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Shogun Splendor at Nijo Castle

This was orginally written in 2003.With over 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, and a trio of palaces, the ancient capital city of Kyoto is without question one of Japan’s most important cultural treasure sites. Perhaps even more impressive is that 17 of Kyoto’s ancient structures and gardens are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites […]

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Jeffrey at 50 — Fifty Cool Places, Part 1

When people find out that I have been living and working overseas since 1989, I usually get a “Wow, you must have traveled a lot and seen a lot cool places.” That is true to an extent, but sadly I am embarrassed that I have not traveled as much as other people I know who […]

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Kyoto Autumn

In your gardens of meditation—framed by bambooand autumal huesbeneath a cobalt sky;we sitwith the quiet coolnessof your breathon our skinand ponderancient stonesin swirls and whorlsof sand.

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“As long as I have my Cokes and smokes….”

This is what this woman said to me on the Number Nine bus in Hamamatsu, Japan back in the fall of 1989.   I was on my way downtown when she got on the bus and sat down next to me.   She had only been in Japan for a few weeks and obviously—from the […]

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Kenny’s new tattoo studio — Kofu City, Japan

After a cool, wild, rockin’ night at Club Doctor, a two-and-half-hour drive to Minami Alps, and a few hours of sleep Kenny and I were back on the road to Yokohama for me to get inked by Betty.Before we hit the road though, we made a brief stop in Kofu so Kenny could show me […]

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“Uchide-no-Kozuchi” by Yuuki (a.k.a. Betty from Yokohama)

As soon as I knew that I was going to be in Japan for this weekend, one of the things that I hoped to do while I was here was to get some more ink done by Yuuki at Irezumi Hozonkai in Yokohama. I was really impressed with the traditional Japanese-style tattoo she had done […]

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Shinjuku Rock and Roll Dolls

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Nihon de mata aimasho (See you again Japan)

Just a few more hours and I will be leaving Kofu on my way to Narita Airport and then back to Korea. It was definitely an interesting and wonderful time hanging out in Japan the past twenty days. Without question it was the capstone to this long holiday and amazing journey I have been on […]

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Tattoos by Horisei: A Work of Art

Three months to the day that I met Horisei for the first time at his Kofu tattoo studio he completed the “Samurai riding on a horse tattoo” which he started two weeks ago.It took three sessions and over 17 hours to complete this tattoo and now, it is definitely a work of art. Over the […]

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Kenny at Club Doctor — Shinjuku

When Kenny was a teenager, he used to play in a rockabilly band and was one of the movers and shakers of the punk rock scene in places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku in Tokyo.Years later, many people still remember Kenny and his band from that time, his friendship with legendary rock icon Johnny Thunders […]

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