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Links to website sections and pages.

About

About Village Hiker Publishing Company Index Page. Who we are, what we do and how we work for you.

Writing and Publishing Services for Everyone. Industries and companies we serve.

Customer Testimonials. What our customers say.

Writing and Publishing Examples. Each example provides content for the needs of the intended audience.

Writing and Publishing Services. Village Hiker Publishing Company writes, edits and publishes for organizations and individuals worldwide.

Photos

Photos Index Page. Journalistic photos of people, places and things

Amish Country in Holmes County Ohio Photos. Photos from the largest community of the "gentle people" in the world

Bloomington Reservoir Photos. While some people met and fell in love at Bloomington Reservoir, today, almost no one remembers it.

Fort Richardson State Park Photos. This historical location sits where the North Texas Prairies meet the Panhandle Plains near Jacksboro.

Fujikawaguchiko from Tokyo by Bus. Kawaguchiko gives you a feminine north-side, Japanese-tourist view of Mount Fuji.

Haunted Baker Hotel Photos. Once a popular health and entertainment resort, the Baker Hotel is rumored to be haunted. It is currently under renovation.

Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores and Supermarkets in Japan. You can about Japan by shopping for food along side the local people

Lion Dances for Good Luck. A dancing lion in Japan attracts your attention.

Japanese Shinkansen Photos. Developed at a time when other nations moved away from rail, the Shinkansen provides daily transportation for 900,000 people in Japan.

Melbourne Beach Florida Photos. Photos from a beautiful community located between the Atlantic Ocean of the World and the Indian River of Florida

Red Bull Art of Can Photos. Photos taken at Red Bull Art of Can exhibit, The Galleria, Dallas, Texas, July 30-August 22, 2010

Spring Creek Nature Area Photos. Spring Creek Nature Area is a beautiful walking and bicycling destination in Richardson, Texas, USA..

Taiwan Temples Photos. Temple worship is part of life for many people in Taiwan.

Vermont Granite Photos. Vermont granite from the E. L. Smith Quarry works for buildings, walkways and memorials. Technically it is granodiorite.

Wakayama City Japan Photos. Wakayama is an historically important, relaxed Japanese city

Research and Writing

Writing on Various Topics Index Page. We love researching and writing on almost anything. Take some time to enjoy our work about books, exhibitions, history, movies, music, nature, our hometown and random short topic. We also write about writing.

Books

Book Reviews Index Page. Reviews of books--some old, some new.

The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life. Although the details of his life are interesting, even better are his guidelines for writing to engage your audience with interesting tales.

Time Travel to Jane Austen's World. The Austenland book and movie, plus novel Midnight in Austenland, tell tales of love, hope and disappointment in male-female relationships.

Bento Box in the Heartland. Linda Furiya describes growing up Japanese in the heartland of America. She includes some excellent Japanese food recipes.

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. A timely positive lift among so much phony faith.

The Catcher Was a Spy. The United states entered World War II about the time his MLB career began fizzling out. So Moe turned to espionage.

Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family. A young adult's perspective on the round up of Japanese Americans in California following the Pearl Harbor attack.

Flags of Our Fathers. James Bradley and Ron Powers address and solve the controversy surrounding the famous photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima, February 1945.

Forgiving and Reconciling: Bridges to Wholeness and Hope. The why and how of forgiving, from an author whose mother was murdered.

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure. This lighthearted combination of travelog and memoir recalls two-years in Delhi told with humor and self-assured zest.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Jamie Ford's first novel chronicles the story of the separate but intertwined lives of first-generation American children who find themselves outcasts at school because of their heritages - one from China, one from Japan.

How to Write Your Life Story. How to Write Your Life Story provides a lightweight look into writing your memoir.

JFK Assassination Reporters Notes. Dallas Morning News staff members record details from their reporting of November 22, 1963 events in JFK Assassination: The Reporters Notes.

