Aug 252009
Closing Reflections on Japan!

Yowza! It has been amazing to see two major cities of Japan for the past ten days! Despite the articles on Japan my cousin kindly handed me before coming, there were still endless elements of Japan that came as a surprise. Here are a few for your perusal.

1. Toilet extremes. The majority of toilets in Japan are squat toilets, where you crouch awkwardly over a porcelained hole in [...Read More!]

Aug 252009
Race in Japan

Chew on this: The United States population is comprised of something like 14% Latino folks, 13 % African Americans, 5% Asians, 66% Whites, and 2 % other. We’re a melting pot! A salad! A multicolored stew! In Japan, however, the “largest” minority is a paltry 1.5% (Chinese) of the total population!!! According to my friend Mike who I stayed with in Tokyo, there are just 8,000 Americans in Japan (about the [...Read More!]

Aug 222009
Bicycling around Osaka

Gordon is originally from Boston, but has lived in Japan for five years. For the first several years, he was teaching English through the JET Program (which my wonderful cousin also did and loved). Since then, Gordon has started working in the translation department of a patent company, and has burned up the Osaka Salsa dancing scene.He has really made a life for himself here in Japan, and his fluent Japanese [...Read More!]

Aug 212009
Kyoto: Temples and Sleep Deprivation

There comes a time in every traveler’s path when she must cease and desist freeloading off a kind benefactor’s floor. To this end, I spent 9 hours of last night “sleeping” on the night bus from Tokyo to Osaka. Read: Night bus = cheap place to stay, and cheaper transport than the bullet train. Also read: I am perhaps the only six foot tall human in this country.

Long [...Read More!]