I had a three-day weekend, so I finally made a video tour of our house in Nakatsu! Hope you enjoy listening to me ramble about tatami mats. (^_-)-☆ I had some technical difficulties, so it got dark while I was filming. I’ll do a daylight tour next time!
Families in Japan recently gathered to celebrate Obon, a holiday honoring the spirits of dead ancestors. Grown children return to hometowns, generations reunite, and together they visit and tend to relatives’ graves. Some carry the spirits back home to household altars to spend a few days together, preparing meals for them (a fading tradition, I … More Bon Odori in Bungotakada
Sometimes, after a long day, you just wanna plop down in a forest of neon mushrooms, eat food that looks like it was shat out of a rainbow, and watch sexy Harajuku girls dance atop a spinning birthday cake. No? Just me? In any case, I highly recommend popping by the Kawaii Monster Café in … More Tokyo Highlight: Kawaii Monster Cafe
Imagine you are eight years old, and you’re sleeping over at a friend’s house for the first time. You’re soon dismayed to realize that her parents are those particular kind, the kind that are too tidy, with an array of unfamiliar rules. “We take our shoes off in the foyer. Don’t play in the living room. Please take your feet off … More On Culture Shock
John and I went outlet mall shopping to see if we could find any sneakers for his size 13.5 feet. We couldn’t. 😦 But we enjoyed driving through some areas of Fukuoka we’d never seen before, including a charmingly un-charming area that we deemed “Space Florida.” At the mall, we ate at McDonald’s. I was excited to see that they were still … More I tried the Sakura Cherry McFizz!
John and I spent the final day of our Kansai trip in Osaka. We kept trying to pinpoint why Osaka is so intriguing, why it has so much more soul than Seoul despite being similarly commercial. For one thing, new businesses collage around the old rather than knocking them down and covering them up. But best of all, Osaka’s aesthetic feels 80s … More Kansai trip: Osaka
Though we only spent an afternoon there, Nara was a huge highlight of our Kansai trip. We visited Tōdai-ji (東大寺), the most monumental temple we’ve ever seen. The current version, built in 1692, is one of the world’s largest wooden buildings, and it’s still only two-thirds the size of the 752 original. It was first constructed as the head Buddhist … More Kansai trip: Nara