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Easy Peasy Games for Elementary

April 15, 2010 | Teaching | 1 Comment

I was excited to be teaching at Junior High School when I arrived in Japan a year and a half ago, but more than a little anxious about Elementary School. It turned out that all my worst fears were true: I would get no supplies, no help, no plan and no ideas from the Elementary […]

Hanami-zake

April 3, 2010 | Japan life | 1 Comment

According to Philip Harper, author of “The Book of Sake: A Connoisseur’s Guide”, former JET Programme participant (1988-1991), and now the sake brewmaster (toji) at Daimon Shuzo in Osaka Prefecture: “Enjoying whatever flowers are in bloom is one of the seasonal pleasures of Japanese life. Flower-viewing revelries are not complete without sake—a drink affectionately referred […]

Run For The Hills

March 23, 2010 | Guides | 2 Comments

I’ve always enjoyed an active lifestyle (dancing, the gym, kick boxing, etc), but when I came to Japan I found it difficult to find affordable hobbies similar to the ones I had done back home. I had run in the past, nothing too hardcore, just a 30 minute jog around the park, so I decided […]

Practicing Traditional Japanese Dance

March 16, 2010 | Japan life | No Comments

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.

Don’t Let the Gunma Winter Keep You Inside

March 12, 2010 | Guides | No Comments

Because your apartment is likely just as cold as it is outside and you know it. This advice is probably best suited for those of you who have just arrived in Japan and are looking for hobbies to occupy your time.  But hopefully, this will also prove useful for those of you who are having a […]

A Night at the Grand Sumo Tournament

February 9, 2010 | Japan life | No Comments

On Saturday, January 16th, I attended the first major sumo event of the year in Japan. I have been hooked on the sport since attending my first tournament last Silver Week. While in Japan, I hope to attend as many matches as possible. This competition proved to be just as exciting, if not more, than […]

The Three Mountains of Joumou

December 31, 2009 | Travel | 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 […]

Yakitori shop: Torikomachi Maebashi

November 9, 2009 | Food and Drink | No Comments

Yakitori: who can resist salty, smoky bits of grilled chicken on a stick? Well, maybe a vegetarian could, but for the rest of us, it is likely irresistible. I suppose most of us have found a local yakitori shop to park at for a nibble on warm summer evenings or chilly winter nights alike. If […]