Travel »

By Ian McDonald | 25th August 2010 | No Comments

Hi. My Name is Ian McDonald. After a massive 3 day gauntlet of introductory conferences in Tokyo, seeing Gunma from a bus window for the first time served up quite a shock to my initial expectations of what life was going to be like in Japan. The proud skyscrapers of Shinjuku thawed quickly into a sprawling green landscape guarded by mountains and hills in nearly every direction. I had been mesmerized by Tokyo, but after a couple of hours on the highway …

Food and Drink »

By Thom Schumacher | 24th June 2010 | No Comments
ume

With the sun rising at some ungodly hour and then beating down on me all day it is no wonder that after a hard day of work I feel like a refreshing tipple.   And with the summers warmth comes a great fruit; the ume. It is from this very fruit that comes a traditional, fragrant delight: 梅酒 or Umeshū. It just so happens to be the season to throw together this delicious alcoholic beverage, and that is precisely what I did.

Travel »

By Jessie Zanutig | 7th June 2010 | 1 Comment
FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP_thumb

A wise old man in some corner of Japan once said, “He who climbs Fuji is a wise man.  He who climbs twice is a fool.”  It’s been almost one year since I myself made the ascent up Japan’s highest peak, and perhaps it is my foolish intention to reach the summit again this August.

日本 in General »

By Maria Perez | 11th May 2010 | No Comments

Japan is indeed an intriguing place which often enchants visitors and foreign residents alike. The bright lights of Tokyo, the temples of Kyoto, the tropics of Okinawa, the care-free nature of Hanami and Matsuri season, would make anyone simply love the land of the rising sun. I have been here a little over a year and a half and constantly find myself loving this place more and more but also, at times, feeling immensely frustrated with it, in fact, sometimes hating it all together.

Teaching »

By anonymous | 15th April 2010 | 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 school teachers. Even worse, the students came into the desk-free English classroom without even so much as a pencil.

日本 in General »

By Carol Colina | 3rd April 2010 | 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 to as hanami-zake.”

Guides »

By Leanne Grace Costa | 23rd March 2010 | 2 Comments
runner

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 to take it up again.

日本 in General »

By Michelle Lindsay Tamiko Englar | 16th March 2010 | 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.

Guides »

By Marcus Smith | 12th March 2010 | No Comments
karate-cat

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 hard time dealing with the unreasonably long, dark and cold Gunma winter (I’m from South Carolina and don’t usually have to deal with this).

日本 in General »

By Benjamin Woodard | 9th February 2010 | 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 my previous experience.