On Culture Shock

Imagine you are eight years old, and you’re sleeping over at a friend’s house for the first time. You’re soon dismayed to realize that her parents are those particular kind, the kind that are too tidy, with an array of unfamiliar rules. “We take our shoes off in the foyer. Don’t play in the living room. Please take your feet off … More On Culture Shock

Kansai trip: Osaka

John and I spent the final day of our Kansai trip in Osaka. We kept trying to pinpoint why Osaka is so intriguing, why it has so much more soul than Seoul despite being similarly commercial. For one thing, new businesses collage around the old rather than knocking them down and covering them up. But best of all, Osaka’s aesthetic feels 80s … More Kansai trip: Osaka

Kansai trip: Nara

Though we only spent an afternoon there, Nara was a huge highlight of our Kansai trip. We visited Tōdai-ji (東大寺), the most monumental temple we’ve ever seen. The current version, built in 1692, is one of the world’s largest wooden buildings, and it’s still only two-thirds the size of the 752 original. It was first constructed as the head Buddhist … More Kansai trip: Nara