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Destinations

Osaka Canal and Bright lights

Osaka Travel Guide Japan's 2nd largest city but still intimate, approachable, and welcoming

As Japan’s original commercial capital, Osaka prefecture, which wholly incorporates the city that bares its name, has been at the center of Japanese culture for over 1,000 years. Today, the Osaka metropolitan region is the world’s 8th richest metropolitan area, on par with cities like Los Angeles and Paris. The city is roughly divided by an uptown district and a downtown district. Uptown, or the Umeda district, is characterized by its many skyscrapers and Osaka station; while downtown’s Namba district is known for its extensive entertainment and shopping. Aside from its long history and modern cosmopolitan atmosphere, Osaka is known throughout Japan as the nation’s kitchen; it is said that what Tokyoites spend on clothes, Osakans spend on food!

fall leaves in iwate along river with boat

Iwate Travel Guide Japan’s most under-explored hidden wonder

Nestled in the northern region of Tohoku on Japan’s main island of Honshu, Iwate prefecture is one of Japan’s most underexplored hidden corners. Traditionally considered a remote frontier land, Iwate still retains much of its rustic appeal, complete with all the convenience of modern Japan.

Iwate happens to be Japan’s second biggest and least densely populated prefectures after Hokkaido; so, there’s plenty of room to enjoy the open air and get exploring. The prefecture contains some surprisingly magnificent natural and cultural scenery that will equally delight and stir your mind and senses!

Courses

Kasumigaseki Country Club Kawagoe, Saitama

Not much is known about Kasumigaseki Country Club outside of its domestic fanbase, but an upcoming appearance in the world’s greatest sporting contest is about to change all of that. Kasumigaseki CC beat other prestigious Japanese golf courses, including Yokohama Country Club and Wakasu Golf Links, to lay claim to Japan’s second Summer Olympics hosting gig – and its first Olympic golf competition.

Following last year’s completion of the redesign from legendary American golf course architect Tom Fazio, the course is now ready to welcome the best golfers on the planet as the countdown to July 29 begins. I was able to pay the course a visit in early May and get a preview of its impressive new layout, as well as learn more of its fascinating history.

Playing golf at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club, Mie prefecture, Japan

Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club Ise Shima, Mie Prefecture

As a mid-handicap golfer, I’ve never played in any serious golf competitions. The monthly medal at my home course or a "few bob" on a skins game with friends is as close to real tournament pressure as I will ever find. But as a fan of the game, I do love playing championship courses. Remembering the epic battles of professional tournaments fought by the greats of the game, the shots that won them the tournament, how they played the course and their composure never fails to inspire us to try and bring some of that into our own games.

On a recent trip to Mie prefecture in the southwest of Japan, I was lucky enough to enjoy a round at the fantastic Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club. A masterful design by Mr Osamu Umeda, this 18-hole, par-72 course was made famous by being home to...

Travel

Winter Golf in Tokyo

Admit it, you think golf in winter is crazy talk. Only a fool would brave Japanese winters to play golf on a frozen course you say. Well, I am here to debunk this myth and explain why golfing in winter in Japan is not only great fun, but equally as enjoyable as any other season.

To be fair, Tokyo is nowhere near as cold in winter as people might imagine. Sure, everyone skis in the mountains of close by Niigata and Nagano, but the vast majority of golf courses in and around Tokyo are snow free year round. And aside from a few seasonal adjustments, winter golf is just like golf during any other season. To prove this point, I went golfing during a winter week at 4 separate courses--each with its own special way to handle the winter weather.

Escape from Tokyo: North or South? A closer look at Hokkaido and Okinawa

Tokyo winters are very mild. The daytime temperature hovers around 10 C and snow rarely disrupts the capital. It’s just business as usual. Which is why Tokyoites look to get away when they have a chance. And many of them head in different directions: some head north, some (especially golfers) go south.

The Japanese archipelago is always described as stretching for 3,000 km from north to south, but that’s not strictly true. It stretches from the southwest to the northeast, from just above the 24th parallel (Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture) to the 45th (the tip of Hokkaido). Ishigaki’s latitude puts it south of Miami, Riyadh and Taipei. Surprisingly, Hokkaido, Japan’s snow country, is no further north than Milan or Ottawa.

But to the residents of Tokyo, Okinawa and...

Community

Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi Muromachi Mitsui Tower

Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi: A new home for the city's international elite The beloved expat institution has just opened some swanky new digs

Based on the award-winning Tokyo American Club’s concept of a first-in-class private club in the American tradition, Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi combines dining, drinking and fitness venues for members to unwind, entertain and exercise as part of an international community.

With a design by acclaimed architect Daishi Yoshimoto and bespoke furnishings throughout, including a curated collection of artwork, the club’s interior provides unparalleled luxury for all members. Its location in the heart of the business-focused Nihonbashi district - within walking distance of Tokyo station - also positions the club as a prime destination for those in search of a refined retreat before or after work.

About Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi

Tokyo American Club...

Japan Golfing During Covid-19 Your guide to stay safe and enjoy the game!

Japan was ready for an awesome golf season. An unusually mild January and February saw the courses full, and we were looking forward to more of the same with the sakura season, early summer, and then the Olympics where we knew many visitors would also give golf a go.... 2020 was set to be a momentous year for Japan Golf. We all know what happened next, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Since then we are doing our best to self-isolate, work from home, distance learning, and so on, and Japan has been stand-out in terms of flattening the curve.

The number of cases of Covid-19 are falling in Japan, and a likely lifting of the state of emergency as early as next week in all prefectures is expected, we dare to dream of hitting the links and enjoying the sport we hold so dear. But the 'New...