Joe Rochefort's War. A maverick codebreaker, Rochefort motivates his team to relentless pursuit of interpreting the coded messages of the Imperial Navy.

Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese POW. Etta Schureman migrated to Attu Island in the Aleutians, taught school, married Foster Jones and went to Japan as a POW in 1942 after the Attu invasion.

Lost in Transmission. Gritty adventures and near misses in India on a shoestring budget. India is a poor man's America.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. Monuments Men describes the efforts of the men and women who worked to protect European art during WWII and recover art stolen by the Nazis.

My Backyard Jungle. The adventures of an urban wildlife lover who turned his yard into a habitat and learned to live with it by james barilla.

Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story and Baseball Saved Us. Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story and Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. While this book needs a heavy edit, its principles are excellent. Best is the slippery slope chart.

Railway Man: A POW's Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness. Railway Man: A POW's Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness tells of Lomax's seizure by the Japanese in 1942 and how he copes as a prisoner of war and in later years.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. Get to know Rosa Parks better by reading the well footnoted book The Rebellious Life of Mrs Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis.

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent. Not a new book, the story of Same Kind of Different as Me still makes you laugh and cry.

The Shack. This novel follows the spiritual struggles of a man who wrestles with the God who allowed the abduction and murder of his youngest daughter.

Sneaking Out. Prudence Mackintosh closes her story of raising three sons in Dallas, Texas, with their high school and college years.

Songs of Willow Frost Book Review. Another absorbing history-based, fictional story set in Seattle from the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Tree Cups of Tea. A true tale of building humanitarian ties in Pakistan.

Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel. Read Three Men on Bummell if you enjoy irreverent commentary on human nature. This book is for cyclists, couch potatoes and just about anyone who enjoys humor.

The Trouble Begins At 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West. Written for a middle school age audience, this biography contain plenty of meat to satisfy the Mark Twain appetites of an adult audience.

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague. Year of Wonders has enjoyed tremendous success and popularity since its debut, but I do not see why.

USS Montpelier (CL-57) Project

USS Montpelier CL-57 Project Index Page. Historical documents of the USS Montpelier (CL-57) a Cleveland Class Cruiser..

USS Montpelier CL-57 Cruise Book - 1942-1945 Index Page. The cruise book of the USS Montpelier CL-57 summarizes the Pacific War activities of the Cleveland Class Cruiser from 1942 through 1945.

Deck Logs of USS Montpelier September 1942-March 1943 Index Page. This hand written war diary chronicles the first six months of the USS Montpelier following her commissioning in September 1942.

Exhibitions

Exhibition and Museums Index Page. Reviews and descriptions of passing, changing and permanent exhibitions and museums.

Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change. This photographic exhibition documents social change in China. This is a past event.

Mustangs of Las Colinas in Rain. Beautiful horse sculptures you can touch. Visit them in the rain.

Red Bull Art of Can Exhibition. Escape the heat via a stroll through cleverly created art works constructed of Red Bull cans.

Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of The Pharaohs. The entire world was awestruck by the richness of Tutankhamun.

History

History Index Page. Random Snippets of History.

What the Framers of the U.S. Constitution Knew About Assault Rifles. Pennsylvania Longrifles served as terrible assault weapons during the American Revolution, said the British.

Past President of Texas SAR Obituary. James G. Robertson, Jr., a skillful genealogist, past president of the Texas Society Sons of the American Revolution, World War II veteran and systems sales engineer for IBM died August 10, 2011 in a Plano, Texas, hospital.

Movies

Movie Reviews Index Page. Reviews of movies--some old, some new.

3:10 to Yuma - Double-Dealing Money Mongers. When Pinkerton promises him a ranch-saving $200 upon success, Dan Evans agrees to ride guard. After all, Dan is a sharpshooter.

Born into Brothels - Children of the Sex Trade. Entering the red light district of Calcutta to film women in the sex trade, photographer Zana Briski falls in love with their children.

