Category: History

Viewing the Disputed Kuril Islands from the Shiretoko Peninsula

Hokkaido’s remote Shiretoko Peninsula in the far northeastern corner of Japan was a place I’d wanted to go ever since I spent a ski season in Sapporo. At the time I’d made a trip out that way to Abashiri (famous

Posted in History, Hokkaido, Japan, Russia

Life in Taipei: Remnants of the Empire of the Sun

As a former resident of Japan who moved to Taipei, it was fascinating to see the Japanese influence on this originally Chinese culture, Taiwan having been a Japanese colony for 50 years from 1895 to 1945; this influence is actually

Posted in Architecture, History, Japan, Taipei, Taiwan

Visiting the DMZ (De-Militarised Zone) Between South and North Korea

Visiting the DMZ (De-Militarised Zone) is one of the most unusual and interesting things you can do on a visit to Korea (or indeed anywhere), giving you the opportunity to take a peak into the hermit state and even step across

Posted in History, Korea

Preah Vihear: failing to visit the disputed temple from the Thai side

“No, you can’t go there, army fighting with Cambodia now.” What? I’d just checked two hours earlier with the policeman on duty back at Surin bus station, and he’d told me the situation was calm, so I’d continued on towards

Posted in Cambodia, History, Southeast Asia, Thailand

Sapporo to Kyoto by local train; a bizarre encounter in Tomakomai, the dog-eat-dog-politely world of busy Japanese trains, and a heroic last stand in Hiraizumi

Part One: A Bizarre Encounter at Tomakomai Station “Hey. Fuck you!” …what the? I heard this woman before I ever saw her; she’d sneaked up behind me while I was on the phone and suddenly started screaming in my free

Posted in History, Hokkaido, Japan, Overland travel, Tohoku, Trains
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