Stories: Arts and Culture

Our World: Czechs, balances make family lore

Stephen Scourfield

A noble line has been restored to its wealth, writes STEPHEN SCOURFIELD

The Travel Club Show : Japan for first-timers

William Yeoman

The first-time visitor to Japan arrives with a lot of baggage, including the cultural variety. All those preconceptions we have about a place like Japan which, from a distance, can seem intense yet calm, modern yet traditional, compact yet spacious.

Maybe it's all these. Just think: Boys Love Manga and woodblock prints. Maid cafes and geisha tea houses. Anime and kabuki. Bullet trains and rickshaws. Crowded cities and serene villages. Hamburgers and sushi.

But the biggest thing confronting the first-time visitor is the unknown...

Arrivals & Departures: Metal gods of Brum Celebrated

Steve McKenna

Still gritty-edged, Birmingham is making some serious noise for Black Sabbath, finds STEVE McKENNA

TRAVEL GUIDE River cruising Europe: Turning the pages on library's treasures

Stephen Scourfield

STEPHEN SCOURFIELD looks inside the halls of the Strahov Monastery Library

Travel Story: Following the path of a genius

Suzanne Morphet

SUZANNE MORPHET sees the work and life of Leonardo da Vinci in one of Italy's most beautiful cities

Photography: Why a camera?

Mogens Johansen

Over the past two weeks, MOGENS JOHANSEN has tested and given his often surprising verdicts on phone cameras and superzooms; the cutting edge of travel tech photography. Here, he returns to his roots. Framing the world with a camera is still a moment to slow down and, literally, to focus

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