Kyoto Journal Issue KJ90

Old roads, revisited

Kyoto Journal 90 Print

KJ’s 90th issue celebrates those roads that, since prehistory, have carried not only travelers and trade, but also the seeds of new cultural flowerings. Passing through both time and terrain, roads lead to that ongoing reinvention, the future—and back into the past.
Climb aboard; let’s make tracks...



Victoria Era Dispatches from Meiji Back-Roads

Victorian-era explorer Isabella Bird on her Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, a classic account of travels by rickshaw and pack-horse in 1878. Together with her 18-year-old interpreter, Ito Tsurukichi, she would cover over 1,200 miles up to northernmost Yezo (Hokkaido).

Gourmet Biking in Tohoku

Lianca Van Der Merwe reports back from a new cycling gourmet tour of Tono, in the idyllic countryside of Iwate Prefecture. This is just one excursion as part of a new initiative to showcase the best of Japan’s Tohoku region affected by the triple disaster of 2011 — and it did not disappoint!


Time Travels

Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan from another era as witnessed by photographer Luke Powell, who came across the so-called Asia Highway overland route to India from Turkey in the early 70s. “I saw that I had a narrow window of opportunity between the emergence of 35 mm cameras and slides and a future in which so much ancient culture could be gone.”

The Magazine

Among our regular features: Melinda Heal delves deep into the state of Kyoto’s textile industry with kimono designer Tange Yusuke; Mizuho Toyoshima talks to Udaka Michishige, the only Noh actor known to carve all the masks that he uses in his performances; manga artist Fumio Obata sheds light on his method of reporting on disasters; plus our selection of fiction, poetry and book reviews.


Founded in 1987, Kyoto Journal (KJ) is an award-winning magazine showcasing life, culture and society in Japan and throughout the Asia region from a myriad of perspectives.