The One about Avenal, California

I recently traveled to the town/city of Avenal, California located in the Central California (Kings County) area. With a population of 13,195 (2015), the city is known these days for the Avenal State Prison which provides a thousand jobs to residents in the area. Named by Spanish soldiers and explorers, Avenal is derived from the Spanish word “avena” which means oats and “avenal” which means oatfield, as the area was […]

The One about Aqua Walk in Ogaki, Gifu

I’m often asked if there is a place in Japan that reminded me of the United States.  In Tokyo, probably not.  But going farther out to Gifu, visiting Ogaki, the place reminded me a lot like home. With the home of Toyota not far, one thing that you will noticed that many people in Ogaki are driving cars.  Also, Ogaki has a simpler lifestyle because it looks almost like the […]

The One About Wayne Graczyk (RIP Wayne)

It was a few weeks ago that I was promoting Wayne Graczyk’s latest Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide and today, I have learned that Wayne had passed away after a game in Kumamoto, helping NTV to cover a game between the Yomiuri Giants vs. the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. When it comes to Japanese baseball #NPB, there are a few people who have contributed consistently each and every […]

The One about Cafe Koto in Kyoto

A familiar site for those riding the shinkansen and are leaving Kyoto Station, Cafe Kyoto is a restaurant that offers Japanese and western cuisine for those wanting to grab a bite without paying for food at the convenience store locations around the station. The restaurant/cafe is quite busy but I was able to get in quickly and order a steak/hamburger with cheese sauce which came with a salad.  Portion was […]

The One about Inarisuwa Shrine in Nerima

Located near Ikebuchishiseki Park in Nerima is Inarisuwa Shrine. Also known as Wada Inari Jinja, this Shinto Shrine is also known as Dengoro Inari or Wadaborinari and was once used as a guardian protecting the surrounding Wada district but since the Meiji period, the name of the shrine is officially Inarisuwa Shrine. While there are documents of the shrine, there is no clear date of when it was created.  On […]

The One about Jean-Luc Godard’s “Une femme mariée: Fragments D’un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc”

1964.  Jean-Luc Godard has had another success with his fifth film “Bande a part” (Band of Outsiders) and began his sixth feature film “Une femme mariée: Fragments D’un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc” (A Married Woman: Fragments from a film from 1964 in Black and White).  The film which he began in June 1964 was shot in a four weeks, edited within five weeks and shown at […]

The One about Jodo Shinshu Jokoji in Adachi

While I was in Higashiko, Adachi, I explored the Jodo Shinshu Jokoji Temple. I’m not too familiar with Buddhist sects but Jodo Shinshu (The True Essence of the Pure Land Teaching) is also known as Shin Buddhism. Founded by former Tendai Japanese monk Shinran, Shin Buddhism is the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan. According to “Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika)”, 20% of Japanese identify with this Budhhist sect. […]