On crowds and expectations

On crowds and expectations

Traveling comes with a certain level of expectations. You plan for months for your trip – looking at pictures, reading reviews online, and talking to…

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Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined

Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined

This past Saturday before my parents arrived I did some more shopping in Tokyo. I stopped by my favorite burger restaurant for lunch and then…

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

One of the top sites to see in Hiroshima is the Peace Memorial Museum. As an American, it was a very interesting experience. First, the…

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Okunoshima - the bunny island

Okunoshima – the bunny island

While in Hiroshima, I did a couple side trips. My first stop was to Ōkunoshima, an island about an hour west of Hiroshima. From the outside,…

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27 days left

27 days left

Time has passed quickly since my trip over Golden Week. From a personal level, it’s been a fun past month. My parents are visiting me…

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Day trip to Nara

Day trip to Nara

On my last full day in Kyoto, I decided to head south and take a day trip to Nara, a small city famous for it’s…

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Gio-ji and Adashino-Nenbutsu-ji temples

Gio-ji and Adashino-Nenbutsu-ji temples

The end of my trip was pretty busy and I didn’t get a chance to make new posts. I’m back in Fussa now and will post updates this…

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Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

This Shinto shrine sits at the base of a mountain and is dedicated to Inari – the god/spirit of rice. It’s relatively large and without an admission…

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Kyoto Aquarium

Kyoto Aquarium

With a rainy day, I decided to visit the Kyoto Aquarium. It didn’t have very good reviews, but I found it to be a good option outside…

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Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

On the western side of Kyoto is the Arashiyama district – famous for its many temples and hilly scenery. One of it’s most famous sites…

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Iwatayama Monkey Park

Iwatayama Monkey Park

Sunday morning I took short trips to Fushimi Inari Shrine and the bamboo forest in Arashiyama. I mainly went to scout for taking pictures later in…

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Kyoto Tower and the Golden Pavilion

Kyoto Tower and the Golden Pavilion

Saturday started my golden week holiday. I left my apartment early at 6:30 am then transferred in Tokyo for the Shinkansen and finally arrived in Kyoto at…

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Packing and the diminishing returns of traveling

Packing and the diminishing returns of traveling

On Saturday, I start a 10 day trip to Kyoto and Hiroshima. Different from most trips I take, I’ll only be spending the night in…

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Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park

In the nineteen countries I’ve been to this was one of my best travel experiences. My main reason for going to Nagano for the weekend…

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Basics of the Japanese language

Basics of the Japanese language

Let me preface this by saying I have barely scratched the surface on learning Japanese and while I can’t guarantee that everything below is 100%…

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Canon service center in Ginza

Canon service center in Ginza

I noticed my camera sensor had some dust on it so I went into Tokyo to get my camera cleaned on Saturday. I have a 10…

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Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park

This park has been made famous outside of Japan mainly due to internet articles like the poorly-worded 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe…

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Grocery stores in Japan

Grocery stores in Japan

Exploring a Japanese grocery store can be an interesting experience. They take some getting used to but in reality they’re not all that different from…

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Hanami and Mt. Takao

Hanami and Mt. Takao

In the last week of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, my coworkers invited me to a hanami gathering. A very kind gesture on their part. So…

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Upcoming travel in April

Upcoming travel in April

I plan on doing a ton of traveling during the month of April. Luckily for me, the weather looks good – at least for this…

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Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are a huge deal in Japan. There’s hundreds of thousands of cherry trees throughout the country and when they bloom, it’s a very…

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Bathrooms, masks, and germ prevention in Japan

Bathrooms, masks, and germ prevention in Japan

One of the things that surprised me about Japan how they prevent germs. Let’s start with public bathrooms. I’d say the 90% of public bathrooms…

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Trash cans in Japan

Trash cans in Japan

I’m living in the largest city in the world and surprisingly trash is not an issue. The streets are very clean and if there’s an empty bottle…

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Rant on deodorant and central air/heating in Japan

Rant on deodorant and central air/heating in Japan

So I learned the hard way that Japan does not have western-style deodorant readily available. This is not something I anticipated when I moved here…

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Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market

This past Saturday I decided to go to Tsukiji Fish Market. The most popular thing to do is see the tuna auction, but that didn’t…

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Trip to Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko

Trip to Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko

After checking the weather forecast, I decided to spend Saturday night near Mt. Fuji and return on Sunday. One night in a hostel costs 2700…

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What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

Coming to Japan there were many things that I was prepared for ahead of time: the relatively low-carb diet, riding a bike to work, and…

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Update on Japan

Update on Japan

I wanted to post an update on my trip to Japan. It’s been about two months since I moved to Japan and I have about…

