Cycling through the Rustic Charm of Biei, Hokkaido

Iโ€™veย wanted to cycle in Hokkaido for a long time and I finally did last weekend! I went skiing in Sapporo last winter and I left a part of my heart there on the island's beauty. After Sapporo my next destinations were Furano and Biei. Granted, summer is widely known as the best time for visiting … Continue reading Cycling through the Rustic Charm of Biei, Hokkaido

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Living Japan #5: Tokyo “City Girl”

Last July I celebrated a year of living in Japan. Work contract has been extended, so I'll hopefully be celebrating a second year anniversary next year. As I enter my second year, I made a decision to move to Tokyo. I moved from the suburbs of Yokohama, where most residents were grandmothers and high-school students … Continue reading Living Japan #5: Tokyo “City Girl”

Living Japan #4: Hygiene and yes, the toilets

You've seen videos of Japanese school kids cleaning up their classes together or the Japanese supporters tidying up their sections at a World Cup 2014. So "Japanese", aren't they?ย The habit of keeping personal hygiene starts since childhood. Many Japanese adults still brush their teeth after meal. Although the dental medics society have been continuously debating … Continue reading Living Japan #4: Hygiene and yes, the toilets

Living Japan #3: Mission Apartment

If you're considering a move to Japan, be ready to get on board the major first mission. I didn't have to do too much moving into Italy and Malawi, having found good places to live before arriving. But moving to Japan was different because my company let us live in the dormitory while finding a … Continue reading Living Japan #3: Mission Apartment

Book Review: “Kitchen” (and “Moonlight Shadow”), Banana Yoshimoto

Just finished a book by another Japanese writer, this one with young people set in the more recent years. I was actually reading another book of speeches, but it was left behind when I moved so I can't finish it yet. Banana Yoshimoto's style is contemplative and fresh. If you like Murakami, most likely you'll … Continue reading Book Review: “Kitchen” (and “Moonlight Shadow”), Banana Yoshimoto

Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks #2 – Non-Alien Registration

Today after lunch, a department staff kindly took me to the Hayama Town Hall to register myself as a resident. The building was familiar; I remembered seeing its image when googling about the town. There, I was comforted by the system and people's efficiency. Registering as a new long-term resident is convenient. Let me explain … Continue reading Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks #2 – Non-Alien Registration

Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks

A few months ago I got an offer to work at an international research-based NGO based in Hayama, Japan. Yesterday night, I landed safely at Tokyo Narita airport, took a 2,5 hours regular train ride to Zushi (the nearest town from Hayama), and officially started my new adventure in the sushi homeland. A dinner was … Continue reading Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks