Japan

This is where the blog began! Way back in 2006, I spent three months living and working in Ise City, Japan. I taught English at a private local school, and I spent my off days traveling around the country. This is my adventure, and my hope is that it will inspire yours!

Traveling in Japan

  • 12 Top Experiences to Have in Japan - Lots of people have asked me why I haven't been back yet. Part of me is sad that things will be different. Part of me wants to keep my memories as they are. But all of me wants to go back one day. Here are some of the best experiences I had in Japan, and the ones I recommend to you!
  • Tips for Driving on the Left - Wouldn't world travel be so much easier if everyone drove on the same side? Maybe! But what's the fun in that? I've driven on the left a few times in my life, and ridden in a car driving on the left even more often. It's really not so bad!
  • Solo Travel: Japan - Japan was my first solo trip ever, and my first time ever to cross an ocean. It will always hold a special place in my heart, and I can whole-heartedly recommend a trip to Japan for your solo trip, too!
  • 10 Reasons to Visit Japan - I might have been too young and dumb to be scared because I was just too excited to feel anything else! I hope if you choose to visit this beautiful, friendly country, you'll love it, too. Here are 10 reasons you should consider Japan!
  • What I Ate: Iconic Eats - When one thinks of England, they think of Big Ben... and fish 'n chips. When one thinks of Hawaii, they think of hula girls... and pigs roasted in the ground! Come along with me on a culinary adventure of the most iconic foods I've ever eaten--so far!
  • What to Eat in Japan - If you've been following my series of "e-mails to home" from my summer living and working in Japan, you'll definitely want to read this one! It's a very special What I Ate Wednesday!

