Travel »

By Helen Auer | 5th September 2010 | No Comments

The sunburn, the threat of rain, the sweat, the cheers, and the beer are all part of kaleidoscope that is The ALT Soccer Tournament.

Travel »

By Jessie Zanutig | 29th August 2010 | No Comments

“Did you come to this country to pray for the proper functioning of your genitals?” — Not quite!  But regardless, I handed over 900 yen to the creepy lady in her penis garden and began the tour of Gunma’s only penis museum.

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 …

Marked, Travel »

By Jessie Zanutig | 8th July 2010 | 3 Comments

The mercury is slowly rising and it’s come time to break out the towels and fans from winter storage.  Melting away in the sweaty Gunma heat isn’t so bad when there are plenty of summer festivals to look forward to!  In all the far reaches of our beautiful prefecture you can find a multitude of festivals to check out.

Marked, Travel »

By Mark Daniels | 29th June 2010 | No Comments

Between watching a group of hundreds diligently practicing tai chi together in the finance district, seemingly oblivious to the rush-hour commuters bustling around them, relaxing in a ‘yum cha‘ cafe with rowdy businessmen, riding the tram up to Victoria Peak for stunning views of the city, watching the laser show over the hyper-modern skyscrapers at the harbour, and the more traditional tourist stop-offs such as the Big Buddha (and they mean BIG! Think Kamakura: 13.35m, Hong Kong: 34m), Hong Kong is a city that certainly appeals to everyone. 

Food and Drink »

By Thom Schumacher | 24th June 2010 | No Comments

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

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.”