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 […]

The Gates of Kyushu

When I told my boss back in Canada that I’d be going to Kyushu, he remarked that Kyushu was “real Japan”. Over the course of living here for almost 8 months I’ve realized how influential this island was to Japanese history. Most things considered traditional Japanese, such as zen buddhism, started here. Last week I […]

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 […]

The Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands, more popularly known as Okinawa, is the southernmost island chain in Japan. Dubbed the “Hawaii of Japan”, these islands are rich in history and culture, being an independent kingdom for hundreds of years before officially becoming a Japanese prefecture in the late 19th-century. It served as the gateway to Japan from China […]

Hit The Nagasaki Pavement

Whirlwind weekend as some friends and I made the beautiful 2-hour drive to Nagasaki to see the Chinese Lantern Festival, the yearly event that lights up the downtown area with lanterns to mark the new year. However, I chose not to concentrate on the festival because I have to admit I wasn’t at my best […]

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 […]

Yufuin

Japan knows how to relax. They have been perfecting this art for centuries. And for me, there’s no better place to forget about your day than at an onsen. For our end-of-year party, my office went to Yufuin, a very popular onsen resort town in Oita Prefecture, just next door to Fukuoka. It was super […]

Christmastime in the City

I’ve made the trek from Kurume to Fukuoka a few times over the past few weeks, mainly for Christmas shopping, hanging out with friends, and the occasional work meeting. Being in the (bigger) city makes me shutter-happy, especially with all the Christmas decorations around. And I love Christmas, so that’s a good combo. If you […]