Emperor - the Movie. Emperor presents an historical fiction account of Douglas MacArthur and General Bonner Fellers working to save the Emperor of Japan from war crimes prosecution.

Monuments Men Movie. When World War II turns against Germany, Hitler begins to withdraw to the Fatherland, taking plundered works of art him and intent on destorying it should he lose the fight. Monuments Men movie tells the story of protecting and rescuing European art.

Music

Music Index Page. Reviews of music.

Single Along with the Beatles: 1964 Tribute-Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Sing along with The Beatles. This is what the audience of 9,000 plus fans feel like they are doing on at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver (Morrison), Colorado.

Natural World

Things We Notice in Nature Index Page. Nature shows up wherever you are.

A Leucistic White Red-Tailed Hawk. An exceptional red-tailed hawk, Lakota may be aware of her special beauty.

Looks like a Space Shuttle, Flies like a Moth. At stairway running speeds, it looks like a miniature, totally-pimped-out, late-great NASA Space Shuttle.

Opossum Seeks Admittance. The weather is rainy and a baby opossum looks for a way in. He looks unperturbed as we approach with camera in hand.

Texas Lizard on Bicycle Tire. We may need to help him some with his understanding of physics.

Texas Lizard with a Right Angle Tail. Sort of making friends with a backyard insect-eating machine.

Turtle Play or War in Cottonwood Creek. What looks like a shell game may be a battle to death.

Wily Squirrel Assaults Bird Feeders for Sunflower Seed Plunder. At least we wanted to feed the birds.

With a pincher like that you must be a mallodon dasystomus. They move, live and have their being while sometimes doing rather nasty damage to trees.

Richardson Texas

Richardson Texas USA Index Page. Home to 100,000 people, Richardson is a diverse community with average streets, really nice parks and good-enough schools. The population is a mix of White, Hispanic, Asian and Black.

New Neighborhood Park Attracts All Ages. The playground is designed for children ages 5 to 12 but toddlers and preschoolers will also find plenty to do.

Renewed Heights Parks Serves As Neighborhood Magnet. Fortunately for this neighborhood, the long-neglected park has been reinvented.

Short Bits

Short Bits Index Page. Short pieces with some opinions, but not necessarily ours.

Bonfire Night for Politically Weary People. The core conspirators planned to rent a basement warehouse below the House of Lords, bring in barrels of gunpowder…

What the Constitution Says About Rick Perry's Public Faith. Texas Governor Rick Perry and his prayer rally friends invited everyone to an event in Houston.

A Christmas Theme from President Obama. We all know how well political discussions fare at family gatherings.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings. I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.

Institutional Lying. When I asked if she reads the small print, she admitted she does not, not even for the products she sells.

King Kong? A Slightly Misunderstood T-Shirt. Looking up we connected eye-to-eye. I smiled. Grinning, she obviously knew something I did not.

Maybe it's Time to Outlaw MS Windows. A rant about security issues by a multiple-time victim of the unlocked doors in Windows.

My Hair Is Getting Darker. It's the same, she said. Your eyes are getting dimmer.

Naming the Sea of Japan. The Sea of Japan separates Japan from Asia.

President Obama Addresses Japanese A-Bombs. Did President Obama apologize for America using the A-Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Here are two versions of his address. You decide.

Obama City, Japan. Japan has an Obama City. Really!

Pickpockets in Ho Chi Minh City and Tokyo. Some awareness of predators feeding on travelers is probably advisable, but maybe mostly at home.

How to Play the Cultural Sensitivity Trump Card. But, who does the world call on when there is trouble? Us! The capitalist pigs.

Pursuing the Truth About Emperor Hirohito. Both conspiracy theorists and those who believe Hirohito innocent of war crimes can find support for their positions.

Some Thoughts About Terrorists. Thinking about 9/11 and later. Terrorists fight for many reasons.

Tolerance as a Relationship Killer. Tolerance does nothing beyond putting up with people.

