuse to stay with friends and also […]

THE KAERU KID: A most righteous town

I wrote about an Affordable Travel Club host couple who asked me about my concentration camp experience during World War II in the Dec. 4, 2014 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly: “While we were getting acquainted, they told me about a Japanese American family in Washington state that was not imprisoned in a concentration […]

THE KAERU KID: Pollywog goes to Hawai‘i

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” —Marcel Proust One of the downsides of traveling to so many different locations is that it becomes difficult to be impressed as one remembers a similar place that somehow was more unique. It is hard to empathize with Louis […]

An Asian American family’s first trip to Japan

Packed with suitcases within suitcases, the Toyota Highlander swung into San Jose’s Mineta Airport while the Japanese phrases ran through my head. “Nihongo ga dekimasu ka? Wakarimasen.” Do you speak Japanese? I don’t understand. I was ready! That exhausted my Japanese vocabulary, except for a wide selection of food essentials like mochi, senbei and manju. […]

THE KAERU KID: Yosemite firefall

Older readers may remember seeing bonfire embers pushed off the cliffs in Yosemite at night, producing a glowing firefall like a waterfall.  It started early in the last century and continued until 1968, when it was terminated by the National Park Service director because it was an artificial phenomenon that attracted huge crowds, resulting in damage to areas where people […]

THE KAERU KID: Discover treasures just southwest of Las Vegas

A smooth two-and-a-half hour drive from Las Vegas to Lake Havasu City in Arizona ended with a two night stay at an Affordable Travel Club member’s home. Twenty dollars a night for two people, including breakfast and, best of all, meeting local friendly hosts who can provide insight into the area that one might not […]

THE KAERU KID: A mixed experience at Sundance

Attending the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah was high on my bucket list. The nonprofit organization promotes independent films, documentaries and short films during the annual festival, which runs for 10 days in January. Many films have garnered Oscar nominations, including some winners. It began in 1978 with Robert Redford as one of […]