Living and Working in Japan

  • The Journey Home - Originally published on 31 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer living and working in Japan! I’m home! After one last Sushi Lo supper on Saturday, I turned in my bike and waited at the school for Mrs. Koda to pick me up. She came about 7:15 orContinue reading "The Journey Home"
  • Futami: I Couldn’t Stay Away - Originally published on 29 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer living and working abroad in Japan! Today I woke up early to talk to Mom online and get to the beach one last time. Next time I talk to my family, it’ll be in the flesh!Continue reading "Futami: I Couldn’t Stay Away"
  • Tying Up Loose Ends - Originally published on 29 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my time living and working abroad in Japan! Is it really the last day? Yes! Yes it is! The past 3 days since I got back from Tokyo have been relaxing, wonderful, and memorable. On Thursday, I turned inContinue reading "Tying Up Loose Ends"
  • Hot Springs and Black Eggs - Originally published on 27 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer living and working abroad in Japan! On my next day in Tokyo, I got up and got to walk the dog with Mr. Fujita. That was fun. And when we got back, I got to haveContinue reading "Hot Springs and Black Eggs"
  • Fun Times in Tokyo - Originally published on 27 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer living and working abroad in Japan! And now I’m back from Tokyo! The train ride there was quite a feat. It took 7 1/2 hours and 4 train changes with only 3 to 8 minutes etweenContinue reading "Fun Times in Tokyo"
  • Third Year Death Ceremony - Originally published on 23 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer abroad living and working in Japan! Time for the much-anticipated Third Year Death Ceremony! Mrs. Koda’s mother came to ride to the ceremony with us. She’s cute and looks just like Mrs. Koda. We got inContinue reading "Third Year Death Ceremony"
  • Going Away Party - Originally published on 23 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer living and working abroad teaching English in Japan! Wow, there’s so much to say about the past 2 days! At work yesterday (after having a week to cool off from the incident with Yuri, it wasn’tContinue reading "Going Away Party"
  • Daiki: The Japanese Meal of a Lifetime - Originally published on 23 July 2006. This post is part of a series of "e-mails to home" from my summer living and working abroad in Japan! And this is a very special post in the series because it's What I Ate Wednesday!
  • Tea at the Nagoya-jo Castle - Originally published on 21 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer living and working abroad in Japan! Hello again! Now to continue with Quick Whit’s Grand Adventure. Today I went back to Nagoya. It’s only an hour and a half trip, so I thought that’d be nice afterContinue reading "Tea at the Nagoya-jo Castle"
  • Shingu Shrine - Originally published on 21 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first summer abroad while living and working in Japan! Well hello! I hope everyone’s had a good week. Let me know what you’re up to! Yesterday I went to the Shingu Shrine at the recommendation of theContinue reading "Shingu Shrine"
  • Pearls are this Girl’s Best Friend - Originally published on 19 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad, teaching English and living in Japan! Hey there! So here’s the latest since my last e-mail. I went to Pearl Island again to see the Mikimoto Memorial Hall that we didn’t get to see before.Continue reading "Pearls are this Girl’s Best Friend"
  • Yukata and Hanebi - Originally published on 16 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad, living and working in Japan! It’s been a good day! Yesterday’s festival and fireworks were fun to watch. It was my little 4th of July on the 15th of July! I talked to MomContinue reading "Yukata and Hanebi"
  • One More Glitch - Originally published on 15 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” about my summer living and working abroad in Japan! Well hello. I hope everyone’s weekend is off to a great start! Just thought I’d update you a little. Work went well enough this past week, up until Friday, myContinue reading "One More Glitch"
  • The End is Near; I’m Making Plans! - Well hello! I hope everyone’s having a great week. Mine’s been pretty good so far… and tomorrow (Friday) is my last day of work! Hooray! So Monday was a good day. My break time got changed, so that was a little annoying, but Yuri was in a good mood, so that made the whole day seem better. IContinue reading "The End is Near; I’m Making Plans!"
  • Spa and Onsen Experiences - Originally published on 10 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer living and working abroad in Japan! Onward to the Nemo Nu Sato Resort! We got there at the last 30 minutes of the lunch buffet, but there was still plenty to go around. It was all veryContinue reading "Spa and Onsen Experiences"
  • Mikimoto Pearl Island - Originally published on 10 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first summer abroad in Japan. Boy, do I have things to tell y’all! Yesterday was as close to ideal as I can think of. We started off going to the Mikimoto Pearl Island, continued on to a healthContinue reading "Mikimoto Pearl Island"
  • Teacher Training - Originally published on 7 July 2006. This post os part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my summer working abroad in Japan! Kon-nichiwa! School has gone better the past couple of days. We had our second teacher training on Wednesday. I was sort of dreading it because I had to give a demonstration of partContinue reading "Teacher Training"
  • Working Girl in Ise City - Originally published on 5 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad to teach English in Japan! Hello! I hope everyone’s had a wonderful 4th of July. I celebrated here in Japan by wearing my Braves t-shirt and some star socks my family sent toContinue reading "Working Girl in Ise City"
