Are You Cut Out For Life In Japan?

The most common question I get from friends, students, or family members back home “How’s life in Japan?” I often respond simply with a “It’s pretty good.” or “I can’t complain.” One friend, Derrick, sent me an email to check on me. It was great to hear from him. Derrick couldn’t understand how I’ve been able to stay here so long (and that was around the year-and-a-half-mark). He went on to say that it takes a special kind of person to be able to do what I’m doing. I don’t think I’m all Continue Reading …

Natto Revisited

I wrote an article about natto late last month, because I feel that natto is a big enough part of the culture here in Ibaraki, to warrant some attention. Mito, the capital of Ibaraki is actually famous for this stuff. There some pretty interesting natto concotions as well: natto senbei (rice crackers), natto curry, and yes...even natto ice cream (makes me cringe just thinking about it...BLECK!!). Natto is a breakfast food, a snack...a way of life (okay maybe that's pushing it a bit). Anyway, Continue Reading …

Living in Japan, the Ultimate Weight Loss Solution?

I left for Japan on the cold winter morning of January 10, 2008 via Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. I remember kissing my sister goodbye and getting on the longest flight I had ever been on at that time, 12 hours. Arriving at Narita Airport and just scanning around was quite fascinating. Looking at all the shorter and thinner Japanese people around me made me self-consciously touch my rather puffy stomach... I weighed exactly 101 kilograms, or about 223 pounds, when I Continue Reading …

Japanese Food: What Is Natto?

Quite frankly, Japan has some of the strangest foods I've ever eaten in my life. I never thought I'd be snacking on raw fish on regular basis, or eating fish eyeballs (no...I'm not kidding this time...I'll have to post the video someday soon), or craving eel. Despite how strange some of the foods can be, Japan also has some delectable dishes as well: ramen, udon, soba, unadon, shabu shabu, yaki niku, yakitori, takoyaki...get the idea? In my opinion, the good Japanese foods far outnumber the Continue Reading …