• On Your Mark! – The Great Japanese Stamp Rally
    January 27th, 2010By Category: Culture
    Perhaps you have noticed the abundance of rubber stamps lurking in random places all across Japan. From the shadowy corners of famous train stations to the celebrated entryways of national monuments, there is usually a special, rubberized carving provided for the comm ... » Continue Reading
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  • Pop a (pretty difficult) squat
    October 21st, 2009By Category: Culture
    Here is a challenge for you: try to squat just like the little boy in the picture. He was tired of walking all over the zoo and decided to just rest for a second. Notice how his knees are touching and his feet are perfectly flat, yet he had no problem balancing his weig ... » Continue Reading
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    American Football In Japan!?!
    June 24th, 2009By Category: Culture
    After moving here to Japan from Chicago about 5 years ago, I thought I said goodbye to my football career. Then I met a guy who knew a guy that gave me a full scholarship to play football at Teikyo University, and the rest is history. I still can't believe that story ... » Continue Reading
  • The King’s Road
    June 24th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    It's been designated as one of the 100 most historic streets in all Japan and was built specifically for the personal use of the King of the Ryukyus. He, along with his family and entourage used it to travel to their second residence at the royal gardens. Over tim ... » Continue Reading
  • Naha, Okinawa: A Place in the Sun
    June 15th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    When arriving in Naha, Okinawa, you will immediately feel there is something different about the place and about the people from mainland Japan. In fact, Okinawa today is a mix of Chinese, Japanese, and a sprinkle of American culture all thrown in together. (mor ... » Continue Reading
  • Frogs, Mud and Rice Planting
    June 3rd, 2009By Category: Culture
    Konnichi wa from Akita! It's me your Akita Bijin, Akie, up-here in one of the best rice producing prefectures in all of Japan! So, no need for me to be telling you what time of year this is for us in good ole Akita...'Yep!  You guessed it!'  Its rice-planting seas ... » Continue Reading
  • The Bridge under the River Koi!
    May 21st, 2009By Category: Culture
    For those unfamiliar with Japanese holidays, Golden week is a grouping of four national holidays within a seven day period that practically rivals Obon and the New Year celebration in importance to the Japanese people. With Japanese people working as hard as they ... » Continue Reading
  • Self-imposed pigeon toes?
    May 13th, 2009By Category: Culture
    There was something that had been positively mystifying me since my arrival in Japan. I wasn't the only one who was confused, either. My fellow expat friends had also noticed that an unusually high percentage of Japanese girls and young women appeared to be pigeon ... » Continue Reading
  • Meeting a REAL Akita Bijin
    May 13th, 2009By Category: Culture
    Hey, Everyone! Did you have a great Golden Week? I sure did and the weather here in Akita was just gorgeous! And speaking of gorgeous, I want you to meet a Real-Live Akita Bijin in this blog entry! Now, you guys all know that I am not a real person, don't you? You ... » Continue Reading
  • Yoro Park and the Site of Reversible Destiny
    May 12th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    At the western edge of Gifu Prefecture, resting between the mountains and Ibigawa river lies Yoro, a daytrip idyll. Gifu can be short of ideas for those with children during the warmer months, but Yoro provides an inexpensive, varied and fun day for all. Yoro pa ... » Continue Reading