Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

Why I Like J-TV

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

I initially started watching J-TV to help me learn Japanese. Pronunciation, comprehension, speed and colloquialisms, watching TV can help you a lot in learning a language. but after a while I noticed that I watch more Japanese TV shows than I do American TV shows. Part of that I think, is the content. All most Americans know of Japanese TV shows is what they import and overdub, like those crazy game shows and Iron Chef. And in some way those are true; Japanese TV is a combination of the Food Network and game shows. However, what is shown in America is the extreme. (more…)

If anyone is still reading this…

Friday, January 18th, 2008


This week has been crazy busy. I was in New Jersey this week for work, and that didn’t go so well, but I was able to see a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a few years. We hung out a bunch 8 years ago now, and then life took over. But we met up in NYC and had dinner which was cool.

Anyway the pictures this time are….. Raamen! I do miss good raamen that you can find almost anywhere in Japan. Here in Boston there are 2 places which serve ok raamen, Sapporo Raamen in Porter Exchange, Cambride, and Ken Raamen, in the Super 88 in Alston. So raamen and some random pictures I found amusing on my Kyoto/Osaka/Nara trip last year. ラーメンはおいしいそう。。。


ただいま! (I’m back)

Monday, January 14th, 2008

超すみませんでした! Sorry I’ve been gone so long. But I’m sure not that many people actually visit this page, so no one probably missed me. but I got back from Japan a year ago exactly. And since I’ve been back a lot of stuff has happened. Let’s see…. a brief recap: I graduated from college (finally), moved, got a great job, and have been keeping busy working. I’m a pre-sales systems engineer specializing in network security working for a leading networking company.

I do really love my job, however I miss being in Japan. I’ve been talking to my boss, and I think he knows I’d love to move back. One of the things they mentioned when I was hired on is that I may be relocated, which I don’t mind as long as it’s somewhere I’d actually want to live (aka Alaska is out of the question). My current top choices (in no specific order) are San Fransisco, Vancouver, back to Tokyo, and possibly Seattle. As far as the likelihood that I might move to one of those places, well… your guess is as good as mine.

I’ve been training since I’ve been back, and hopefully soon I’ll get some good pictures for everyone to see. So meanwhile I’ll post some I have lying around of my side trip to Kyoto. Osaka and Nara pics are coming.



Classes are Owari!

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Sorry I haven’t posted much of anything lately. Life has been busy. Classes are over for me; the date for me to return to the US is quickly approaching. I’ve been immersed in the mundane routine of class, aikido, and sleep. there isn’t much time for anything else, it seems. as such, I haven’t taken a whole lot of pictures or video lately.

Obirin’s Aikido club had training camp for the first week in december. So we stayed in a building on campus all week, got up early, and trained in the morning, had afternoon practice as usual, then after dinner, we had evening training. All in all it was an interesting experience, and I sorta liked it. we all stayed in a big Tatami room and slept on futon. surprisingly, futon on tatami is rather firm, and my back had trouble adjusting to the much more firmer sleeping surface. As discussed in one of my classes here (Contemporary studies on Japan) everyone co-slept in one room. It was sorta like being back in the army, just much more relaxed. I hear westerners have problems with it, but the experience didn’t bother me much at all.

Also I added some backdated posts I meant to add some time ago. just fyi.

Edo Museum

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Here you go. After a while with no pictures, I finally put up a bleep-ton of pictures. this is everything I took from the trip to the Edo Museum, which has become one of my favorite museums here in Japan (second, only of course to the Raamen Museum). I will post descriptions as time permits.

Nothing Much here

Monday, November 27th, 2006

a few things happened this past weekend, but I will write about that later. right now, this is my friend Chris with beer goggles. oh, and an interesting sign I saw at an elementary school here in Japan.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Im currently in class supposedly writing a sakubun (Japanese composition) but I finished and decided to jump on. Thanksgiving was yesterday and we held a pot luck thanksgiving party here at school. I cooked the turkey and stuffing that I made last year, although it was slightly different. it was still good. I will see if I can get pictures from that and put them up. the recipies are posted in an earlier blog post. I will admit, I was a little crunched for time, so i increased the heat on the turkey a bit and it was a little dry. still good, but a bit dry. and I couldnt find italian sausage so i made the stuffing without sausage.

