Category Archives: Life in Japan

I moved to Japan as part of the JET Program(me) and this blog should encapsulate everything after arrival in Japan related to my every day life.

I also have a separate section dedicated to the JET application process and such, so if that is of interest, please refer to that as well.

If I do not cover any areas that you have questions about, please ask. ;)

Japanese Sake: Nihonshu vs Shōchū


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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is a deeper dive, based on the previous article  Alcohol in Japan: A Public Service Announcement. Read the rest of this entry

Alcohol in Japan: A Public Service Announcement


I was at an izakaya with a few friends in Tokyo when a guy (non-Japanese) a few tables down started yelling in Japanese about wanting some sake. He was pretty upset since he was speaking in Japanese, yet the waiter still didn’t know what he wanted and kept asking him what he wanted… Read the rest of this entry

Making of the Katana: Behind the scenes with a Master


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A few days ago I had the amazing opportunity to meet, speak with, and watch the famous Japanese blacksmith Masahira Fujiyasu work during a special event at the Minka-en grounds in Fukushima City, thanks to the hard work and planning of Andy Coombs and the Fukushima City Tourism and Convention Association. This type of event hasn’t been held for over a decade and the majority of Japanese people never get this opportunity, let alone a foreigner.  Mr. Fuhiyasu’s master was a national treasure of Japan and I am told that Mr. Fujiyasu is the last classically trained blacksmith that has mastered techniques of making Kamakura and Muromachi period styled blades. What added to this even more was the opportunity to speak with him and his students during lunch and while he was taking a break in the afternoon.
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Iaido Experience


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Last night I had the amazing experience of trying out Iaido for the first time with a weapons master and a national champion of Mugai-ryū 無外流, a Koryu (traditional sword style). The experience was even better than I had expected. Read the rest of this entry

Flu Vaccines in Japan


The Flu season here in Japan is coming to an end as spring is slowly arriving. There are still a few students out with the Flu, but that`s a major improvement from the 10-20 percent of the students that were out due to the flu a few weeks back.  That percentage was pretty consistent from elementary schools to Middle schools in my area. I thought that was an alarmingly high number, but the reaction was more of “仕方がない” (it can’t be helped).  From there the students that have the Flu are to stay at home and the students remaining are to wear medical masks and should be extra vigilant when washing their hands. You also can`t forget about “うがい,” the act of gargling tea or water.
I had not thought much of it recently, but it came up again in conversation and an interesting but basic question was asked.
“Does Japan have the flu shot?”
Yes, Japan has and uses the Flu shot, but it`s apparently a bit expensive and not covered by insurance most of the time.  This was a bit of a surprise as the health insurance here in Japan is usually pretty solid.
The Flu shot is free or cheap to the elderly, but can be 4,000 yen (~$35 USD) or more for anyone else. There seems to be the mentality of it`s too expensive to do get done yearly, but if you get the Flu and go to the hospital for treatment, it`s covered…

日本の運転に対してアメリカの運転


 

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私の本もとの出身は、年中暑いフロリダです。中学生の時にニューハンプシャー州の北部に引っ越しました。気候は会津地方と似ています。 Read the rest of this entry

Driving in Japan vs. the USA


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In the USA, there are no Kei-cars(軽自動車). I had never seen a Kei-car until I moved to Japan and started driving one for work. Read the rest of this entry

Japanese and American Thoughts #2 Sex Talks


Having a conversation with a friend from Japan and comparing our thoughts on things we found strange or unusual about each other’s Country, while trying to explain, defend, or (agree and then) explore the aspects of our cultures. Part 2

There is so much to talk about so this is part two; We decided to continue by covering a few aspects of conversations around sex. I almost cut out a few key sections, but I wanted to keep the conversation as whole as possible as is the point of the conversation.

Japanese and American Thoughts #1 Public Baths


Having a conversation with a friend from Japan and comparing our thoughts on things we found strange or unusual about each other’s Country, while trying to explain, defend, or (agree and then) explore the aspects of our cultures.

There is so much to talk about so this is part one. We decided to start off with the conversation by diving into the public baths in Japan.

Japanese and me, so far [part 4] (IS 6)


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About two weeks into the semester at Kansai Gaidai, I found myself enrolled in a Shorinji Kempo martial arts club.  The clubs in Japan are Read the rest of this entry