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Cool Japan Guide / How not to climb Mount Fuji

How not to climb Mount Fuji
Japan Times - Aug. 5, 2012
News photo
(Once in a lifetime: Your rashly intrepid correspondent (on the left in both photos) poses with
panache in comfortable conditions on the lower slopes of Japan's highest mountain (left).
By the time the summit was reached in freezing mist, it was all she could do to "grin like
one demented" for a photo (below right).)

If you're considering trekking Mount Fuji this year, look sharp — just four weeks remain of the official open season. But if you're making last-minute plans for an ascent of those conical 3,776 meters, think carefully about what you're taking on. Unless, that is, you've always pictured yourself summiting on all fours during a white-out, drenched to the skin. As I did.
Full Story to be checked via Link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fv20120805a1.html
Vancouver fest offers a warm (but not humid!) welcome
Japan Times - July 29, 2012
News photo
(Park live: The Powell Street Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a gargantuan annual
celebration of Japanese culture, featuring performances by taiko drumming troupes such
as Sawagi Taiko (above), martial-arts displays, theater, live music, poetry readings and
food stalls.)

Summers in Tokyo, indeed in most of Japan except for Hokkaido or Okinawa, are often unbearably hot and humid, with temperatures in the mid to high 30s and humidity reaching as high as 90 percent. This summer, in the wake of last year's Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown, use of air conditioning will again be restricted against a threat of blackouts, so those with summer vacation time are likely looking for a good place to beat the heat.
Full Story to be checked via Link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fv20120729a1.html

Power spots and prehistory in beautiful Aomori Prefecture
Japan Times - July 22, 2012
News photo
(Hitchcockian highlight: Mind-boggling numbers of umineko (black-tailed gulls) can be
observed up close at Kabushima Shrine in Hachinohe.)

The government of Aomori Prefecture which straddles the whole of the northern end of Japan's main island of Honshu — and is best known as the nation's apple capital — broke new ground in its tourism promotion campaign late last year, when it announced it would start selling the prefecture as the land of "power spots" and "mystery zones."
Full Story to be checked via Link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fv20120722a1.html

On the trail of treasures at Toji Temple
Japan Times - July 15, 2012
News photo
(Market day: Stalls at Toji Temple in Kyoto.)

The man unfurled the scroll and hung it on the wall of the makeshift tent to reveal a majestic mountain soaring to the heights in bold black brush strokes. It was a scene showing nature in all its grandeur dwarfing a lone human figure halfway up the mountain.
Full Story to be checked via Link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fv20120715a1.html
News photo
(Its famed five-story pagoda.)

By TS on Aug 13, 2012
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