Category: Japan
  • Equalising Gender in Japan

    Equalising Gender in Japan

    Let me lead with the obvious; there isn’t much gender equality here. But I have an idea that might help. The situation Japan ranked 125th out of 146 countries in the 2023 Global Gender Gap report by the World Economic Forum. It will take 131 years for Japan to close the gender gap according to […]

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  • This summer’s fav drink

    This summer’s fav drink

    Japan ‘s beverage & snack industry is known for its seasonal and limited time products. It’s a manufacturer’s nod to the seasonality of produce and fish, I suppose. Nothing sticks around forever. I appreciate it now, but I still remember the juniper-flavored soda I encountered on our first trip to Japan in 1995. It was […]

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  • How to Drive in Inaka

    How to Drive in Inaka

    Living in the countryside of Japan, I have re-learned how to drive. Now I can avoid tanuki and tractors and stay out of ditches most of the time, but I can’t drive in the city, where the hazards come one after another and are usually human. Two completely different driving environments! It makes me cranky […]

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  • Firewalking


    At Oyama-ji, aka Oyama Fudouson, there is an annual firewalking festival on the the 3rd Sunday in May. It is one of the most lush rituals I’ve attended. Oyama Fudouson will celebrate its 1300th anniversary of founding next year. (The shrine on the mountain above it is even older.) While it looks typically Buddhist on […]

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  • Oshima special trip

    Oshima special trip

    For about 6 weeks in early spring, the Tokaikisen jetfoil runs a seasonal service from Tateyama to Oshima for the annual camellia festival. Tod and I have wanted to make the trip for seven years, but this year I finally did it. But without Tod. This morning, Naomi, Fujii-san, and I hopped on board the […]

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  • Before social media

    Before social media

    This morning, I saw the headline of an article in The Atlantic, “The Age of Social Media is Ending” by Ian Bogost. It’s behind a paywall, so I didn’t read it, but… It got me thinking about the pre-platform days. How did we connect with people online? If social media dies, what will we turn […]

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  • Hometown tourism

    Hometown tourism

    Yesterday, as we did our usual Saturday errand run, Tod surprised me with two brief stops en route. I love that he is always devising ways to make our days memorable, whether its with good food or unexpected adventures. First, we went for a walk on the rocky coast at Hamaogi. The tide pools are […]

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  • Happy 2023

    Happy 2023

    Due to a death in the family in 2022, we did not send nengajou this year. However in the interest of keeping the 12 year series complete, I drew one for posting today. Let’s make 2023, Year of the Rabbit, memorable in the best way.

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  • It’s cat blanket weather

    It’s cat blanket weather

    We are in that best-of-year period where days are temperate and nights are chilly. The low temperature this morning was a single digit (8) for the first time this season. It won’t last forever, so I will savor all of these lovely days. Last night, I grabbed an extra blanket for the bed. In the […]

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  • Recycling electronics in Japan 2022

    Recycling electronics in Japan 2022

    I recently cleared out a too-long neglected drawer of small electronics. Almost all of them were dead or long past their last upgrade cycle. I have been putting off this decluttering because recycling electronics is a troublesome process. There’s no central system, despite various recycling laws coming into effect in the last decade. So for […]

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