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

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...

The Long Walk – Discover the Real Tokyo Without the Crowds

During the latter part of the COVID-19 pandemic, I embarked on a new hobby: long walks across Tokyo. The pandemic itself was just a kick in the pants to get me to do something I...

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.

Escape to paradise with 14 of your closest friends

Atagoya is one of those special places combining history and luxury, the product of a young entrepreneur restoring Japan’s historic kominka folk houses.

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.

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?

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.

Fables of the Japanese Conbini

Everybody thinks they know how awesome Japanese convenience stores are, but did you also know these things?

The Alien Among Us

You may find yourself at peace in natural surroundings whose love for you isn’t so unrequited… but the image of Kinsaku Baru will haunt you, in a wistful way not entirely unpleasant, and it will change you.

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...

LIFE IN JAPAN

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?

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.

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?

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...

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.

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...

Riding the Friendly Skies – The Skyflyer Ultra Express

To be frank, I have been a long-time customer of the Keisei Skyliner train between Narita Airport and Ueno Station and have never once had anything critical to say about its comfort and service. No...

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?

The Long Walk – Discover the Real Tokyo Without the Crowds

During the latter part of the COVID-19 pandemic, I embarked on a new hobby: long walks across Tokyo. The pandemic itself was just a kick in the pants to get me to do something I...

Long Walks in Tokyo – From Ginza to Shinjuku

As I mentioned in my introductory post, I love long walks in Tokyo. One of my favorite ways to take a long walk is to connect two stations along the JR Yamanote Line that encircles the central city....
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...

7 Essential Items For a Summer Trip to Japan

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 daunting for those who have never experienced it before, especially...

Riding the Friendly Skies – The Skyflyer Ultra Express

Riding the Friendly Skies – The Skyflyer Ultra Express

To be frank, I have been a long-time customer of the Keisei Skyliner train between Narita Airport and Ueno Station and have never once had anything critical to say about its comfort and service. No traveler loves the long distance between Narita and the capital, but...

Tokyo Street Fashion Inspired By Houseplants

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 movement of young...

The Alien Among Us

The Alien Among Us

You may find yourself at peace in natural surroundings whose love for you isn’t so unrequited… but the image of Kinsaku Baru will haunt you, in a wistful way not entirely unpleasant, and it will change you.

Tea Ceremony, Rebooted

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 Nihonbashi. When COVID struck Japan over two years ago, tea ceremony...

When You Have A Dream Job

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 introduce me to such an addictive source of writing knowing the demands of...

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