Author: gunmagreg

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Ikaho Day Trippin’

October 14, 2010 | Travel | 1 Comment

A few weeks ago I ventured north from home in the capital city of Gunma towards Mt. Haruna in search of Ikaho Onsen Town, a small town famous for beautiful mountain views and iron-filled hot springs. Ikaho is easily accessible by car, but for those of us without a set of wheels the trip may seem slightly more daunting. (more…)

And now for a humorous guide to Japanese fashion by someone who knows absolutely zilch about the latest rage, but a great deal about people-watching!  I have comprised a list of the top trends for both guys and girls, with some words of encouragement (or more often caution) for the wannabe copycat ALT. (more…)

This is Halloween

September 29, 2010 | Teaching | No Comments

Halloween is upon us — that spooky mysterious holiday that the Japanese people know nearly nothing about.  The trees in Gunma will begin to change colours, and there is a cool crisp feeling in the air – a reminder that winter is drawing near and our towns will soon be covered in a blanket of snow. (more…)

Around the world, konnyaku is known by many names: devil’s tongue, konjac, 蒟蒻, konjar, voodoo lily, snake palm, but to 45 people (since 1995), it is better known as the cause of death! Perhaps we should get to know this potential menace lurking in the (brightly lit) shadows of our local supermarkets and convenience stores a little bit better.
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Canyoning in Minakami

September 14, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

What exactly is canyoning? To the uninformed layman the word may conjure up images of an adventurous trip exploring a canyon, although the details are not readily apparent. It sounds interesting, but uninformative. In my expert opinion (I am a one-time canyoning veteran as of this past weekend) I would more appropriately name it, “waterfalling” because that is precisely what it is — jumping off rushing waterfalls! (more…)

Gunma’s Penis Museum

August 29, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

“Did you come to this country to pray for the proper functioning of your genitals?” — Not quite!  But regardless, I handed over 900 yen to the creepy lady in her penis garden and began the tour of Gunma’s only penis museum. (more…)

Welcome to Gunma

August 25, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

Hi. My Name is Ian McDonald. After a massive 3 day gauntlet of introductory conferences in Tokyo, seeing Gunma from a bus window for the first time served up quite a shock to my initial expectations of what life was going to be like in Japan. The proud skyscrapers of Shinjuku thawed quickly into a sprawling green landscape guarded by mountains and hills in nearly every direction. I had been mesmerized by Tokyo, but after a couple of hours on the highway I realized I had only then entered Japan. (more…)