It’s December! The first snow has fallen in the mountains, the last of the summer mosquitos are dying (thank god) and everyone in Gunma is setting up their kotatsu, refilling their kerosene and buying this season’s most fashionable puffy down jackets. It’s time to brace yourself for the long dark winter ahead.
As we head into spring, the air is becoming warmer, flowers are beginning to bud and nature is awakening. I am finally feeling more cheerful and yearning to be outside. Spring is one of my favorite times of year precisely for these reasons, and it is the perfect time to visit the many breathtaking, calming and mystical temples and shrines around Japan. (more…)
In the mountainous north of Gunma is the scenic Tone District (利根郡). With Numata City (沼田市), it is home to some of Gunma’s most famous tourist locations and activities. Further divided into one town (Minakami) and three villages (Katashina, Kawaba and Showa), Tone is famous for its beautiful scenery, adventure sports, powder snow, and hot springs. In fact, Tone hosts two large GAJET events: the summer canyoning event, and the winter ski and snowboard trip. (more…)
Have you been feeling a little off lately? Sure, the dreaded in-fu-ru-en-za has been going around, but I mean something else entirely—something many people ignore: mental health. If you haven’t been yourself recently, you might even be stuck in the grips of stage two culture shock. (more…)
For those who may not know, I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California, which is famous for its year-round Mediterranean climate (average 13ºC–22ºC throughout the year). Though I spent my university years in a slightly colder and damper Berkeley, California, it was still a shock to my system when temperatures began to fluctuate in the fall of my first year on JET. (more…)