TSA Guards Winking at You. Accept the full-body scan and enjoy your trip. Safely.

When an Elderly Marine Cries. Damp eyes and streaked cheeks come easy for the combat veterans remaining.

Why Jesus As King Makes America Uncomfortable. Americans experience shortness of breath, stomach cramps and blurred vision when thinking of Jesus as a king.

Writing Skills

Writing Skills Index Page. Writing basics

What is Editing? Polishing Your Writing. Editing prepares a work for publication by checking for accuracy, completeness, consistency, word choice, writing style and spelling errors.

What is Ghostwriting? Basic Concepts. Ghostwriting presents the ideas of an author in the words of a stand-in writer.

What is Writing? An Introduction. Five primary reasons to write. Seven essentials to writing well.

Travel

Travel Adventures Index Page. Travel adventures in Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and the USA, plus travel gear.

Travel Gear

Travel Gear Index Page. Things you might find useful while traveling cross country, around the world or to the local library.

Protected Travel Power Source for Computers, Tablets, Smart Phones or Hair Dryers. Whether traveling across the country or dropping by your local library, the small Satechi Compact USB Surge Protector can provide you with a number of benefits.

Travel Japan

Travel Japan Without a Tour Guide Index Page. Almost anyone can travel Japan without a guide. To help you along, we give you Japanese travel tips, cultural essentials, travel experience stories and travel journal notes.

100 Yen Convenience Stores Help Tourists in Japan. 100 Yen convenience stores are good options for hungry foreign travelers and tourists visiting Japan.

Akihabara Chuo-Dori. Akihabara--aka Akiba--houses hundreds of electronics outlets selling everything imaginable, plus duty free shops, pachinko parlors, entertainment venues, anime store and more-more-more.

Arnold Invites You to California. A large poster in Tokyo Station featuring former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger invites Japanese travelers to visit California.

Visit Asakusa--Enjoy Authentic Japan on a Human Scale in Metropolitan Tokyo. Walking the sidewalks of Asakusa makes you feel at home in authentic Japan, right in the center of Tokyo.

Azaleas in Kairakuen Garden Park in Mito Japan. Colorful azaleas bloom profusely in Kairakuen garden park in Mito City, near Tokyo, Japan.

Finding Your Way in Japan With Japanese Language Maps. Local maps made in each community usually provide the most colorful, accurate and useful information.

Bicycle Parking Lot in Niigata Japan. Bicycling is a popular means of traveling short distances, so bicycle parking lots are necessary near rail stations.

Carp Streamers, Samurai Armor and Iris Leaves - Boys' Day Festival in Japan. While Japan officially designates May 5 as Children's Day, Japanese families tend to focus more on the traditional Tango no Sekku, the Boys' Day Festival.

Chanoyu! Attend a Japanese Tea Ceremony and Learn How To Do It Yourself. When visiting Japan, you can enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony and learn some of the practice yourself.

Chasing the Vermilion Torii. We enter the Kii Peninsula on a mission, but arrive embarrassingly naked--socially, culturally and linguistically speaking.

Vermilion Symbolizes Life Force, Counteracts Evil. At least 10,000 vermilion torii gates stand on the grounds of Fushimi Inari, a Shinto shrine in Kyoto.

Construction Site Markers in Japan. Construction sites in Japan use bright orange caution signs or cones, but also critters such as rabbits or frogs.

Cooking Okonomiyaki from Scratch -- Second Try. Make Japanese Okonomiyaki at home using these cooking instructions and ingredients.

Crossing a Busy Street in Osaka Japan. Use an under street passageway to cross busy multilane streets in Japanese cities such as Osaka.

Cruising Sumida River - A Leisurely Way to See the Heart of Tokyo. Escape the crowds of Tokyo. Take to the river for a serene view of the city in a relaxed setting.

Cute Japanese Girl Photo Tells Different Story Cropped Four Ways. How you crop a photo dictates the story your photo will tell.

