Category Archives: Japan, Travel & Culture

A Kitchen Not Quite Fully Equipped

When I undertook to live in Tokyo for three months I understood there would be new things to figure out. I knew I’d have no idea how anything worked except as outlined in the big blue binder of rules and … Continue reading

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Beginning Sogetsu Ikebana Lessons in Tokyo

After eighteen months or so of no Ikebana lessons, the first days of classes in Tokyo’s Sogetsu School reminded me of how little I remember. I am glad I’ve chosen to start again from Book 1 Lesson 1. I am … Continue reading

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A Shout out to Brastel’s Japan Travel SIM

  If you are not particularly tech savvy like me, solving the problem of cell phone service while in Japan can be challenging. Hours of online research online went into weighing the options. My Canadian provider could give me coverage, … Continue reading

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Creating a Cozy Home in Tokyo

Before traveling to Tokyo I had done a meticulous assessment of my suite’s floor plan and colour scheme from the photos provided by the rental company. As a result, I brought a few items to personalize the space with me. … Continue reading

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First Days in Tokyo

Every morning I pass through a small, charming green space located a few steps east of my Tokyo apartment building. Walkways of concrete slabs meander in various directions through the small grove. Across the street is a schoolyard as well … Continue reading

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Be Creative. It’s fun.

After he returned from his International Space Station mission, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield told Zoomer magazine (May 2017), “It’s an intoxicating and completely engrossing environment. It was how I imagined, but better. It was richer, more profound and more stimulating.” … Continue reading

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Nine Steps to Organizing 90 Days in Tokyo

Organizing a 3-month private stay to study Ikebana (flower arranging) in Tokyo is not unlike other major event planning. Not nearly as onerous or involved as coordinating a Japan/Canada home stay exchange program for 25-30 adolescents (which I did for … Continue reading

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Five Weeks to Lift Off for Tokyo

I shared with a friend that from time to time the idea of going to Tokyo alone for three months was daunting. That said, over the years I’m almost inured to being a jigsaw piece in the wrong box. In … Continue reading

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Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing) in Mt. Douglas Park

In addition to practicing pick-up lines for potential nameless encounters during my next visit to Japan, I have begun a walking regimen. I won’t be able to hop in the car to get where I’m going during my three-month stay. … Continue reading

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Learning to Speak Japanese: Frustration 101

One of the things we know is that a positive attitude toward a subject we wish to learn contributes greatly to our success in that endeavor. Successful language acquisition depends on two main factors: the motivation of the student and … Continue reading

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