Part 2 of my series on traveling in post-disaster Japan was the most difficult to write. I went to a hot springs resort in Fukushima, called Noji Onsen, and unexpectedly ran into some of the most unlucky survivors: the fishermen of Namie-machi. Namie-machi (machi means village in Japanese) is four miles from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The village got hit by the earthquake, and then by the tsunami. It rolled in so fast and high that it took boats, houses, and people away. Here’s a part of an interview with one of the fishermen that I couldn’t fit into my Slate.com...

In my latest Real Travel column for National Geographic Traveler I talk about how I always like to sample the local brew (or grape) when I travel--it's one of the fastest ways I know to dive into another culture. Usually, I'm doing my tasting in the same place where the drink is made--wine tasting in Mendoza, warm cans of beer at a football match in London, tequila in Mexico, etc. But lately, in Hong Kong, I've been using spirits to explore far away places. Hong Kong doesn't really have an alcoholic drink to call its own. (In this hyper-intense business and finance...