Japanese Daruma Doll Tumbling for Good Luck. Daruma--the tumbling dolls of Japan--bring good luck to those who use them. As a daruma doll always lands on its feet, you can hope for good fortune during the year.

Unexpected Dream Bell of Happiness. Seeking the Manpa, finding the Dream Bell of Wakaura.

Duck Tugs Skirt of Girl in Niigata - A Sculpture in Niigata. Sculptures populate the Shinano Riverside Promenade in Niigata City, Japan.

Falling Behind in Sendai Spring Snow. Under rainbow shelter she lags behind again. Playing in liquid flakes she understands fun in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

Keeping Active When Flying 10 or More Hours. Travel tips for long flights between North America and Japan

Foxes of Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社. Many believe the Shinto kami Inari sends messages by fox. The foxes in these photos work at Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Full Bloom Weeping Cherry in Sendai. A weeping cherry blossom tree in full bloom stands in a Sendai park.

Full Photos of Japanese Construction Barriers. Colorful critters--rabbits, frogs, giraffes--mark construction sites in Japan.

Genmaicha Popcorn Tea from Japan. Genmaicha, or brown rice tea, mixes roasted rice with green tea to create a delicious pale tea with a refreshing nutty flavor and very little caffeine.

Hakodate from Mount Hakodate. Hakodate City sits like an hour glass between Hakodate Bay and Tsugaru Strait. This nighttime scene from Mt. Hakodate is one of the most popular views in Japan.

Hakusan Park Sakura in Niigata Japan. Hakusan Park in Niigata City, opened in 1873 as the first public park in Japan, is a popular destination for cherry blossom viewing.

Green Haven Softens the Busyness of Tokyo. Hamarikyu Garden creates a peaceful oasis of green in the midst of Tokyo skyscrapers.

Hina Matsuri Doll Festival Lifts Up Japanese Girls. This traditional festival honors the girls of Japan on Day Three of the Third Month.

Hirome Market in Kochi Japan. Hungry in Kochi, Japan? Hirome Market sits quietly inside a rehabilitated building a couple of blocks east of Kochi Castle.

Hiroshima: Come for the Atomic Bomb Memorials, Stay for the Varied Cultural Attractions. Beyond the atomic bomb memorials, international travelers visit Hiroshima for its natural beauty and rich culture.

Japanese Accommodations - Hotels, Ryokans, Hostels, Apartments. Expensive by reputation, accommodations in Japan can be very affordable.

How to Use a Futon in Japan. Learn how to lay out, sleep in and fold up a Japanese futon.

How to Lay Out and Fold Up a Japanese Futon. These step-by-step instructions show you how to be a good guest at a traditional Japanese inn where you often are expected to make your own futon.

Iwakuni City-- A Day Trip from Hiroshima and More than Worth the Effort. An hour from Hiroshima, Iwakuni claims one of the most beautiful bridges in the world--the five-arch brocade Kintaikyo.

Japan Tourist Immigration Procedures. Things to expect before your plane arrives in Japan, including landing cards, customs declarations, health forms and immigration procedures.

Japanese Cold Noodle Salad-- Hiyashi Chuka. Hiyashi Chuka chilled noodle salad is perfect for a hot humid day.

Japanese Convenience Stores. Convenience stores in Japan are well stocked with fresh food plus they are clean, competitively-priced and staffed with knowledgeable, helpful personnel.

Japanese Rush Hour Train in Chilly Rain. Commuter trains are crowded and quiet during a wet Tokyo rush hour.

Japanese School Children During School Rush Hour. During school rush hour, Japanese children of all ages pack public trains, buses and sidewalks, moving in groups without adult guardians.

Katsurahama-- A Beautiful Beach in Kochi City, Shikoku, Japan. Katsurahama enchants you with its pebble beach, vertical cliffs, giant rocks, powerful water and peaceful character.

