Studying Japanese

Recently I’ve been a bit slack with posting regularly. The reason for this is that I decided to devote some time to studying Japanese. Despite having lived here for more than five years my language skills are laughably poor so I wanted to take some steps towards remedying this. Studying Alone One reason why I’m…

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Travelling In Japan

Ever had a stranger use your shoulder as a pillow? No? Well if you’re going to be using a local train in Japan don’t be surprised if this happens. Luckily, travelling in Japan isn’t always so awkward. Planes Most visitors’ to Japan will be familiar with Narita International Airport but there are many smaller airports dotted around…

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Hiroshima – Domes and Shadows

Visiting places of historical importance is often a very humbling experience. I remember being in Berlin and looking down to see a gold line running down the side of the pavement. It marked where the Berlin Wall once stood. A chill ran down my spine as I stood there picturing that thing stretching off into…

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Hiroshima – Me and Miyajima

Japan isn’t just Tokyo. There are many other wondrous and fascinating places to visit. Once such place is Hiroshima. I went there for the first time earlier this year and experienced wandering deer, tasty micro-brews, handy trams, Japanese “omelettes”, and horrifying sadness. What A Ferry Nice Day! Following the four-hour Shinkansen trip from Tokyo I was…

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Summer in Japan – VIDEO

Sure, I know it’s a little late but I’m sure some people are still clamouring for advice on how to tackle the humid monster of summer in Japan. Here are a few things I’ve discovered about this harsh season. Summer in Japan How do you handle hot and humid summers? Got any tips for me?…

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The Demilitarised Zone: A Step Into North Korea

When I started planning my trip to South Korea I had to do some research. I knew very little about the country beyond the cuisine I’d sampled in Japan. One thing I was vaguely aware of was the Demilitarised Zone. I had next to no factual knowledge about the place but in my mind I…

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Akita With A Friend Continued

Getting to know the locals is an essential part of blending and feeling comfortable in a foreign culture. Luckily for me I have found Japanese people to be very welcoming, particularly in the northern Tohoku region of the country. One of my Japanese co-teachers even invited me on a trip to stay with his family…

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Akita With A Friend

When beginning the journey of living in a foreign country it really helps to get some local friends. They can help with cultural barriers and situations requiring a deeper knowledge of the native language. Plus, they’ll know where all the best bars are. I’m actually quite a shy person, especially when it comes to talking…

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South Korea – The Season of the Lonely Chairs

While on the road in South Korea I saw many things (such as some horse-archery, a beautiful girl, and the reincarnation of a canine deity) but one thing I kept noticing was these randomly placed chairs. They were often spotted next to roads, which led me to believe they were perhaps there for elderly people…

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Work in Japan – The Arrival

Flying half-way around the world can be a daunting thing, even more so when it’s to do a job you’ve no experience of, in an area that was recently devastated by a cataclysmic natural disaster. But for whatever reason, that’s exactly what I did in June 2011. I came to work in Japan. How does…

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