Ramblings

Shooting Shashes

The milky way at the Tanabata festival near Nijojo Castle in Kyoto

The milky way at the Tanabata festival near Nijojo Castle in Kyoto

Let me preface this with an explanation for the title. The Japanese word for picture is shashin. As respectable English speakers living in Japan, we’ve developed slang for some of our favorite Japanglish. Naturally shashin becomes shash. Daijoubu (“it’s OK”) becomes daijoubs. And so on. It always amuses our fellow English-speaking Japanese friends.

I digress.

I like to do this thing where I take pictures on my adventures. And, by “take pictures” I mean that I bring this not-so-cheap piece of equipment and actually put some thought into it. As it is now, photography is mostly a hobby for me, but I’d like to think I’m OK at it. If you’re interested in seeing the rest of my stuff, check out the photography section in my portfolio! I swear, this isn’t a shameless ploy (well, not completely), I just finally got around to creating a place to view the pictures I’ve taken on my travels.

But yea, please stop by if you can!

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Ramblings

Japanglish

Local hair salon

Local hair salon

Learning Japanese and living in it’s country of origin makes it practically impossible to avoid using Japanglish in your everyday speech. There are just some words in Japanese that don’t have an English translation. Probably the best known word is genki- meaning lively, healthy, spirited, etc. That’s as close of an explanation we’ve come up with. For anyone living in Japan, this word is definitely part of daily speech as it holds it’s own meaning and is among the most common of Japanese words. “How are you?” is “Genki desu ka.” 

Another good example is mendokusai meaning “I can’t be bothered.” Granted, mendokusai can be conjugated and used in a variety of ways. But, it’s just mendokusai to say it in English.  Continue reading

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Ramblings

A Tiny Apartment and no Gym: Fitness in Japan

WorkoutI have this problem. I love to work out, but there isn’t a gym here (at least not one that works for my wallet or schedule) and I live on the second floor of a building made out of paper-mache. See, Japan loves sports clubs, biking, and walking. At least where I am. If I was farther north, we could add in hiking and winter sports. As it is, I live in the plains of Japan. My options are quite limited as I don’t feel accomplished about walking, my bike is pretty A to B, and I don’t have the time to commit to a club. For cardio I go running, but just running won’t cut it. I’ve learned how to become super creative with working out in a 8ft x 10 ft area.  Continue reading

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Around the Tokyo area, Ramblings

In Search of Snow

In Search of SnowSunday morning, after a night of battling with lanterns (I promise to write about it as soon as I get pictures and videos up), Kris and I were faced with our usual problem: what to explore. We talked about many great spots in Tokyo, a spontaneous road trip, or flying to China. Unfortunately the latter would require becoming mysteriously ill for a whole week, thus rendering both of us “unfit for work” temporarily. As generally honest people, we crossed China off the options list.

After debating over a fantastic homemade breakfast (admit it Kris) we landed on going for a random road trip in search of snow.  Continue reading

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Ramblings

Things I’m Going to Miss: Part 2

Maybe you remember this post from before leaving for Japan. Well, time for an updated version. Being in Japan, I’ve learned a lot about what I actually really loved about America and Florida. That said, I’m about halfway done with my journey here, and I already know what I will miss from Japan. So, here’s three new lists: things I miss from home, things I decidedly don’t miss, and things I’m going to miss from Japan.  Continue reading

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