The Ancient Sport of Lethwei

Whenever I travel to an Asian country, I always try to find drop-in kickboxing classes in order to add a different style to my repertoire. Many countries in that part of the world have their own martial arts disciplines, and in Southeast Asia, Muay Thai and its variants are king. Naturally, one of the things […]

Puroresu in Fukuoka

Yes, a pro wrestling post. In its heyday in Japan, puroresu (プロレス) was as popular as any sport. People used to crowd around their TV sets on New Year’s Eve and watch a card put on by one of the big promotions. Its top stars are cultural icons. And if anyone in the world wants […]

Hakata Dontaku Festival

Happy Golden Week everyone! In Japan, Golden Week is a string of holidays that amounts to a 4- or 5-day weekend, depending on what days those holidays fall. It’s a busy time for travel, and most of my friends are exploring southeast Asia, but I stayed in Fukuoka and explored the city more. That’s one […]

Sakura Scenes

In Japan, springtime means sakura season. The arrival of the magnificent cherry blossoms that colour the whole country whitish-pink is reflected in many aspects of Japanese life, from traditional seasonal sweets in Kyoto to the storefronts of posh Ginza. Happy Easter! Shibuya, Tokyo Arashiyama, Kyoto Asakusa, Tokyo Tokyo Station Arashiyama, Kyoto Tokyo Skytree Sumida, Tokyo […]

TEDxFukuoka

Got a chance to work with some talented and fun people at TEDxFukuoka a few weeks ago. Some really good talks presented over the course of one Saturday at a hall in Tenjin. The tech junkie and musician in me really got excited about the presentation by Shunsuke Nakamura, founder of Shikumi Design. He presented […]

Of Fire and Men

One of the best things about Japan: the festivals. Great food, fun people, and centuries-old rituals, however weird they might seem. In this case, the Daizenji Oniyo Fire Festival, six giant torches are put on fire by men in loincloths. In January. Did not envy them. This Kurume tradition to drive away evil spirits dates […]

Mochi Making Time

I have to admit that while I know a lot about Japanese culture, one thing that I’m not too knowledgeable about is the tradition of mochi-making, or mochitsuki. The only thing I knew about it was that Japanese people see the craters and shadows of the moon as a rabbit making these delicious rice cakes. […]

Sumo Day in Fukuoka

Sumo has always been, pardon the pun, a big thing for me. It started when my family first got cable and I found sumo on NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting channel. Something about two giant men throwing salt, stomping, and colliding to force each other out of a ring got my attention. I totally got hooked […]