Japan

Forest Adventure Time! (C’mon grab your friends)

Forest Adventure Time! (C’mon grab your friends)

I’m a little late to the party, but I just love the cartoon Adventure Time! It sometimes makes me wish my saggy-cheeked dog, Bosley, had special powers like Jake. Boz is mostly just a super cuddler, though, and I’m fine with that. He’s still my favorite dog. My only dog, but my favorite nonetheless. On(…)

Domo Arigato–Thank you, Sisters in Oki & Beyond

Domo Arigato–Thank you, Sisters in Oki & Beyond

I’ve been challenged by a fellow blogger, the lovely Jaci at Happiness Backpack, to blog about what I’m thankful for. Last November, I shrugged off doing the “Today I’m thankful for. . .” posts on Facebook every day leading up to Thanksgiving. Although it’s a great idea, I just don’t like to do what everyone else(…)

Golden Week, Part 2: There Be Dragon Boats!

Golden Week, Part 2: There Be Dragon Boats!

Golden Week: more people on vacation, more traffic, more festivities. Also, this: Why are there Christmas lights up during Golden Week, you ask? Ahh, my dear Westerner, that is where you’re wrong (don’t worry, I made the same mistake). Those aren’t Christmas lights. Those are GOLDEN WEEK lights.  So what’s the difference between Golden Week(…)

Golden Week, Part 1: National Days of Rest

Golden Week, Part 1: National Days of Rest

Happy Golden Week! Um, what’s Golden Week, you ask? It’s a handful of national holidays packed into the end of April and beginning of May, of course! China celebrates it, with its own holidays. These are the holidays (as they currently stand) for Japan: I say “as they currently stand” because there’s been a lot(…)

Driving in Okinawa: Unofficial Rules of the Road

Driving in Okinawa: Unofficial Rules of the Road

So you may have read about my adventures in learning to drive on the left. In the driver’s ed class to get my Japanese license, I also learned some of the nuts and bolts of driving, like the only place in Okinawa you can turn on red is on Kadena Air Base, or the meaning(…)

Walk that goat! Okinawa’s Bios on the Hill

Walk that goat! Okinawa’s Bios on the Hill

Have you ever heard someone say, “If you don’t like the weather in [name of city], just wait a few minutes, and it’ll change”? I have. In fact, I’ve heard this same expression used to describe Chicago, Los Angeles, Valparaiso (Indiana), and parts of Texas. As if these were the only places with frequently changing(…)

Oki End to End: Mini Geography Lesson

I just couldn’t wait to share this with you–I recently saw it in my feed. It’s a time lapse video of a person driving from the southern tip (Cape Kyan) to the northern tip (Cape Hedo) of Okinawa Island. Since Okinawa is only 67 miles (107.8 km) long, the trip takes 3 to 4 hours,(…)

100 Yen Stores: The Most Fun Consumers Can Have!

100 Yen Stores: The Most Fun Consumers Can Have!

It’s fun to visit another country and find little cultural differences, or learn that there may be a different way to do or say things than what you’ve always known. I take it another step, and admittedly get a little “judgy.” Here’s my running tally on “Who does it better–Okinawa or the U.S.?”                                             (…)

Shisa! Shisa! Things I learned about Okinawa’s icon

Shisa! Shisa! Things I learned about Okinawa’s icon

Fair and temperate Okinawa: what beast, pray tell,  is this? Be it friend or foe? Spend any time on Okinawa, and you’ll see pairs of these creatures on rooftops, or perched at the entrance to most homes and buildings. They’re called shisa, and they’re everywhere. Okinawa’s icon, for sure. When you think of Okinawa, think of(…)

I’ll Drink To That! Okinawa’s vending machine drinks

I’ll Drink To That! Okinawa’s vending machine drinks

On Okinawa, and in Japan in general, there are what seem like a babillion vending machines. I heard once that there was a machine for every 5 people, but the number seems to be more around 1 machine for every 23 people, according to the Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association. I decided to do my(…)