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Stay Warm Guide

January 17, 2011 | Guides | 1 Comment

Like it or not, winter is upon us, and living in Gunma inevitably means chilly mornings in your uninsulated house, long treks to school through heavy snow, up hill both ways, on a bike, and acquiring a fondness for the smell of kerosene.

Chicken Soup

January 11, 2011 | Food and Drink | No Comments

In case you have not noticed, winter is here in Gunma. While the howling wind whistles in through the windows and the sun sinks down behind the horizon at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, no one wants to do anything except cuddle up in a quilt on the couch (or under the kosatsu) and eat […]

Fuel Efficiency Girl Heidi

December 20, 2010 | Japan life | No Comments

You see them every day, dangling from your student’s backpacks and adorning their pencil cases. Trinkets and curios of popular characters your students subscribe to, and for the most part they are recognizable, like Totoro or Hello Kitty. But sometimes a character so cripplingly bizarre pops up that you suddenly find yourself on the wrong […]

Thoughts on Japan

December 17, 2010 | Japan life | 1 Comment

A few weeks before I left North Carolina for Japan, I met my friend Juan Eduardo for a coffee at Starbucks. He is an immigrant from El Salvador who has lived in the U.S. for the past six years. We were sitting at the metal café tables outside the shop, watching the traffic go by […]

Winter Pepsi

November 26, 2010 | Food and Drink | 4 Comments

One thing that you quickly notice living in Japan is the true love the Japanese share for the seasons, and how they celebrate the changing of the seasons with relish. Summer brings fireworks and yukata.  And at summer’s end, Autumn may not quite feel like autumn yet, the leaves may not have changed colors, but […]

For many of us ALTs in Japan, deciding what to do and where to go during the Christmas holidays can be quite the struggle. There is usually a split in numbers between those who are going back home, and the others who go off exploring. As foreigners we are often amused by Japan’s interpretations of […]

Gunma’s Galaxy Waypoint 天文台

November 18, 2010 | Travel | No Comments

The main place to view the stars in my hometown of Miami is at the local Science Museum. It is located at the edge of a sprawling downtown, so you have to fight through immense traffic just to enter the place. Then, there are the hoards of anxious people trying not to miss the last […]

Sitting Around the Nabe Pot

November 10, 2010 | Food and Drink | No Comments

The snow is falling in the mountains and the temperatures are dropping. It is that time of year when we struggle to find comfort in our uninsulated Gunma apartments.  If you are not already spending each evening snuggled beneath the kotatsu grasping for any small amount of warmth, then it is certainly time to open […]