Matsuri Festival Season
September 07, 2017, Posted by : James
My favorite thing about Japanese summers is going to matsuri.
Matsuri are Japanese street festivals of varying sizes that happen in every nook and cranny of Japan. In Tokyo, most individual areas have their own small shrines, and shrines have mobile temples housing local gods. The locals dress up, get drunk, eat street food, and carry these mini temples through the ...MORE
Explaining Things in Japanese
August 29, 2017, Posted by : James
I've been eating, drinking, working, and just generally living in Tokyo for the last 7 years now. I've grown accustomed to most of the minor inconveniences of city life, and most cultural differences don't bother me too much any more. I shuffle through Tokyo train station every morning on my way to work, just a black face in a sea of salarymen with holes where their youthful spirits used ...MORE
Avoiding Melting in Tokyo
August 02, 2017, Posted by : James
I thought that I was allergic to Japan when I first moved to Tokyo. Within a week or two, I noticed a constant sniffle and itchy throat, but I assumed it was just some advanced stage of a hangover. A carefully curated supply of over-the-counter drugs has pretty much solved most of these inconveniences - but there's no medicine for sweating your balls off.
I always manage to ...MORE
40 million lonely hearts
July 19, 2017, Posted by : James
With 40 million people in the greater Tokyo area, it always surprises me that there are so many people suffering from crippling loneliness. You can't throw a rock without hitting some patently unhappy person in the face.
I was just reading an article the other day outlining the slow march toward extinction currently happening in Japan, as the low fertility rates have created a ...MORE
Travel Log: Onsen time
June 23, 2017, Posted by : James
Heading to an onsen is one of those uniquely Japanese experiences that I can never recommend enough. Sushi is great, but it's become so common in the states that it's not hard to find in any good-sized city. Onsen, on the other hand, is something that you really have to be in Japan to experience.
"Onsen" refers to the natural hot springs caused by Japan's ...MORE