Kimiidera Temple on the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage. A visit to Kimiidera Buddhist Temple in Wakayama City on the Kii Peninsula of Honshu in Japan.

Kōchi Castle Remains from Feudal-Era Japan. Kōchi Castle, in Kōchi City on the island of Shikoku, remains as one of the few original feudal-era castles.

Leave the Crowds Behind--Visit Kochi on the Undeveloped Verdant Island of Shikoku. Take a Limited Express train from Okayama City, cross the bridges spanning the Inland Sea dotted small, steep islands. On Shikoku, you find quiet as you head toward Kochi City.

Koi Nobori Carp Flags for Boys. Streamers mark the coming of Children's Day--more traditionally Boy's Day--on May 5.

"Kumquat!" used to be an insult. A Japanese couple pick kumquats off a tree and offer them to an international visitor.

Traveling Japan Without Knowing the Language. While you are better knowing some language, bilingual signage and announcement, plus gracious Japanese people help you get along. Here are some tips.

Lion Bite For Good Luck and Happiness. A protector lion bites the head of a female visitor to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, to bring good luck and happiness.

Japanese Lions Dance for Good Luck. Japanese lions dance during the days of new beginnings.

Mabo Tofu! マーボー豆腐!. Japanese Mabo Tofu recipe has origins in China.

MacArthur Headquarters Building in Tokyo. From his headquarters office in Tokyo, General Douglas MacArthur oversaw the occupation and reconstruction of Japan.

A Day Trip to Miyajima Island--Ferry Ride to a Photographer's Dream. Only a 10-minute ferry ride from the mainland, Miyajima is a photographer's dream.

Arriving in Japan - Cash, Credit Cards, ATMs, Initial Transportation, Luggage. From ATMs to public transportation, here things you should know when arriving in Japan.

A Day Trip to Yoshino-yama - Taking the Last Train Home. Mount Yoshino in the Nara Prefecture operates as a natural organic tranquilizer. Even hyper-A-type, anxious, imperative and wound-up folks decompress at least a little.

Mt. Fuji from 20,000 Feet. You seldom get to see Mt. Fuji without clouds.

Multicultural Japanese Italian Pizza. Despite the thinness of the crust, you can pick up multicultural Japanese Italian pizza with your fingers and eat it American style.

Night Hanami at Ka-Jo Castle Park. Lighting up the cherry blossoms at night brings thousands of visitors to the famous and popular Ka-jo Castle Park in Yamagata City, Japan.

Nihonbashi Tokyo. Powerful creatures, kirin deliver good luck or bad luck to those deserving luck of any type.

Ohashi Roka and Wakayama Castle at Night. Ohashi Roka is a covered bridge providing passage into the grounds of Wakayama Castle, Wakayama, Japan.

Okonomiyaki from a Mix - a Gift from a Friend. A Japanese favorite food, okonomiyaki sits someplace between an omelet and a pancake, from a Western point of view.

Okonomiyaki! Grilled Veggie and Meat Favorite of Japan. Okonomiyaki! What is it? Who invented it? You can eat it and cook it in Japan!

June in Japan -- People Should Fly. Flight from Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport to Los Angeles LAX en route to Tokyo.

Photos From Behind -- Seeing What Japan Sees. A woman enjoys the shade of an umbrella while viewing Sendai City from the top of Aoba Castle, also known as Sendai Castle.

Riding Japan's Amazing Shinkansen. The Japanese Shinkansen meets many of the passenger transportation needs of this densely populated mountainous country.

Shinkansen High Speed Passenger Rails. Developed during a time when other nations expected the demise of passenger rail service, the Japanese Shinkansen meets many of the passenger transportation of Japan.

Rock Splitting Cherry Tree. A cherry seed of the Edo Higan variety slipped into a crack in a granite rock--a fairly large rock in Morioka, Japan.

Rock Waterfall at Wakayama City Museum. At the Wakayama City Museum in Wakayama, Japan, we noticed a flow of rocks on the concrete wall of the lobby constructed to depict a rock waterfall.

