Recent Posts

April 2, 2014

Behind the Wheel: Ceramics Classes in Minato-ku

GP Contributor Cynthia Popper gets down and dirty with a fun pottery class in Minato-ku.

March 13, 2014

Unmasking Meds: Allergies in Japan

Spring in Japan means allergies. Here’s a quick look at some of the common allergy medication that is available either by prescription or over the counter.

March 7, 2014

Online Shopping in Japan: The Pre-Paid Card Primer

Pre-paid credit cards are available at all konbini stores but how easy are they to use for the non-Japanese speaker? We take a look at some of the most popular cards for shopping online.

February 24, 2014

Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Mori Art Museum

When you hear the name Andy Warhol, you can’t help but immediately visualize his work and the iconic names indelibly attached: Jackie. Marilyn. Elvis. Campbell’s.

His work collectively is a well-worn print in the fabric of the American art scene, so ubiquitous that it’s become almost invisible.

February 19, 2014

How to Deal with Losing a Loved One Back Home

A few weeks ago, my mom died in California. I was teaching in Saitama when I got the news, and it was by far the most shocking thing that’s ever happened to me. Here are some thoughts about coping with loss in Japan, and what I’m doing to get through it.

February 14, 2014

Ticking Clocks and Green Zebra Pants: Online Dating in Japan

Meeting people anywhere can be tricky business, but for foreigners in Japan, it can be crazy tough.

February 4, 2014

Do you have any edamame gyuunyuu?

Here’s a short list of useful terms to know when you visit a Japanese grocery store for the first time.

January 31, 2014

Newcomer Checklist: Emergency Kit Basics

Living in Japan means living on a geological Tilt-a-World, so being prepared for shutdowns makes a whole lot of sense.

January 24, 2014

Lovely for a Little While: Ikebana in Aoyama

Simple, vibrant, lovely. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging. The practice relies on the concepts of negative space and harmony to create a small and fleeting representation of the universe.

January 21, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Private English Lessons

Teaching private English lessons is a good way to supplement your regular income but there are some pros and cons to going freelance.

Being a successful freelance means being consistent and prepared. It doesn’t take much effort to make a great impression, so take the extra time and do it right!

January 15, 2014

Un-Remembering Home: Reverse Culture Shock

Going home for the first time after an extended time away can be a fun but weird experience. Reverse culture shock isn’t about a new cultural experience, but rather it’s about remembering the things that you’ve forgotten.

December 26, 2013

Moving to Japan: The Packing List Challenge

This time of year, soon-to-be teachers are gearing up for the big move to Japan. The interviews are done, contracts have been signed, and you’re starting to prepare for a major change in your life. It’s exciting and stressful.

December 18, 2013

Village Vanguard. Ridiculous + Awesome Holiday Shopping

If you’re heading back to your home country for the holidays, and a terrible planner, you’re probably in the frenzy…

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