Blog

When I’m not producing content for my clients, I write and take photos about my life in Japan for fun and post the stories here.

Where’s The Beef? Discover the Kobe You Never Knew

If Kobe Beef is all you know about Kobe, there are much better reasons to see this miraculous city for yourself. It boasts modern architecture, historical quarters, jazz influence, and a rich sake production history. Ever resilient, Kobe has rebuilt itself after the devastating 1995 earthquake, offering much more beyond its culinary fame.

Forget Kyoto and Tokyo – The 5 Best Alternative Cities for First Time Visitors to Japan

While Kyoto chokes on tourists, countless other cities and regions of Japan that are equally charming, beautiful or historic remain virtually ignored. Here are 5 amazing cities in Japan other than Kyoto and Tokyo that are easily accessible even to first-time visitors to Japan.

Gohime – The Shogun’s Daughter Who Became A Christian

Discover the story of how Gohime, daughter of the Japanese warlord who first made Christianity illegal in Japan, became a Christian herself.

How To Pack for a Spring Trip to Japan

So you're planning for the trip of a lifetime to see Japan in the Spring? So are millions of others, my friend, so let me start with the tip I always give to first-time visitors to Japan. Check off the major items on your Tokyo and Kyoto bucket...

Get Outta Town! 5 Japan Destinations for Cherry Blossoms Better than Kyoto and Tokyo

The fifth update to the annual Japan Meteorological Corporation's Cherry Blossom Forecast was released this week, with the 2024 season slated to start a day earlier than the 2023 season here in Tokyo. The full season begins from roughly mid-March...

Tokyo Street Fashion Inspired By Houseplants

"The city is so hard. Just cement on top of dirt on top of rock. Even weeds have trouble growing here." Butsu Shoku kicks at the asphalt beneath her feet. The long vine of pothos trailing down her sleeve swings freely. Butsu is part of the growing...

Driving at the End of the World

This is the Iya Valley of Tokushima Prefecture, sitting at the edge of the world, sometimes just beyond it.

4 Personalities That Can Thrive in Tokyo

Many people in the world dream of living in Tokyo. Do you have the personality type that can thrive in Tokyo?

TRAVEL

When You Have A Dream Job

A former friend introduced me to Craig Mod's Ridgeline, a fascinating little newsletter about Japan, long walks, and writing, in random order. I say former friend because no true friend would...

The Vegetarian Food Culture of Kyoto

Kyoto is certainly rich in Japanese tradition and cultural history, but how well does it fare when it comes to vegetarian cuisine? I found out on a recent business trip to the old capital.

Could Yamaguchi City Become the New Kyoto?

In 2023, writer Craig Mod created quite a stir in the sleepy town of Morioka in Iwate Prefecture by naming it as his pick for places to visit in 2023 for a New York Times article. A media frenzy...

The Miracle of the Gorin Church

How the Japanese “Hidden Christians” of tiny and impoverished Gorin Village in the Goto Islands finally got the beautiful church building they prayed for.

Forget Kyoto and Tokyo – The 5 Best Alternative Cities for First Time Visitors to Japan

While Kyoto chokes on tourists, countless other cities and regions of Japan that are equally charming, beautiful or historic remain virtually ignored. Here are 5 amazing cities in Japan other than Kyoto and Tokyo that are easily accessible even to first-time visitors to Japan.

On Becoming a Tokyo – Kyoto Commuter

As I have been in negotiations for a full-time position at a company I have been freelancing for, I have been "practicing" to be a full-time worker again after 8 years of freelance work. One of the...

7 Essential Items For a Summer Trip to Japan

Summer vacation is in full swing, COVID-19 travel restrictions are almost completely a thing of the past, and Japan has been tugging at your travel sleeve for years now. But summer in Japan can be...

How To Pack for a Spring Trip to Japan

So you're planning for the trip of a lifetime to see Japan in the Spring? So are millions of others, my friend, so let me start with the tip I always give to first-time visitors to Japan. Check off...

