Thailand – from the inside

It’s certainly a popular destination for JETs and everyone else! So what does Thailand have to offer? Well, for a start, its reputation as a cultural highlight is well-deserved. It’s also a great introduction to South-East Asia, offering both a well-travelled backpacker trail and other destinations that are well off the beaten path. Besides, where else can you stay in a 4-star hotel for less than the cost of a mid-range here in Japan?

Continue reading »

Falling for fall

Looking outside during a Japanese autumn, nobody can fail to be impressed by the exceptionally beautiful rainbow of colours seeping from the trees as the countryside prepares itself for the onset of winter. Japanese people, resident foreigners and tourists alike all look forward to this annual display of nature at its very best and many people travel great distances to see the leaves at their various stages of transformation.

Continue reading »

Sake Matsuri

October is, in my opinion, the best month here in Japan. The weather is perfect, there are four whole days off work (!!), and of course, there are two days every October when people from all over the country come to the town of Saijo to drink copious amounts of alcohol. In fact, when attending the famous Saijo Sake Festival, you are expected – encouraged, even – to drink lots and lots of sake (I even saw kiddies who would have been at least ten years under the age limit tastetesting some of Saijo’s finest with their parents!) and everyone looks the other way if you end up acting like a complete fool.

Continue reading »

My day at a sumo match

Sumo. What I knew about this sport you could have printed on the head of a pin. So naturally I got on the net and researched this quintessentially Japanese sport. With names like Yokozuna Asashoryu (the highest ranked sumo wrestler) and all the official terms such as mawashi (the cute little nappy or loin cloth-like uniform they wear) dohyo (the name of the arena) and shiomaki (the action of throwing salt) floating through my head, I was ready for my first real sumo experience. Or so I thought.

Continue reading »
1 50 51 52