Category Archives: Japan, Travel & Culture

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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The People: Kishin Shinoyama Exhibit in Kanazawa

I manage to catch the last day that photographer Kishin Shinoyama’s photographic exhibition The People is showing at Kanazawa’s stunning 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. (Do take a peek at the building here as it is beyond words.) After … Continue reading

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Silence: Musings on Scorsese’s Film

I agree with Matt Zoller Seitz the editor in chief at RogerEbert.com who states that Martin Scorsese’s Silence is a film you experience and then live with. That’s true in spite of its flaws. Originally a 1966 novel by Shūsaku … Continue reading

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Beginners and Beginnings

Last week I downloaded Microsoft’s Translator to my phone. Now I can  photograph, keyboard or speak into the phone and get an instant English to Japanese or Japanese to English translation. Someone with whom I wish to communicate can hear … Continue reading

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Terrace House is on Netflix

The last time I was part of a group where everyone minded each others business was before adulthood. During that time I belonged to a church; a small, conservative, community of Mennonites who despite their unique culture, good works and … Continue reading

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Sumimasen: So Sorry

So sorry. I’m overdue. I ought to have posted some time ago. Though you wouldn’t know it to look at me, I’ve been busy. What have I been up to, you ask. Answer: Binge-watching Netflix. Uh-oh, you say. Winter sloth. … Continue reading

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Travel’s Serendipitous Surprises

Often (sometimes multiple times a day) something unexpected and special takes me by surprise when traveling through Japan. Out of curiosity, I’d gone to Jizo Dori mainly to check out the “Harajuku for grandmothers” and “aka pantsu.” Both were much … Continue reading

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Not so Hot: Trying to Stay Warm under the Kotatsu

  What’s not to love about Japan? Plenty. Like any other nation and culture it has flaws and problems galore.  Even though I don’t have blinkers on, my purpose in writing about my journeys and adventures in Japan is not … Continue reading

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Alone and Homeless in Tokyo

I vividly recall feeling alien, and adrift—as if I were an insignificant insect who belonged nowhere crawling along the city’s sidewalks. Continue reading

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