Almost everything they say about Japan turns to be true

img_1780When we went to Japan last month on a whim motivated by an uncommonly cheap air fare ($300 round trip from Cambodia), I imagined the experience would be pretty much as reputed.

The country would be clean, the crowds orderly, the trains always on time, the cities exhilarating, the history temples and shrines impressive, English rarely spoken, prices high and gardens gorgeous to the extreme.  (Many more photos on Facebook.)

I was not disappointed.

“Clean” doesn’t begin to describe the contrasts between most of the rest of the world and everywhere we visited over three weeks — in order, Tokyo, Yokohama, Hakone (to view Mt. Fuji), Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji, Kobe, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Shirakawa-go, Takayama and Matsumoto.  “Immaculate” is more to the point.

There wasn’t a shred of litter on the streets or in the subway or train stations, though maybe I have figured out how that could be the case in view of the rarity of trash receptacles on sidewalks and elsewhere.

One explanation may be that Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Misha sells home for $4 million

Here’s your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you. To read about The Big Apple, check out the other of today’s posts and look for Out and About early next week.

They’re not asking peanuts for late cartoonists Santa Rosa estate

Sopranos actor and wife list income-producing Tribeca property for nearly 10 times what they paid

Misha accepts $4 million for the sale of his Rockland County home

He sees live buyers, at last

Highest-priced home in the nation goes for price far from dandy

Property investment firm rates top markets for investors in rental homes

Banks said to be ready to Continue reading