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Land of the poorly-timed sun

Land of the poorly-timed sun

I’m convinced there is something wrong with Japan’s timezone. Right now in early March, the sun sets at 5:30 pm. Not too bad, it’s winter…

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Golden Week traveling

Golden Week traveling

If you’re not familiar, Golden Week is a week in late April and early May that has many close holidays in Japan. Most companies give…

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Snow skiing in Nagano

Snow skiing in Nagano

We met at work Saturday morning at 6:30 am to carpool for the ski trip. The only problem was that I didn’t have a way…

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The Tokyo skyline

The Tokyo skyline

Well it took me about a month, but I finally managed to get a good picture of the Tokyo skyline. My first few attempts weren’t…

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Lack of traveling

Lack of traveling

The business trip to Osaka went well. I wasn’t able to see much besides the manufacturing facility and my hotel, but that was expected on…

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Snowpocalypse 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

Over the weekend Tokyo got 10 inches of snow, with Fussa City collecting closer to a foot of snow! I’ve experienced snow like this when…

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Sushi Santa

Sushi Santa

Near the Yokota Air Force base there is a sushi restaurant called Sushi Santa. From my apartment, it takes me 3 minutes on my bike….

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Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

My first stop on my trip this past weekend was to Matsumoto Castle. Getting there was a bit of a challenge. I left my apartment…

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Upcoming weekend trip: Nagano and Matsumoto

Upcoming weekend trip: Nagano and Matsumoto

I booked my lodging and this weekend I’ll be taking a trip to Nagano Prefecture. I’ll be leaving from my apartment (near Hachioji on the map)…

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Helping teach English in Nakano

Helping teach English in Nakano

Yesterday was an interesting day. I bit the bullet and bought some cooking supplies and made my first meal since I arrived in Japan two…

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How to ride Local trains in Japan

How to ride Local trains in Japan

When you arrive at a train station, you’ll see the ticket center. It will often have a large map overhead that has all the train stops…

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A gym membership then Krispy Kreme

A gym membership then Krispy Kreme

Saturday I decided to find a different gym and do some shopping. I did more research online earlier in the week and found out the Gold’s Gyms in…

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More company meals and almost a gym membership

More company meals and almost a gym membership

This past week has been mostly meals with coworkers. I haven’t gotten a lot a time to myself so far, but plan to go into…

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Car accident while riding my bike

Car accident while riding my bike

Well it was bound to happen eventually. On my way home from work yesterday, I was biking along the main road in the area. It’s…

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First few days of work

First few days of work

The first few days of work have been interesting. About 5 people in my office speak English (including me) so it’s been fun trying to…

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More exploring and another company meal

More exploring and another company meal

Similar to yesterday morning, I woke up well before the sunrise. I don’t normally sleep in, but now I can’t sleep in past 6:00 am….

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Shopping, working out, and raw horse meat

Shopping, working out, and raw horse meat

I didn’t have to work today (Saturday) which was a welcome surprise, so I set out to explore Fussa city on my bike. I rode…

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Welcome dinner, a bicycle, and 7-Eleven for two meals

Welcome dinner, a bicycle, and 7-Eleven for two meals

Despite just arriving, I didn’t have any problems falling asleep on Friday night. I stayed up until 12:30 pm on my computer and woke up…

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Moving in to apartment and first meal in Japan

Moving in to apartment and first meal in Japan

After meeting Saki, we quickly bought train tickets. The airport is on the far east side of Tokyo and we had to pass through Shinjuku (red dot)…

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Travel day (updated, but boring)

Travel day (updated, but boring)

Too long, didn’t read: Long travel day, United 747 is not recommended, arrived in Japan My flights got changed again, the sixth time in 36…

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Flights cancelled - leaving tomorrow?

Flights cancelled – leaving tomorrow?

I was originally going to fly out Tuesday at 7:00 am. That didn’t happen.  Due to the weather, United has allowed passengers to change their flights…

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Last minute preparation

Last minute preparation

I finally moved everything into my 10′ x 10′ storage unit on Saturday with some much needed help. Besides moving sofas down two flights of…

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Airline tickets, Japanese visa, and moving

Airline tickets, Japanese visa, and moving

Things have been picking up quickly. First off, I’ve started to build a custom Google Map with the location of my apartment, work, and other…

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My apartment in Japan

My apartment in Japan

In picking where I wanted to live, I decided to stay near Fussa which is on the western side of Tokyo and close to work….

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Moving to Japan

Moving to Japan

In early January, I’ll be moving to Tokyo, Japan for six months for work (I consider anything longer than 3 months moving rather than traveling)….

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