Japan 2022: Takaoka

For some reason the luggage belt at Toyama airport has a very large plate of fake sushi

Daibutsu of Takaoka

Castle Park

Japan 2022: Otaru

I decided to spend my last day before my flight to Toyama by visiting the port city of Otaru, which is about an hour outside Sapporo. First stop: breakfast at the Sankaku fish market. My breakfast resto Breakfast View of Otaru from Mt. Tengu Dried squid is amazingly tasty Japanese soft-serve ice cream is far better than in the U.S. I decided to try another Michelin-rated ramen place in Otaru. The...

Japan 2022: Sapporo

I had planned several days of hiking the alpine peaks of Daisetsuzan National Park, but that was out of the picture due to my knee. I decided to spend the time in Sapporo while waiting for my flight to Toyama. I’ve taken a lot of trains in Japan, but nothing like the six-hour local from Wakkanai to Sapporo: a single car, powered by diesel from the smell, that slowed several times while the...

Japan 2022: Rishiri-Fuji

I decided on Rishiri-Fuji because it’s one of the remotest mountains in Japan and is on the 100 most famous mountains list (hyaku-meizan). It’s an extinct volcano almost 6,000 feet high. Still snow on the mountain in June Taking a break in the emergency hut At the hut I ran into a Japanese guy that I had chatted with at the trailhead. He asked to hike with me, which was a little...

Japan 2022: Rishiri Island

Since I arrived late morning, I put off Rishiri-Fuji for the next day and instead drove a circuit around the island.

Rishiri harbor

I stopped for lunch at Miraku for some Michelin-rated ramen.

There was a street fair around the corner …

… with a performing monkey

Japan 2022: Wakkanai

Magnetic sign on my Tokyo hotel door

I was supposed to fly to Rishiri Island, but the second leg was cancelled due to high winds. So I took the six-hour bus from Sapporo to Wakkanai and grabbed the ferry the next day.

Wakkanai is so far north that the street signs are in Japanese and Russian

Rishiri-Rebun ferry

Wakkanai harbor

Japanese-style berth

Japan 2019: Tokyo

We stayed in Shinjuku, which is very big and a little bit crazy.

Memory Lane, north of Shinjuku station. It’s now a big tourist spot, which means overpriced food.

We managed a quick side trip to Kamakura.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden


On the way home


Japan 2019: Tachikawa

Keisuke Honda, our host, took us to a great seafood restaurant in Tachikawa. I forgot to get the name, but it was fantastic.

Japan 2019: Nagoya

We managed to find a great restaurant in Tokyo Station, located above Kitchen Street, outside the Yaesu North Gate. They have computer terminals at each table that you use to order dishes and drinks.


About me

Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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