September 10, 2018

Getting kicked out of Japan is no fun.  Really, take my word for it. 

I am strolling into one of those grayish, nondescript government buildings to apply for a work visa and not surprisingly inside there are rows of seats with foreigners waiting for their turn, the...

July 28, 2017

Every summer in Japan, the spirits of dead ancestors come home.

In mid-August, as the sweltering humid winds blow in, Obon Festival or "The Festival of the Dead" is celebrated throughout communities in Japan to pay respects to family members who have passed away.

In this...

July 11, 2017

The obstacle is the path. -Zen Proverb

Here there are no scenic photo opportunities of ancient castles or crumbling Shinto shrines. No magnificent selfies of sunsets nor cascading waterfalls in the background. No sign of any bustling Japanese pubs to quench my thirst.


July 8, 2017

When Monica and Keitaro started going out, they did all the obligatory things couples do in Tokyo: shopping trips to Shibuya, long strolls on the boardwalk at Odaiba, swan boat rides at Ueno Park. But Monica realized there were places that Keitaro avoided altogether: n...

July 7, 2017

After deciding to go against the wishes of her father, Monica flew to Japan. In the cabin, she had all the time to think whether her decision was the right one—not that it mattered anyway as the plane, almost twenty hours later, landed in Tokyo in the middle of winter.


July 7, 2017

He likes fishing. She likes dancing. While she shakes her hips to samba music in a popular Latino club in Roppongi, the only thing he wants to see squirming is the worm at the end of his hook.

It is the classic gender conflict of “he says, she says”, but because he’s fr...

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