Sad True Love Story of Harimaya Bridge. The true love story involves a Buddhist priest and young woman who fell for each other and met at Harimaya Bridge.

Sakura and Shinkansen in Yamagata City. We catch the shinkansen on camera while touring the sakura at Ka-Jo Castle in Yamagata City.

Saturday Soba Party in Japan. Soba party celebration features local residents and soba noodles made from buckwheat flour that comes from fruit seeds not cereal grains.

Sea of Japan Makes Japan Separate. Artificial breakwaters stretch into the Sea of Japan from the beaches of Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

Seikan Tunnel - 24 Kilometers Under the Sea. Seikan Tunnel passes under Tsugaru Strait a distance of approximately 15 miles that separate Honshu from Hokkaido, the two largest of the Japanese islands.

Shachi Protect Castles from Evil Spirits and Fire. As defensive weapons, shachihoko traditionally provide protection to castles in Japan.

Japanese Shoe Etiquette. Everyone seems to be aware of the no-shoes-inside customs of Japan. How do you wear shoe etiquette seamlessly?

Shy Pigeons of Japan. Japanese pigeons--other than the obvious language difference--behave like their peers worldwide.

Signs of Our (Japanese) Times. When we travel in Japan, invariably we encounter unexpected sights as we visit various locations, including interesting signs.

Small Rooms or Large Rooms When Traveling Japan. When you visit Japan you can stay in large rooms and pay large room rates. You can save big money by staying in small rooms.

Sunday Market in Kochi Japan. One of the oldest street markets in Japan, the Kochi Sunday Market started in 1690.

Japanese Way of Supporting the Weak. Creative ways the Japanese underpin weak limbs--in both the young and the old.

The Swastika in Japan (卍). Japanese maps display hundreds of swastikas.

Taking People Pictures in Shy Japan. We find the best way to take people pictures in Japan is simply to ask.

Toilet and Bathing Etiquette in Japan. While Japanese public bathroom manners are extremely tidy, some ways and means may at first make western travelers uncomfortable.

Tokyo Kite Museum. Kites originally first flew over Japan as elements of religious celebrations, but soon became popular with almost everyone. You can imagine why.

Top Levels of Five-Roof Pagoda. Cherry blossoms frame the five roof pagoda adjacent to Tōshō-gū, a Shinto shrine in Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan

Understanding Japanese Train Etiquette. You feel more comfortable and confident traveling on Japanese trains when you understand some of the etiquette. No one expects perfection.

Moving Around Japan on Trains, Buses, Taxis. Choose from trains, taxis, buses, bicycles, rental cars or even domestic air travel if you are going further afield.

Truth About Hedwig - We Promised Not to Tell Until Now. Formerly the snowy owl belonging to Harry Potter, Hedwig today remains alive, well and happy in a Japanese zoo near Tokyo.

Ueno Park: Magnet for Museum Aficionados, Zoo Fans and Cherry Blossom Enthusiasts. Ueno Park sits adjacent to one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo, providing easy access to this popular green space.

Views of Fujisan - Mt. Fuji of Japan. With a history of rumbling, smoking and erupting fire, Fujisan today sits quietly 100 kilometers west of Tokyo.

Wakayama Castle on a Tiger-Shaped Hill. The unifier of Japan in the last part of the 16th Century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi built Wakayama Castle on a hill overlooking the city of Wakayama.

Walking Japan Blind. Beaded tactile tiles mark obstructions for the blind and near-blind on sidewalks in Japan.

A Woman and Two Tigers at Tama Zoo. Tama zoo, a naturalistic zoo, simulates and emulates the natural environments of many of its residents.

Yasukuni Shrine Security Officer Loses His Hat. A security officer attempts to play with a young shy boy at Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, Japan.

Travel Taiwan

Travels and People of Taiwan Index Page. Places we visit, things we see and things we do in Taiwan.

