• 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
  • Movements as equations: how not to get kicked in the head
    June 23rd, 2009By Category: Uncategorized
    While training in Korea, I once heard a former member of the Canadian national Taekwondo team, describe  Taekwondo ring fighting as nothing more than a system of equations: your opponent moves this way("A), and you simply have to respond that way ("+ B") to get th ... » Continue Reading
  • Naha, Okinawa: A Place in the Sun
    June 15th, 2009By Category: Uncategorized
    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: Uncategorized
    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: Uncategorized
    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: Uncategorized
    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: Uncategorized
    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: Uncategorized
    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
  • Omiyage
    May 7th, 2009By Category: Uncategorized
    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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    April 28th, 2009By Category: Uncategorized
    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: Uncategorized
    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: Uncategorized
    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