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 →

Shibukawa – The Belly Button of Japan (日本のへそ)

Most cities have some sort of nickname or slogan. Not many claim to be the "belly button" of a country. The closest big(ish) city to my tiny town is about 30 min down the mountains, Shibukawa. Shibukawa is known for a lot of things - some famous onsen, a really weird spaceship bath, Initial D,... Continue Reading →

One Man and a History of Jingles

This article was published in the April 2020 issue of AJET's CONNECT magazine. You can read it, and many other issues, at CONNECT Issuu Mukaiya Minoru is a name you’ve probably never heard, but you’ve absolutely listened to his works. Multiple times. Possibly even every day. Maybe you even know some of his tunes so well,... Continue Reading →

My Life in an “Epidemic”

So, I'm sure some of you may have heard, but there's a little thing called coronavirus making it's way around Japan right now. *cough cough* maybe because the Diamond Princess quarantine was horribly bungled *cough* Anyway, I say "epidemic" with a health dose of sarcasm, because the situation is not really as bad as everyone... Continue Reading →

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