Richard Mulvihill

Eiheiji Zen Temple, Fukui, Japan

Eiheiji Zen Temple in the rain

It was a cold rainy fall day when I visited Eiheiji Zen Temple in the mountains of Fukui prefecture. And I don’t think I would have wanted it any other way. I have since seen brighter more “summery” photos of the area, but I seem to prefer the rain. There is something about that place…

Atari – (当たり) Wacky Japanese Language Fact

Atari Logo and atari kanji

Atari is the infinitive form of the the verb ataru. Based on the “tou” Kanji (当,) which means “to hit.” Atari is written; 当り(in kanji) or あたり(in hiragana). I like to think that the Atari kanji had something to do with the design of the logo. The logo reflecting the 3 flowing lines, both vertical and…

Cow Piss. カルピス

Calpis Bottles and cans

Anyone who spends any length of time in Japan is eventually asked these questions: Do you drink cow piss? Do you like cow piss? Would you like some of my cow piss? To live in Japan means you are constantly developing an easy going personality, which in turn leads to what I like to call: “Culinary…

Featured Photo: Gobo, Wakayama

Gobo rice fields at sunset, Wakayama, Japan

This road running into Gobo City seems to rise out of the rice fields. Gobo is a small humble town on the coast of Wakayama. These photos are of the same field. The first photo is in the Fall facing East. The second is the exact opposite, Spring, facing west.      

The Japanese Temple Stamp book, Go shuin chou

Japanese Temple Stamp book, Goshuinchou

“The honorable red stamp notebook”. The name itself is so awesome that it actually makes stamp collecting sound cool.   The Japanese temple book is one of the best kept secrets in Japan. The goshuin, as its called, is a notebook used to collect unique hand drawn calligraphy and stamps from temples and shrines all…

Youme (You me?) department store, Beppu Japan

Youme Town Department Store, Beppu Japan

The Youme department store. Finally there’s a store for myself and anyone in my immediate vicinity. I thought that this would be a genius marketing strategy. You can have several other branch stores named “Us/Them” and “He/She”. My plan was immediately crushed after I heard the Japanese pronunciation for the store and realized they were…