Category: Gunma Life

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Canyoning in Minakami

September 14, 2010 | Gunma Life | 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 | Gunma Life | 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 | Gunma Life | 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…)

Practicing Traditional Japanese Dance

March 16, 2010 | Gunma Life | No Comments

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There were a lot of reasons I needed to take up a formal hobby: Enthusiasm. Challenge. Accomplishment. Boredom, etc. I also wanted to learn more about Japan and my own community. And, because I’m rarely home on the weekends, I wanted something fun to do in my town during the week.

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The Three Mountains of Joumou

December 31, 2009 | Gunma Life | 1 Comment

In days past, Gunma Prefecture was called “Joshu” or “Jomo”, and, as samurai, shogunate, emperors, and commonfolk traveled to and through our dear Gunma Prefecture in search of silk, agricultural treats, military gain, or maybe love, it was only inevitable that they would find themselves at the abrupt foothills of the Kanto Mountain Range. Gunma Prefecture has many mountains across its landlocked mass, but these 3 specific mountains are very special and revered as Shinto deities. (more…)