The Newly Formatted Kindle Edition of “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan” Is Here!

I am happy to announce that the long awaited newly formatted edition of “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan” is finally here!

Product details

  • File Size: 27479 KB
  • Print Length: 477 pages
  • Publication Date: January 31, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MRCHE72
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled



The Kindle App is FREE to download and it enables you to read the book on ANY device including: the Kindle Reader, tablet, smart phone or computer.

The eBook is currently in the Top 50 of Amazon’s Best Seller’s Rank in the Kindle Store.

Order your copy today at: Amazon Kindle Store




JAPAN: Gunma / Nakanojo Biennale (中之条ビエンナーレ)

Approximately two hours by train north of Tokyo, in the northern region of Gunma Prefecture is a town called Nakanojo.  Surrounded by magnificent nature and dotted with onsens (hot springs), rustic buildings and old farm houses, the town is host to an art festival which takes place once every two years.

The event known as the Nakanojo Biennale was the brain child of six artists who were participating in a project called Agatsuma Bigakko (Agatsuma Art School) back in 2006.  At that time, they conceived of an idea to turn the entire town of Nakanojo into an art gallery. Their dream was realized in 2007 with the support of the townspeople and featured the works of 58 artists exhibiting their work across 11 venues.  The event originally drew 48,000 visitors.

Today, the event features 132 artists and runs for an entire month from September through October. The artists are primarily from the Kanto Region and their works are available for viewing between the hours of 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM.  There are paintings, photographs and sculptures displayed in empty school houses, homes and even old lumberyards.  The town of Nakanojo has been suffering from depopulation for the past 30 years so it isn’t difficult to find unused exhibition space. In addition to the artwork, there are various workshops and performances featured throughout the month.

In order to sufficiently see all the works, you will need approximately three days. You can easily traverse the town on foot or rent a bicycle to get around. There are infrequent town buses to help you reach the more distant locations and rental cars are not uncommon. The cost of admission is ¥1,000.

The event helps breathe life into this rural town and offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with art in a natural setting, away from the swanky, stuffy galleries of Tokyo.  Further, it is an excellent opportunity to support local artists and see some very unique pieces.

Web page:         

Holidays in Southern California: Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks

Photo courtesy of Manhattan Beach Pier

Photo courtesy of Manhattan Beach Pier

Every year since 1989, Manhattan Beach has hosted its Annual Holiday Fireworks at the Manhattan Beach Pier.  The pier located at the  west end of Manhattan Beach Boulevard is transformed to reflect the spirit of the holidays with music and activities provided before the fireworks show.

This year, the event took place on Sunday, December 8th.  The festivities got underway at 3:30 PM with a concert provided by Hyperion Outfall. Skechers sponsored a Snow Park with five 50-foot sled runs, two snow play areas and snowmen available for family photos.  A donation of canned goods, cash or a new, unwrapped toy was requested for admission to the Snow Park. There was even a Santa float where kids could have their pictures taken with Jolly ‘Ol Saint Nick.  After the concert, spectators were able to take part in a sing-a-long with the fireworks show beginning at 7:00 PM.

The fireworks which lasted about 25-30 minutes was synchronized to holiday music and filled the South Bay skies with bursts of color.

The event is very popular and draws large crowds therefore it is advisable that you arrive early particularly since parking in the area can be problematic even without the street closures which usually accompany the event. The best area from which to view the fireworks is along Manhattan Beach Boulevard or along the strand north and south of the pier. If you do not care about hearing the music, you can even see the fireworks from Hermosa Beach Pier.