Well it ain’t pretty, but PL.com is getting fired up again! Two years of insane research have passed and the new National Geographic Traveler: Japan, 4th Edition is hitting bookshelves this September! The final haul to publication was exhausting so it has taken some time to recover my enthusiasm, but now that the book is a scant 4 months away and soon to be in front of the eyes of readers, I’ve decided to post several funny stories from researching the book, as well as some recommendations that I didn’t have space to include or more details on my favorite places.
I had the pleasure recently of helping out a student of mine, Soko, with her tea room. She and I have been working together to translate all of the polite phrases involved in a very formal tea ceremony and this photo is from the ceremony she put on for me and a couple friends. I just love the vibrant color of the tea—I haven’t adjusted the color saturation at all. Soko’s place really stands out because she is willing to put on a full tea ceremony, the four-hour spread including delicate dishes and multiple bowls of tea, and in English to boot. For more details on Soko’s tea room, see the Joukeian homepage.