• Hafu: Growing up with a mixed heritage in Japan
    December 13th, 2013By Category: Culture
    When I went to see the ‘Hafu’, the independent film exploring the lives of Japanese residents with a single Japanese parent, I had two clear pre-conceptions: (1) That this was a film that could only exist about Japan. In more multicultural countries, I reasoned ... » Continue Reading
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    2013 Tokyo Ramen Grand Prix Wrap Up
    December 6th, 2013By Category: Culture, Food & Dining
    Since moving to Japan, the once thing I promised myself I’d never write about is ramen. I’m hardly an expert and I think there are as many food bloggers covering ramen art as there are shops in Tokyo. That said, I’ve decided I'm a big fat hypocrite, because the Tokyo Ra ... » Continue Reading
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    20 signs you live in Japan
    November 26th, 2013By Category: Culture
    (1) You think it quite normal for an ATM to need down time, but you expect you local konbini to be open 24/7. (2) You hesitate to wear shoes that cannot be taken off in seconds. (3) Being hugged in the street is very embarrassing, but naked bath time with your wor ... » Continue Reading
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    5 J-Blogs You Should Be Reading
    November 19th, 2013By Category: Arts & Entertainment, Culture, Events, Food & Dining
    Here’s a quick roundup of some of my favorite blogs about life in Japan. Whether you’re into yummy stuff, geek culture, or the seedy underbelly of this nation, these bloggers do a capital job of bringing their passions to life on the monitor. 1) Spoon and Tamago ... » Continue Reading
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    Culture Day
    November 4th, 2013By Category: Culture
    Culture Day, or 文化の日, is one of the very few holidays in Japan that is not liable to change due to the “Happy Monday” system, which sees most national holidays fall on a Monday. Culture Day is celebrated on the 3rd of November every year and gives most the day off ... » Continue Reading
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    Gifu Cormorant Fishing 2013
    October 30th, 2013By Category: Culture, Events, Travel
    Ukai or Cormorant Fishing has taken place along the famous Nagara River in Gifu for more than 1300 years. It is a traditional fishing method that uses trained cormorants to catch river fish. The samurai warlord Oda Nobunaga took the ukai fisherman under his patronage an ... » Continue Reading
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    Gifu Nobunaga Festival 2013
    October 22nd, 2013By Category: Culture, Events
    The Gifu Nobunaga Festival is held on the first Saturday and Sunday of October. The festival honours the memory and feats of Oda Nobunaga, a samurai warlord who used Gifu City as a base on his mission to unify Japan during the warring states period (Sengoku Period). It ... » Continue Reading
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    Halloween Snacks in Japan
    October 21st, 2013By Category: Culture, Food & Dining
    Autumn is one of the best times of year in Japan for seasonal food and drink. Some of the seasonal delicacies include kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) kuri (chestnuts) and satsumaimo (sweet potato). During the summer I wrote about some of the summer snacks that were available ... » Continue Reading
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    Sumo Dreams Do Come True
    October 2nd, 2013By Category: Culture
    Can I tell you something? I had absolutely no desire to see sumo. Nothing against it, it just never occurred to me to want to go, and that lack of desire was fortified after talking to a few of my Japanese students. Their comments included: “You’re going to sumo? (long ... » Continue Reading
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    Your New Happy Place: Spa LaQua
    September 6th, 2013By Category: Culture
    Your first time should be special. I’d never gone to an onsen before—okay that’s a lie. If you count the one in Japantown in San Francisco, then yes, I’d been to one, and it was pretty good. But it was nothing compared to the super deluxe chill-out palace that is Spa La ... » Continue Reading