Easter(n) Capital

Happy Easter, everyone! I love this time of the year for many reasons: the weather gets warmer, the snow and ice go away, the sun sets later, and the end of the school year gets closer and closer! Which, admittedly, also means report card-writing season is just around the corner. At this time of March […]

Hit The Kyoto Pavement

Haven’t gotten a chance to update the site much, or to take pictures around Kurume for that matter. It’s been a busy time preparing to leave Japan and move to Myanmar. Good thing I have some photos from my trip to Kyoto in March that I’ve been looking for an excuse to put up! My […]

Dazaifu Day

Dazaifu is definitely one of my favourite places in Fukuoka. It’s beautiful, it has a ton of history, and it’s easy to get to from Kurume. I kind of liken it to a tiny Kyoto. It also has the best-designed Starbucks in Japan, a beauty of a store using local wood to help it blend […]

Morning Walk

My wife and I are about to make a big career decision soon. Naturally, my sleep pattern is kind of out of sync. The other morning I woke up unusually early and went for a walk around the neighbourhood to clear my head a bit. As I mentioned in a previous post, this area is […]

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 […]

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. […]

Toho Village

A couple of months ago my friends and I were given a book to review about a little village far from the crowded cities of Fukuoka. It seemed like a nice place. So last weekend a few friends and I rented a car to see what the village was about. It was a very tranquil […]

Lights Make Everything Nice

Here’s a cool thing about Japanese cities. They use lights to make otherwise unimpressive nightscapes look nice. And very cleverly, too. Of course, there are areas teeming with blinking LED billboards, advertising everything from cooking oil to payday loans. But for the most part, businesses use well-placed directional lighting to make their storefronts look enticing […]