• Omiyage
    May 7th, 2009By Category: Culture
    In Japan, bringing back souvenirs from a trip is somewhat of a professional obligation. If you take a vacation, move into a new apartment or attend a special event, you are expected to share a little bit of your good fortune with the people around you. Usually, pe ... » Continue Reading
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    Gyaru-O!
    April 28th, 2009By Category: Culture
    Or in English, 'Man-Gal'. A relatively  new phenomenon (or perhaps I've just noticed it recently), is the Gyaru-O. O stands for otoko or man. Gyaru, from the English word, gal also sometimes described as a yankee-girl, refers to a girl who tans her skin, bleaches ... » Continue Reading
  • Spring Has Sprung in Akita
    April 15th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    Hello everyone!  It's me, Akie. Sure hope you are all feeling great, very genki. You know, spring is here, and there is nowhere else in the whole world I'd rather want to be than here in Akita.  Wow, I can't believe when we first met I was  still all wrapped up in my ... » Continue Reading
  • Okazaki
    April 14th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    For the Nagoya day-tripper, Okazaki makes for an effortless and engaging change of scene. Less than 30 minutes from Nagoya station on the Meitetsu line, Okazaki is renowned for being the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu, first Shogun of the Edo period (1603 - 1868). ... » Continue Reading
  • Seimei, it’s like Obon on Steroids
    April 13th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    The people of Okinawa don't celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter or many of the religious holidays many westerners are familiar with. But they do have plenty of their own special holidays and traditions to speak of. They even have one or two that are not c ... » Continue Reading
  • Dinner time at the Onsen
    April 10th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    AE - You know, after a long dip in an onsen I'm usually really famished... AK - I hear you.  A hot onsen not only takes your stresses away, leaves your skin silky smooth, but also leaves you starving. AE - Hey, don't interrupt me when I'm talking during my blog ... » Continue Reading
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    Wax on, Wax off: Cleaning as a Martial Arts Metaphor, Part 1
    April 9th, 2009By Category: Culture
    So after moving into my new apartment recently, I had to spent a few days cleaning it, and while doing so, I pondered why it is that traditional martial arts masters always make their students spend a lot of time cleaning. Coming from an American cultural backgro ... » Continue Reading
  • Te-Ge
    April 8th, 2009By Category: Culture, Travel
    One of the things that make a place like Okinawa so attractive to the many tourists who visit here is the carefree lifestyle of the inhabitants. While people up in mainland Japan hustle and bustle about at breakneck speed cramming themselves like sardines into ste ... » Continue Reading
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    Duck-like sitting ducks!
    April 4th, 2009By Category: Culture
    akie-akitabijin.blogspot.com ... » Continue Reading
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    Fresh Fish!
    April 1st, 2009By Category: Culture
    photo credit: knaakle We take a lot for granted these days. Just take the subject of fresh foods for instance. Meats, fish, produce, you name it, from the farmer or the fisherman to the wholesaler to the retailer to your refrigerator it's all harvested, transported, ... » Continue Reading