News

INDIA’S ATWAL TEAMS UP WITH AUSSIE ‘STUD’ FOR FIRST PGA TOUR APPEARANCE IN SIX MONTHS

India’s veteran star Arjun Atwal is excited to tee up with Australia’s “young stud” Lucas Herbert in what will be his first PGA TOUR start in six months at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans starting on Thursday.

Atwal, 49, will partner the 26-year-old Herbert at TPC Louisiana in the only official FedExCup event to feature a two-player team format. A total of 80 teams (160 players) will compete for US$8.3 million, with the first and third rounds using the Four-Ball format and the second and final rounds using Foursomes (alternate shot).

As India’s lone winner to date on the PGA TOUR – Atwal triumphed in the 2010 Wyndham Championship – he is presently preparing for life on PGA TOUR Champions (over-50 circuit) but the opportunity to play alongside Herbert, currently 46th...

Presidents Cup makes long-term commitment to Melbourne; set to return in 2028 and 2040

The PGA TOUR today announced a long-term commitment to staging the Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, with the biennial global team competition set to return to the iconic Sandbelt in 2028 and 2040. The 2028 Presidents Cup will mark the event’s fourth visit to Melbourne, matching Gainesville (Virginia, USA) for most Cups contested in one city.

The venue for the 2028 Presidents Cup will be announced at a later date. The Presidents Cup was staged at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in its three previous trips to Melbourne (1998, 2011, 2019), with the International Team defeating the U.S. Team in 1998 under the leadership of the late Peter Thomson, while the U.S. Team claimed the Cup in 2011 and 2019.

“Since the Presidents Cup was first staged in Melbourne in...

Equipment

PING PLD Milled Putters Premium Putter Range Launches Today In Japan

PING launched the Putting Lab Design or PLD program today, muscling into the high-end putter market. PING claim to give golfers unprecedented access to precision-milled putters and tour-level fitting experiences through a new website dedicated to advancing PING’s reputation as the leader in putter design and customization.

John K. Solheim, PING president said: "We established the PLD name several years ago as an extension of the PING Putting Lab, where we’ve been fitting some of the top players in the world for more than 20 years,” said Solheim. “Until now, access to the master fitters who deliver these custom putter experiences has been limited to the best players in the game. We can now bring golfers what they’ve been asking for either through a virtual or in-person...

TaylorMade Stealth Driver Reviewed Welcome to the Carbonwood Age!

When Tiger blew up the internet at the end of last year by competing with son Charlie at the PNC Championship and finishing 2nd. The internet was also a buzz by the driver with the mysterious red face that Woods was playing, particularly when Woods, clearly still struggling with his leg injury, was ripping drives past playing partner Justin Thomas at 300 yrds+!

In 2022, TaylorMade Golf releases this mysterious new driver, and it has a name: Stealth. TaylorMade has always pushed the envelope for new club design and this year it comes in the shape of an all-new carbon fiber face. TaylorMade claim that with the Stealth range (Stealth, Stealth Plus and Stealth HD) they deliver a better energy transfer and increased ball speed. Putting the regular Stealth model in the bag, I headed...

Instruction

Club 360 7 Mobility and Stability Drills for Golfers to Increase Swing Power and Improve Golf Performance

7 Mobility and Stability Drills for Golfers Sam Gilbert

Any golfer, or even those who have simply observed the game of golf, inherently understand that the swing is primarily a rotational movement. With any rotational sport, whether it be golf, punching, throwing, or tennis, there is a contribution to this rotation from several segments of the body, or what we refer to as the kinetic chain.

Maximizing force output in rotational movements for the large part requires optimization of rotational force through the hips and the upper back (thoracic spine).

If we fail to utilize these areas to their maximal potential, we may leave a lot of potential power (in other words, yards!) on the table. This may also increase the rotational load through the lower back, potentially contributing to injury in this area.

Utilization of...

4 Strategies to Hit Better Approach Shots Stroke Savers

When watching the PGA tour you will often see the stat for GIR or 'Greens in regulation' appear on the screen. You might have thought that SGP or 'Strokes gained putting' is the most important area for saving strokes in a round of golf, but it is actually the approach that accounts for 40% of the scoring average.

So, how do you improve your approach shots? In this guide, we have four strategies that will have you doing exactly that.

First off, let me explain what an approach is. An approach shot is generally any shot at the green on a par-4 or par-5, basically not including your drives on these holes. Par-3s are not considered an approach shot, but strategies two to four below can be used for par-3s as well.

Lifestyle

Gold Bar Opens At Edition Tokyo Cocktails in Kamiyacho

Launching today, Tokyo's latest suave and sophisticated cocktail bar is born. Gold Bar in Tokyo Edition located in Toranomon (really Kamiyacho) is on the ground floor next to the entrance, and is presented as 'An urban hideaway where guests can savor luxurious and exceptional moments'.

The decor is certainly reminiscent of the roaring 20s and is quite lavish; gold leaf and plush armchairs within a tastefully lit room, blending the contemporary style of the hotel, the Gold Bar will definitely be a hit with the local business crowd as well as pre-dinner cocktails for Tokyo Ex-pats.

Is It Time For Golfers To Start Seriously Considering EVs? Audi Q4 Etron Reviewed

In Japan, we are gifted with over 2,000 courses spread out all over the country, there are literally world-class courses everywhere, and some of my favorites are over 2 hours drive from Tokyo. Generally, golfers in Japan have not embraced EV or electric vehicles to date, as these longer trips make golfers nervous about the EV’s range, and a lack of infrastructure has probably kept us in our gas guzzlers.

But inevitably, electric is where everything is going, and we all know that in 10 years we will own an electric car. However is the time to change now? The latest models boast more range than ever, are reasonably priced, and with moves to build public infrastructure is it time golfers seriously started to consider going greener? (Every pun intended). With that in mind, we took...

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