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

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

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.

Travel »

By Chuck Clenney | 31st December 2009 | 1 Comment

In days past, Gunma Prefecture was called “Joshu” or “Jomo”, and, as samurai, shogunate, emperors, and commonfolk traveled to and through our dear Gunma Prefecture in search of silk, agricultural treats, military gain, or maybe love, it was only inevitable that they would find themselves at the abrupt foothills of the Kanto Mountain Range. Gunma Prefecture has many mountains across its landlocked mass, but these 3 specific mountains are very special and revered as Shinto deities.

Food and Drink »

By Laurel Swift | 9th November 2009 | No Comments

Yakitori: who can resist salty, smoky bits of grilled chicken on a stick? Well, maybe a vegetarian could, but for the rest of us, it is likely irresistible. I suppose most of us have found a local yakitori shop to park at for a nibble on warm summer evenings or chilly winter nights alike. If you haven’t found yours yet, look around for their red lanterns hanging by the door and don’t hold back.