Guides »

By Keith Watson | 9th August 2011 | 1 Comment

I must confess my stupidity. During my first 12 months in Japan I have been confusing the Japanese emoticon for ‘smiley’ with the one for ‘angry face’. It suddenly dawned on me, with a cold chill of realisation, that every time I emailed a new friend for the first time, or made a plan to meet up at the weekend, or sent an SMS to one of the teachers at my school, I’ve done it with a dirty look.

Guides »

By Kaitlin Kirby | 26th July 2011 | No Comments

Summer festival season is upon us. For many Japanese people it means garnishing portable shrines and dusting off traditional costumes to parade through town. For all people it means enjoying fun in the sun, food stalls and fireworks. Nothing tops off the festival season better than doing it in style!

日本 in General »

By Allen Bo Agunday | 25th July 2011 | No Comments

One year ago, I wondered, with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, what adventures and stories lay in wait? For me, it all truly began the moment the plane touched down on the runway at Narita.

日本 in General »

By Robin Stafford | 28th June 2011 | 1 Comment

If a picture is worth a thousand words, seeing it in person is worth at least a million. Yet there were no words good enough to describe the devastation seen in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture.

日本 in General »

By Mark Daniels | 23rd June 2011 | 3 Comments

It’s close to two years since I arrived in Japan. Like many JETs, I’m now in preparation for the big kikoku. Of course, there are plenty of things to think about, to organise, and to clean! But between all of the practical considerations, there’s an equally important set of frankly quite distracting feelings regarding the end of this chapter… and the start of a new one.

Travel »

By Claire Kelly | 15th June 2011 | 1 Comment

“What are you doing for Golden Week?” A question frequently heard amongst ALTs as early as January. For some, it’s being planned in their minds almost as soon as they learn what Golden Week is – the appropriately named public holidays spanning over two weeks – meaning you only need two days of nenkyu to enjoy a full 10 days off!

日本 in General »

By Emma Evans | 9th June 2011 | 4 Comments

On a sunny Saturday in June, teams of ALTs made their way to Nagano hoping to be crowned winners of the bi-annual ALT Soccer Tournament.

日本 in General »

By Ashley McRae | 3rd June 2011 | 2 Comments

Waking to a blaring alarm clock at 4:45am on a Sunday is not everyone’s idea of a pleasant morning. But for me, May 29th was my first ‘marathon’ – something I’d been quite nervous and excited about for a long time!

Food and Drink »

By Chuck Clenney | 28th February 2011 | No Comments

Few things can both physically and metaphorically encompass the current cultural transformations and bewildering fusion of new and old styles present in modern-day Japan, especially while being incredibly delicious and covered in chocolate: meet the world of Japanese KitKats.

Travel »

By Laura Roberts | 23rd February 2011 | 3 Comments

Takaragawa Onsen in the mountains of Minakami is not your average onsen. This one is mixed and allows for the rare opportunity to visit an onsen as a family or with friends.