日本 in General »

By Chelsey Reid | 20th December 2010 | 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 side of a vaguely unsettling generation gap, as you are grossly uninformed as to what is popular with your students. Care to be let back into the loop?

日本 in General »

By Jaimie Foster | 17th December 2010 | 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 on Battleground Avenue and enjoying the warm June sun.

Food and Drink »

By Alice Volkmar | 26th November 2010 | 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 as soon as September rolls around the advertisements change to sweater-wearing girls against backdrops of gorgeous winter foliage.

Travel »

By Helen Auer | 22nd November 2010 | No Comments

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 Western holidays like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas, the perfect examples of such are elaborately displayed at Tokyo Disneyland!

Travel »

By David Shaw | 18th November 2010 | 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 laser light show of the day. You have to ask an employee where to find the telescope, and they direct you down a dark dirty alley and up a long flight of stairs only to …

Food and Drink »

By Jessie Zanutig | 10th November 2010 | 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 your storage closets (or wallets) and get your apartment set up for the long cold winter months ahead.

Teaching »

By Mark Daniels | 5th November 2010 | 1 Comment

ALTs in Japan come from a wide range of countries, have a wide range of personalities and do a wide range of jobs.  You may say that this leads to a fascinating group of people that can teach Japan so much and also learn a great deal from each other.  What is perhaps far more profound, interesting and relevant to society at large is that these factors lead to a hugely diverse fashion sense, even within the ALT workplace.

Travel »

By Jessie Zanutig | 2nd November 2010 | 2 Comments

As if your car stereo pumping out mad J-Pop tunes is not quite enough to keep you entertained and awake while driving to your favorite Gunma tourist destination, Japanese engineers have designed numerous melody roads that consist of strategically spaced grooves in the road that rumble often unfamiliar tunes through your car, similar to the rumble strips you might be familiar with back home.

Guides »

By Jessie Zanutig | 29th October 2010 | 5 Comments

Thinking of hitting the slopes this winter?  The snow is already falling and Gunma just so happens to have some of the best snow and ski hills in all of Japan. It would be a crying shame to miss out on all that fresh pow!  Whether you are a seasoned rider or a newbie, there are plenty of opportunities to ride your heart out all winter long!

Travel »

By Jessie Zanutig | 22nd October 2010 | No Comments

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