Three Reasons to Visit Kyoto

Kyoto Travel pic
Kyoto Travel

Sean Kemery has worked on Wall Street for 15 years and is currently a senior trader with Deutsche Bank. When he’s not working, Sean Kemery enjoys travel. He lists Kyoto, Japan, and Queenstown, New Zealand, among his favorite places.

Although Tokyo is the capital of Japan, Kyoto may be the country’s cultural capital, and it draws many visitors. Here are three reasons to plan a trip to Kyoto:

1. Temples and shrines: Kyoto is home to more than 1,600 Buddhist, Zen, and Shinto temples and shrines. Of these, the most famous is the Fushimi-Inari shrine complex, which was founded in 711 AD and is easily recognizable to many visitors who have seen its red-lacquered gates in photos and movies.

2. Beautiful scenery: Kyoto is most famously known for its hanami (cherry-blossom viewing), but the city is surrounded by breathtaking natural wonders, such as the impressive Hozu River gorge and the tranquil Arashiyama bamboo forest.

3. Food and drink: Japanese seasonal culinary art was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2013, and Kyoto offers many delicious dining options, such as Nakamura restaurant, with its beautiful and tasty sushi sets. Furthermore, Kyoto is a great place to try traditional sake, since the drink has been brewed in the town since the 16th century.


Is This Martial Art Style Right For Me?

Mat Chat Newsletter


When you first choose to train in martial arts, you have a lot of decisions to make, beginning with which style to study. There are hundreds of forms from all over the world, so narrowing your options may seem intimidating. Here are some tips for limiting your search parameters and ultimately deciding whether a certain form suits you:

Find dojos in your area
How far are you willing to go (literally) to train in martial arts? Find dojos that are within your area and see what styles they teach. For instance, if the nearest karate school is more than a one-hour drive, you may not want to learn that style, and instead pick a form you can learn closer to home.

Compile a list of the dojos near you and use it as you learn more about the styles of martial arts you could study. CONTINUE READING

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Trigger Mortis: a preview

The Spy Command

Trigger Mortis cover Trigger Mortis cover

By Brad Frank, Guest Writer
Trigger Mortis, by Anthony Horowitz, the newest James Bond continuation novel, comes out Sept. 8. This one is unique because it’s based on an original story outline by Ian Fleming, and brings back one of his most famous characters.

Fleming had always been interested in seeing James Bond on the screen, and throughout the 1950s he considered various deals for the film and/or television rights. A live TV adaptation of his first novel, Casino Royale, aired on CBS in 1954.

In 1956, Fleming was commissioned to create a TV series called “Commander Jamaica.” It was never produced, so he changed the main character’s name and other details, and used it as the basis for his 1958 novel Doctor No.

Another network proposed a James Bond TV series, and Fleming wrote a handful of episode outlines. When that project fell through, he adapted…

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2015: a great time to be a spy fan

The Spy Command

“Sorry Spy Commander, suck it up. Some of us have bigger fish to fry!”

It has been an embarrassment of riches for the Spy Commander these days.

“Mr. Warner” keeps putting out more promos for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie that the Spy Commander can keep up with. A new SPECTRE trailer is out, demonstrating the 24th James Bond movie will attempt to combine Daniel Craig style with “classic” Bond elements. Oh, yeah. A new Mission: Impossible movie is coming out next week.

On top of that, the Spy Commander has had an unexpected opportunity to delve into 007’s cinema past, thanks to copies of scripts from Bond collector Gary J. Firuta. (Bond and Scaramanga calling each other “punk”? PROSPECTIVE BUYER instead of J.W. Pepper?)

Occasionally, there’s the bitter with the sweet. This blog has never been “Rah! Rah!” Some readers don’t like that. Then again, if you send posts…

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