Kyle Von Lanken was born and raised in a peaceful Chicago suburb. His Japanese studies took him from universities in Hawaii to Japan, eventually settling in rural Niikappu, where he continues to be fascinated by Japanese culture from a Hokkaido perspective.
City life isn't for everyone. Here's how I found my place in rural Japan with a bit of luck and skill.
Headed to the Sapporo Snow Festival next week? Here's a teaser of what to expect and what you shouldn't miss.
One man's search for Indian curry has led him to this gem in Sapporo.
As manzai has such a long history in Japan, it is only natural that it would be deeply engrained in Japanese comedy in general.
During the cold weather nothing warms me up like a hot bowl of ramen.
This word lets you know that this is not going to be an easy class.
These and many other conversations reminded me why I wanted to learn the Japanese language in the first place
Who knew that working with pumpkins could be so invigorating?
Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park, a park with waterfalls, pleasant nature walks and colorful rolling fields on various flowers.