Get Outta Town! 5 Japan Destinations for Cherry Blossoms Better than Kyoto and Tokyo

The fifth update to the annual Japan Meteorological Corporation's Cherry Blossom Forecast was released this week, with the 2024 season slated to start a day earlier than the 2023 season here in...

AI-yah! – Will ChatGPT Soon Replace Travel Writers?

When it comes to the idea of technology crossing the blurred line into the creative fields, I am a pragmatist.

LIFE IN JAPAN

Tokyo Street Fashion Inspired By Houseplants

"The city is so hard. Just cement on top of dirt on top of rock. Even weeds have trouble growing here." Butsu Shoku kicks at the asphalt beneath her feet. The long vine of pothos trailing down her...

Tea Ceremony, Rebooted

This past weekend, I finally exhaled. Well, that was the feeling anyway, as my tea ceremony teacher along with another group of teachers and students hosted a tea ceremony event at a lovely venue in...

Papa’s Got a Brand New (Canvas) Bag

Tracking down the Japanese company that made my favorite canvas briefcase bag was not easy, but the satisfaction of a owning a new bag was worth the effort.

Hello Again, 2020

With the state of emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic lifted across all of Japan as of yesterday, is it too late to salvage the year 2020?

Disappearing In Japan

Preserving a slice of history in my own neighborhood – photos of Showa era buildings that are being torn down in the name of progress.

On Becoming a Tokyo – Kyoto Commuter

As I have been in negotiations for a full-time position at a company I have been freelancing for, I have been "practicing" to be a full-time worker again after 8 years of freelance work. One of the...

How To Fail At Workation

The time I tried to do “workation” in Nagano in Japan and failed miserably. But perhaps it wasn’t misery I found, but a chance to truly relax.

The Green Mile – A Long Road of Practicing Tea Ceremony

What the world’s worst tea ceremony student has learned through practicing tea in Japan, and it isn’t about tea at all.

A Time To Grow

I’ve wished my life wouldn’t pass me by so quickly, that I would have time for myself. And now that my wish in some twisted way has come true, why am I not doing the things that I always said I would?

Workation – The Key to the Recovery of Japanese Tourism

What is workation in Japan and how will it help the Japanese tourism economy recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19 on foreign tourism to Japan?

Desperately Seeking Shoyu In Saitama

Desperately Seeking Shoyu In Saitama

Let Chiba have their giants of mass-produced soy sauce. I’ll head west to Kawagoe, where three craft shoyu makers are still creating cedar barrel-aged masterpieces of sweet umami flavor.

Where’s The Beef? Discover the Kobe You Never Knew

Where’s The Beef? Discover the Kobe You Never Knew

If Kobe Beef is all you know about Kobe, there are much better reasons to see this miraculous city for yourself. It boasts modern architecture, historical quarters, jazz influence, and a rich sake production history. Ever resilient, Kobe has rebuilt itself after the devastating 1995 earthquake, offering much more beyond its culinary fame.

How To Pack for a Spring Trip to Japan

How To Pack for a Spring Trip to Japan

So you're planning for the trip of a lifetime to see Japan in the Spring? So are millions of others, my friend, so let me start with the tip I always give to first-time visitors to Japan. Check off the major items on your Tokyo and Kyoto bucket lists, then hurry out...

Could Yamaguchi City Become the New Kyoto?

Could Yamaguchi City Become the New Kyoto?

In 2023, writer Craig Mod created quite a stir in the sleepy town of Morioka in Iwate Prefecture by naming it as his pick for places to visit in 2023 for a New York Times article. A media frenzy ensued (especially here in Japan, where Craig's pick completely...

How Hachiko the 100-year-old Dog Still Inspires a Nation

How Hachiko the 100-year-old Dog Still Inspires a Nation

Japan's most beloved dog, Hachiko celebrates his 100th birthday this month, or in dog years, his 700th birthday, which is approaching Dog Methuselah years. Of course, dear Hachiko is no longer with us, having crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 1935 after faithfully waiting...

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