The Streets of Taichung. The streets Taichung City support transportation for a million-plus people using feet, cars, trucks and motor scooters.

Practical Scooters. Scooters make sense in the densely populated cities of Taiwan

Taipei Photos. There is too much to say about Taipei. So have a look at the photos.

Rooftop Water Storage. Water pressure, typhoons and earthquakes lead to water on the roof.

Travel USA

Travel USA Index Page. Places we like in America. This is a new section, but keeps growing each week.

Amish Country, Holmes County, Ohio, Roads Less Traveled. Visit the largest community of gentle people in the world. They live in Holmes County, Ohio, 70 miles south of Cleveland.

Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site - Jacksboro, Texas. Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site offers a relaxing and enriching all-day visit to a partially restored 19th Century frontier outpost.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site - Atlanta, Georgia. A must-visit, half-day, civil rights history stop in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mount Yale Sunrise Hike - Collegiate Peaks. At the crack of dawn with a buddy, catch an awesome high-altitude sunrise on Mount Yale, near Buena Vista, Colorado. You may also see an endangered boreal toad.

Who to Barbecue When Your Church Makes a Mistake. Some time back a small church found itself in trouble because of a rather large mistake. With people looking for a way out, someone suggested fire.

Travel Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Stories Index Page. Travel experience stories from the Mekong River to the streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the South China Sea at Nha Trang..

20 Hours of Flying--Doing Well in Vietnam. While you are most definitely tired, your no-jet-lag strategy worked, at least when flying west.

Banyan Tree and Avatar. Made famous because its spiritual, mystical importance in the movie Avatar, the banyan tree is also important to Asian countries, including Vietnam

Big C is like a Wal-Mart in Ho Chi Minh City. Big C in Vietnam is a big box store with all things you would expect, including Vietnamese products plus some American foods.

The Bus to Nha Trang. From Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang takes more or less eight hours on mostly two-lane roads. Flying misses so much.

Cham Towers from Champa Empire. The evening before returning to Ho Chi Minh City, I asked the tour guide if we could stop on the way back for a photo op. I figured everyone would unpack their digital cameras…

Round Coracles Going Straight. Vietnamese fishers employ wood coracles to move between fishing vessels and from ship to shore and back.

Dinner for Eight Costs 807,400. Ordering family style in Ho Chi Minh City, we ate rice, noodles, seafood, passion fruit drinks and lots of different veggies, for eight, for a cool 807,400

Hauling Sheet Glass on a Motorbike in Ho Chin Minh City. It is just one of several creative ways people are using two-wheelers to get around and do their work in Ho Chi Minh City.

Learning Vietnamese by Means of the Heo. Your first Vietnamese vocabulary materializes from within a grocery store meat cooler.

Mekong River--Fruit, Rice, Quiet. On motorbikes we followed narrow paths into some beautifully quiet retreats in the Delta.

Motorbikes and Scooters in Ho Chi Minh City. We have heard the number of motor bikes in Ho Chi Minh City tops 4.5 million.

Replacing a Leaky Waterproof Camera in Vietnam. While warned by locals to wait until Japan to replace our drowned Stylus, we leapt off on our own and discovered our camera store.

Reunification Palace. By coincidence we visited the palace on the birthday of Ho Chi Minh.

Rice Wine Scorpions Vietnamese Folk Medicine. Can scorpion-infused wine help you aching joints.

Strong Winds and the Vinpearl Land Cable Car. When the winds are really powerful, Vinpearl Land shuts down the cable car and uses its water-based transportation. Please read the entire article.

Vietnamese Fruit Photos and Tastes. There are a lot of fruits in Vietnam. Some are new to us.

We Trust the Traffic When Walking Ho Chi Minh City. Moderately curious how you walk across the streets while avoiding injury or destruction, we observe the locals. The results?

Working for a Future in Vietnam. While we are neither economists nor investment bankers, we know smart work and good quality when we see it.

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