Breaking the Rules

My daily commute consists of taking a tram(streetcar) for approximately 15 minutes, followed by a 10 minute subway ride, and then culminating in a 20-25 minute bus ride. It’s a thing of absolute precision. Rarely have I had a delay, even on the buses – traversing some tough snowstorms in the early morning – usually […]

Semi-Urban Lightweight Angling

In the past year I have experimented with fly fishing via bicycle within the city limits of Sapporo. Slowly I began assembling the gear necessary to get me from apartment to stream as swiftly as possible. It has been a slow process, filled with trial and error.(See my previous post about what I started out […]

Financial Planning for English Language Teachers -Part 1 

This might hit some of you pretty hard, but it’s time I give some of you the lowdown on living in Japan as an English language teacher and how that relates to maintaining financial security. These words might hold true for most types of expats in Japan, but especially for those navigating the unlucrative ESL […]

Mahjong – A Love Story

It’s that time of year here in Sapporo, where the snow just keeps on coming, homes are cleaned, and KFC pre-orders are made (oh, we’ll get to that). But for my mother and father-in-law it means mahjong. More accurately, 3 days of Japanese riichi mahjong that suck every brain cell from my head and leaves […]

Because Japan

Since my first visits to Japan, I would come across a variety of gadgets in stores like Don Quijote and Tokyu Hands, that made me scratch my head. Some of the more interesting of those quirky products are beer can attachments that create a creamier, more substantial head after pouring. This has always perplexed me. […]

Pumpkin Art and Scones

Halloween takes on a rather morphed representation here in Japan. It seems to be generally restricted to kindergarten parties and early 20’s costume clubbing. Aside from completely missing the elementary school-aged demographic, Japan’s patisseries often sell a variety of halloween themed cakes for the enjoyment of the random Halloween loving customer. Candy and chocolate isn’t […]

Review: Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan

Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan by Azby Brown My rating: 4 of 5 stars An absolutely lovely read that is infused with history while looking disapprovingly at our current consumption driven culture. The author uses the unique device of placing Edo era travelers in distinct locales, partaking in a kind of […]