Farewell Speech

Leaving my schools was difficult for me. Each of my schools hold so many memories, and so many stories of growth. Over 3 years, I watched a lot of kids do a lot of growing up. I was often awed by their kindness, their enthusiasm, and their senses of exploration and curiosity. I was also... Continue Reading →

More Kit-Kat flavors!

I have so many Kit-Kats to talk about! It's been a long time since my last Kit-Kat post, so now I have 9 flavors to discuss. I started out with 7, but as I was working on this a mango flavor came out. And then an ice cream one. Of course I couldn't resist buying... Continue Reading →

Inaka Life: New, Unmanned Bakery

It's fairly common to find local, honor system stores here in the inaka. These usually take the form of a little table or stall set up on the side of the road by a farmer's field selling extra veggies, flowers, nuts, etc. There's usually a sign that tells you how much each item costs, and... Continue Reading →

Straddling the skyline in Shibu Toge Pass

Ever since I moved to Gunma, I've wanted to visit the caldera of Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane. Unfortunately, I'm doomed to disappointment as the volcanic activity levels have been too high to safely allow visitors for the past 3 years. Despite this, it's still well worth the effort to make the drive up the mountain. The twisty-turny... Continue Reading →

Farewell English Board

I have truly loved stretching my creative muscles to design and create my English boards over the past 3 years. It's crazy to look at my first attempts, and then look at how much more refined and pretty the boards became with more and more practice. I never thought that this would be something I... Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday to my umeshu

Today, my homemade umeshu (check out my umeshu making journey here -> Making Umeshu and Ume Syrup) turned a year old! We finally cracked the jar open and it's delicious. I think if I were to make it again, I would put in less sugar, as it is EXTREMELY sweet. It's a liqueur, so that's fine,... Continue Reading →

Saying Goodbye

I was given my work schedule for this month on Friday and realized that (including today) I only have 12 school days left. 12 more days to see these kids that I've known and watched grow for 3 years. 12 more days of having my cup by the coffee machine in the staffroom, a shoe... Continue Reading →

JIMOTO Frappuccino: Starbucks drops 47 unique frappe flavors for each prefecture of Japan

Starbucks Japan is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and dropped some very surprising and exciting news this week to help commemorate the event. Using local flavors, landmarks, and ideas from baristas across the country, Starbucks has designed a special commemorative Frappuccino for Every. Single. Prefecture. So that's 47 unique flavors of Frappuccino being released... Continue Reading →

How to get an EpiPen in Japan

Disclaimer: this is written from the perspective of someone who has carried an EpiPen before and was trying to get a prescription to replace an expired injector, not get a first time script issued. This is also not intended to be a medical guide, merely a (hopefully useful) description of my own experience. Where to... Continue Reading →

Tsuyu English Board – Version 2

When I first started working on this board, it had been pouring rain for days and a tsuyu (rainy season) theme seemed very fitting. Now that I've finished it, it's sunny and hovering around 30 degrees, where it will be for the rest of the week. Uuuuuuuugh. Anyway, I'm extremely pleased with what I've done... Continue Reading →

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