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
doris-day-teachers-pet3

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

Looking for a place to stay on a budget? Need an insider’s guide to a travel destination? Couch Surfing is a non-profit network of over a million travelers that share a common interest in travel, friendship, and cultural exchange. Open your house up and offer your couch to wanderers and in return for the comfort of millions of couches around the world. The greatest part of couch surfing is that it is entirely FREE!

Travel »

By Ashley Kaye Hayes | 14th October 2010 | 1 Comment

A few weeks ago I ventured north from home in the capital city of Gunma towards Mt. Haruna in search of Ikaho Onsen Town, a small town famous for beautiful mountain views and iron-filled hot springs. Ikaho is easily accessible by car, but for those of us without a set of wheels the trip may seem slightly more daunting.

日本 in General »

By Mark Daniels | 8th October 2010 | 1 Comment

And now for a humorous guide to Japanese fashion by someone who knows absolutely zilch about the latest rage, but a great deal about people-watching!  I have comprised a list of the top trends for both guys and girls, with some words of encouragement (or more often caution) for the wannabe copycat ALT.

Teaching »

By Jessie Zanutig | 29th September 2010 | No Comments

Halloween is upon us — that spooky mysterious holiday that the Japanese people know nearly nothing about.  The trees in Gunma will begin to change colours, and there is a cool crisp feeling in the air – a reminder that winter is drawing near and our towns will soon be covered in a blanket of snow.

Food and Drink »

By Chuck Clenney | 27th September 2010 | 15 Comments

Around the world, konnyaku is known by many names: devil’s tongue, konjac, 蒟蒻, konjar, voodoo lily, snake palm, but to 45 people (since 1995), it is better known as the cause of death! Perhaps we should get to know this potential menace lurking in the (brightly lit) shadows of our local supermarkets and convenience stores a little bit better.

Travel »

By Allen Bo Agunday | 14th September 2010 | 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!