Christi Linardich


Christi Linardich

Most times I feel more comfortable on the ocean than on land, you'll find me there whether work or play.

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ginza April 21st 2012

Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest in the world, is a fascinating amalgam of fishermen, fishmongers, and sushi chefs at the doorsteps of Tokyo. Many people know it for the famous tuna auction held there during the early morning hours. Just this past January a 754lb bluefin tuna caught off the northern coast of Japan was auctioned at a world record price of $736,000! Just saying that Japanese people are tuna-crazed doesn't give justice to the statement, I would say it's more like everyone's personal but publicly solicitous love affair. A Japanese person that claims they don't eat tuna meat would be like saying they didn't drink water or breathe air, it's simply inhumane. How can I blame them, it is truly the king of pelagic fishes. I could go on and on about the accolades of ... read more
Tsukiji alleys
glorious bowl of sashimi
prepping tuna belly meat to sell

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Yokosuka April 18th 2012

On a perfect Spring day I made the trek to hike Mt. Futago in the Zushi area. I followed directions for walk #4 in "Day Walks Near Tokyo" by Gary Walters. Beginning from the Shin-Zushi train station I walked along a small stream bordered by peaceful neighborhoods abounding with spring vegetable gardens and their diligent, elderly, retired Japanese tenders. The birds were chirping and the snap peas in full bloom. The first half of the trail was easy with some muddy areas, but nothing crazy. I continued to follow the gorgeous stream as it babbled its way through the woods, providing moisture for the propagation of many green ferns along the way. At one point I stopped to record the melody of the birds and stream because I couldn't imagine leaving there without some kind of ... read more
view of Tokyo Bay from trail

Asia » Japan » Gunma » Maebashi April 14th 2012

It was at least a few hours worth of trains, including a stint on the Shinkansen (the famous bullet trains of Japan), to arrive at Minakami, a town in mountainous Gunma Prefecture famous for their onsens (hot springs). We had been looking forward to this weekend stay at the ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel) of Takaragawa Onsen for a good while. Japanese people have been using the onsens across the country over the centuries for the relaxing and healing qualities of their mineral-rich waters. Traditionally, clothing is not permitted in the onsen, but a towel to conceal certain parts may be used while walking around. We had lunch at a casual restaurant near Minakami station as we waited for the shuttle bus to the ryokan. Once again, we were impressed by the food, which consisted of hand-cut ... read more
view from our ryokan room window
epic dinner set
a sampling of pickled tasties

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Kamakura April 10th 2012

Once upon a time on a train to Kamakura, a woman sitting next to me began to strike up a conversation in English. She was middle-aged and timid, but comely. She began to ask me why I was here and told me that she thought the English language was very beautiful, but very hard. I have never heard anyone describe the English language as beautiful, but I agreed it must be difficult to learn. She continued to list all the American musicians and actors that she likes, the few that I could decipher (the letter 'L' is hard to pronounce for Japanese people) included Clint Eastwood, Micheal Jackson, and Kevin Costner. She followed with the statement, "Micheal Jackson dead." I nodded, yes, very dead. When we arrived at Kamakura she insisted on showing me where to ... read more
surf spot at Shirichigahama
curry lunch at Double Doors cafe
sakura at Kuzuharagoaka Shrine

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Harajuku April 8th 2012

This past weekend was full of Tokyo and cherry blossom viewing (known as hanami in Japanese). What started as an emperor's private party under the sakura (cherry blossom) trees hundreds of years ago, eventually evolved into a national tradition of celebration involving copious amounts of alcohol, food, and friends. The sakura only remain in bloom for two weeks, so once they arrive, people gather for a picnic of epic proportions amidst the snowy branches of their favorite park. We decided to stroll through the large Shinjuku Park during our Tokyo wanderings on Saturday to peek at the renowned collection of sakura located there. This park does not allow the consumption of alcohol on the premises, but many people still gathered to picnic. I was floored by the sheer amount of people and their tasty looking bento ... read more
Shinjuku Park hanami picnickers
Shinjuku sakura
me and the sakura

