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‘Serious’ Cycling in Japan

May 21, 2013 | Blog | No Comments

You know that phrase “just like riding a bike?” I suppose the creator of this phrase found riding bikes to be the most natural thing in the world; even after not riding their bike for a long time, he or she could remember everything the second they started pedaling. Well, I envy them. (more…)

One Year Later

July 25, 2011 | Blog | No Comments

One year ago, I wondered, with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, what adventures and stories lay in wait? For me, it all truly began the moment the plane touched down on the runway at Narita.


What’s Your Blood Type?

January 31, 2011 | Blog | No Comments

I have been living in Japan for the past eighteen months and still to this day, and much to the shock and horror of the Japanese people I encounter, I have no clue what my blood type is. The first question I was asked by my students during my self-introduction on the first day of class was, “What is your blood type?” Never in my life have I been asked that question by anyone, let alone a fourteen year old kid in broken English. (more…)

Fuel Efficiency Girl Heidi

December 20, 2010 | Blog | 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? (more…)

Your Whistle-Stop Guide to Japanese Fashion

October 8, 2010 | Blog | 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. (more…)