A big load of thanks goes out to Maria’s host family, who graciously let me invade their kitchen for an entire day. They are actually really cool, and really nice, and I am thinking of buying them some sort of present or cooking them dinner someday to thank them. I also want to thank everyone who brought food, as we had a lot of leftovers. Everyone said they enjoyed it, and there were no complaints. It was actually quite pleasant.

oh. and Yuima’s friend was cute. 🙂  and I promise I will put up those pictures soon.

Busy busy weekend.

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

So much happened this past weekend, I barely know where to start. It was a long weekend due to the fact that it was the Obirin Cultural Festival (学祭). So Thursday I went to the Ghibli Museum. it was AWESOME!!! by far one of the best days Ive spent in Japan so far. I have a few pics I’ll upload, but they wouldnt let us take pictures or video inside the museum. 🙁 I definately want to go back… and we saw the Totoro film too!

The next 2 days (Friday and Saturday) was the cultural festival. My club and I (Aikido club) sold chocobananas. so I basically spent the next two days walking all around campus in my dogi and hakama selling tickets for chocobananas.

I also finished compiling the video of camp. Click here for the Yamanaka video (44mb) This video was encoded with divx 6, so you need the new DivX codec. You can download it here. I’ll put up the pics I took when I can get them to my computer. I’ve just been really lazy busy lately. 🙂

Edit:I finally got around to uploading some pics.

[inspic=78,left,fullscreen,thumb,:cultfest][inspic=79,left,fullscreen,thumb,:cultfest] [inspic=80,left,fullscreen,thumb,:cultfest]

Christian versus Non-Christian Nations

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

being here in Japan, its really interesting to discover and really realize how much coming from a Christian (or christian based) country really affects things. A lot of the original morals and ethics I was brought up with, such as common courtesies, are completely different here in Japan.

One example in the US would be when people sneeze. Usually common courtesy when someone sneezes is to say “Bless you” which originally came from the idea that when you sneeze your soul (or part of it) escaped your body (so I’m told; if anyone wants to refute this, feel free). Here in Japan no one says anything. as if on reflex, when someone sneezes around me, I automatically murmur “bless you” to them. Another exchange student informed me (although his anti-christian beliefs may have influenced his thoughts) that Japanese find it rude when people say “Bless you” as it is seen as infringing on someone else’s business. After asking some of the Japanese people in my club, they all said that they didn’t think so, however they were all younger people, so before I say what my friend said was complete BS, my surveyed group was limited.

Another thing I noticed is that people don’t even attempt to help each other out. I suppose that is true in many big cities, but you still have the people who will stop to help someone out in need. My case in point, I was getting on train with some friends and was waiting in line. When the train arrived, a woman dropped a bag in the door and was trying to pick it up. Everyone else just streamed into the train stepping over or around the bag, impeding her progress to reach the bag entirely. So I did what I could and picked up the bag for her, and handed it to her. Yet I just get a scathing look from the woman.

There are one or two other things as well. I’ll edit this post when I remember them.


Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Trash cans

One thing struck me walking around Japan. This country is strangely cleaner than many American cities, however there is a strange lack of trash cans. Public trashcans are practically nonexistent. There are recycling bins next to nearly every drink vending machine which dot the sidewalks. All the trash is sorted, into burnable, non-burnable and recyclable. They even have to be put into special bags, each color coded for different types of refuse. And the thing that is the most surprising; almost every person here adheres to the garbage rules! In the US, they tried to get people to recycle their garbage, but no one ever abides by them. Not only that, public garbage cans exist in the states, yet everybody STILL litters. Here there is next to no littering.

Crossing the street

Japan is a very orderly country. No one crosses the street except at crosswalks. And even at the crosswalk, only when the “walk” light is on. Even if there are no cars coming, people still wait for the light to change.

Moving in

I initially tried to obtain a homestay, to encourage me to speak Japanese much more regularly. However, they were unable to place me with a host family, and so put me in a single studio apartment instead.