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Yokosuka April 1st 2012

On a perfectly sunny day this past week I decided to endeavor a short day hike to Jimmu Temple on the Miura Peninsula, near Zushi. I followed directions from hike #2 in "Day Walks Near Tokyo" by Gary Walters. After departing the Jimmuji train I soon came to the trailhead where an elderly Japanese man was diligently caring for a sizeable bonsai garden complete with gurgling koi pond. He directed me onto the correct path and I proceeded along the greenest trail I had hiked in Japan yet. The main reason for this was the small stream rolling alongside the trail. Ferns and moss abound along the boulders and old stone steps carved by Buddhist monks were still an aide in gaining ground. It was also the quietest hike yet, where you could enjoy the smell ... read more
along trail to Jimmuji
view of Tokyo Tower and the Asahi building

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Yokohama March 27th 2012

This past Monday I decided to take the train to Kamakura to check out the surf breaks along the beach. The waves tend to be on the small side unless they score some swell from a typhoon, much like the U.S. east coast and hurricane season. It was a calm, slightly drizzly day, but there were a few spots breaking in the ankle to knee range, surfable, but I imagine fun really only on a longboard, which is fine by me. I began my beach walk at Shichirigahama station where I stopped in any surf shop I came across to inquire on board rental fees. It was amusing to see that much of the retail items such as t-shirts in the shops had surf spots in California printed all over them. I saw more English in ... read more
view to the west from Inamuragasaki Park
a longboarder at Yugiahama Beach
ramen at Toride restaurant

Asia » Japan » Chiba » Minamiboso March 25th 2012

After a couple days of rain, the sun finally showed its face just in time for my man's day off. After a luxurious Sunday apartment breakfast, we set off for Chiba on the Boso Peninsula to score some Buddha action. We took the Tokyowan Ferry from Kurihama across Tokyo Bay to Kanaya Port and the Boso Peninsula where we stood on the upper deck swaying with the rolling swell, enjoying views of the majestic Fuji trying to hide behind the clouds. Near our departure point we diverted to a small street fair where we couldn't resist indulging in some grilled food-on-a-stick, skewered vegetables wrapped in bacon to be exact, after which we continued on a short walk to board the ropeway to Nihon Temple on Mt. Nokogiri. The short ride up the mountainside was packed with ... read more
view of the coastline from Nihon Temple in Chiba
the hundred shaku Kwan-non
some of the 1,500 Arhats

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Kamakura March 21st 2012

Today I ventured out for a hike in Kamakura, an area rich in history, temples, and shrines. I followed instructions from hike #21 in the book 'More Day Walks Near Tokyo' by Gary Walters. This is my first time using this book as a guide and am slightly nervous considering it was published 20 years ago, hopefully things have remained mostly the same. After departing the Kita-Kamakura train station I began walking along a paved path with signage in both Japanese and English. I passed by Engaku Temple almost immediately and continued on to Kencho Temple, where I paid 300 yen to enter. Kencho Temple is the leading of the five great Zen temples in Kamakura and is the oldest training monastery for that discipline in Japan. I was overtaken by the intricate woodwork of which ... read more
Bonsho, the temple bell
Kencho Temple
Juniper tree at Kenchoji

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Yokosuka March 19th 2012

My first couple days in Japan were spent mostly getting accustomed to the time change. On the first night I awoke around 3am just in time to experience my first earthquake, which was nothing major, but a quick reminder of my new location in the Pacific's 'ring of fire'. On Friday, a good friend of mine just happened to be here visiting his lovely girlfriend so we all met at a sushi-go-round in Yokosuka. Picking your food from the turnstile as it passes the table is amusing and each table even had a hot water tap to facilitate green tea. We continued the night at a nearby bar with a few drinks and conversation over bouts of screaming karaoke. The weekend's weather was less than desirable, so not a whole lot was accomplished. For Saturday's dinner ... read more
Saturday dinner
dashi stock

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