  • Ninja Museum and Ueno Castle! - Originally published on 3 July 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad to teach English in Japan! Hey there! I hope everyone’s had a good weekend and you’re all looking forward to July 4th! Eat something grilled and watch the fireworks for me! Yesterday’s escapadeContinue reading "Ninja Museum and Ueno Castle!"
  • Adventures in Nara! - Originally published on 30 June 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad working in Japan! Well Hello! I hope everyone’s having a good week and you’re looking forward to the weekend! I went to Nara yesterday. It was a beautiful day, and the town was absolutely gorgeous!Continue reading "Adventures in Nara!"
  • Yukata Shopping and Sushi for Supper - Originally published on 26 June 2006. This post os part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad to teach English in Japan! Today we went yukata shopping! Mine’s very pretty, but you’ll have to wait till I wear it for the festival to see it! We didn’t try on the wholeContinue reading "Yukata Shopping and Sushi for Supper"
  • A Package from Home - Originally published on 26 June 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever solo trip to teach English in Japan! Hi there all. The past few days have been up and down, so I’ll just hit the highlights for you. We (the Americans) got the silent treatment atContinue reading "A Package from Home"
  • Futami: My Place in the World - Originally published on 20 June 2006. This post os part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever solo trip abroad–to Japan! Hello all! If you were hoping it would rain yesterday so I’d stay inside and not have interesting experiences with which to fill your inbox… you’ll be sorely disappointed! Yesterday was positivelyContinue reading "Futami: My Place in the World"
  • The Boss’ Drinking Buddies - Originally published on 18 June 2006. This is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad–to Japan! Konbanwa! (Good evening!) For those of you in the USA, Ohayo Gozaimasu! (Good morning!) Today was a unique experience! I started out doing laundry and ended up going out for sushi with Mr. Koda’s “Drinkin’Continue reading "The Boss’ Drinking Buddies"
  • Riding the Bus - Originally published on 16 June 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever solo trip to Japan! School has gone well the past couple of days! I’m really trying my best to do everything right, and Yuri’s feeling better, so I think she’s been more willing to overlook someContinue reading "Riding the Bus"
  • Off Day Escapades - Originally published on 14 June 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first every trip abroad to Japan. So, I woke up to overcast skies on my day off on Monday, but I’d prayed it wouldn’t rain because I’ve really REALLY wanted to go back to Naiku (the Inner Shrine). After catchingContinue reading "Off Day Escapades"
  • Tall Tales and English Lessons - Originally published on 13 June 2006. This post is part of a series about my first ever solo trip to Japan! Yesterday I gave Yumi and Yoko (two of our Japanese English teachers) an English lesson. It was pretty fun because we read “The Legend of John Henry” and “The Legend of Johnny Appleseed.” I grabbed a coupleContinue reading "Tall Tales and English Lessons"
  • Geku Shrine and Live Fish! - Originally published on 13 June 2006. This post is part of a longer series of posts about my first ever solo trip to Japan! So my internet is up and going again. I was so relieved when we got it working again! Not being able to talk to my family and write y’all some long e-mails wasContinue reading "Geku Shrine and Live Fish!"
  • On the Job Frustrations - Originally published on 8 June 2006. This post is part of a longer series of posts about my first ever solo journey to Japan! Hello there. Yesterday was beautiful outisde, but it was a frustrating one at work. Apparently there’s lots of stuff my colleague, Anna, and I have done wrong. We were told the other day that we’reContinue reading "On the Job Frustrations"
  • Tales from Tokyo - Originally published on 7 June 2006. This post is part of a longer series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad to Japan! Ohayo-gozaimasu! (Good morning!) Time for more of Quick Whit’s World Travels. I forgot a couple of things about Sunday in Tokyo, so here are a couple more stories! Before we went toContinue reading "Tales from Tokyo"
  • Tokyo Take 2 - Originally published on 6 June 2006. This post is part of a larger series of “e-mails to home” from my first ever trip abroad–to Japan! So I woke up on Sunday and read my Bible. I miss real church with other people. I’ll be glad to go to a service when I get home. I gotContinue reading "Tokyo Take 2"
  • First Glimpse of Tokyo - Originally published on 6 June 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” that I wrote during my first ever solo summer abroad living and working in Japan! Hello to all! I have officially conquered Tokyo with the help of Mrs. Fujita and her amazing family. I hopped the morning train (6:48am) fromContinue reading "First Glimpse of Tokyo"
  • Kyoto: Take 2 - Originally published on 2 June 2006. This post is part of a series of e-mail “letters to home” from my first ever solo trip abroad to beautiful Japan! I decided Wednesday night to go to Kyoto again on Thursday. That’s about as spontaneous as I get–I change plans the night before! I figured I ought to useContinue reading "Kyoto: Take 2"
  • Kyoto: First Glimpse - Originally published on 2 June 2006. This post is part of a series of e-mails home from my first ever solo trip abroad, Japan! Next up: Kyoto! Yoko and I went to Kyoto to see a big temple.We took two trains and walked a loooooong way up hill (but it was a wonderful workout!) to getContinue reading "Kyoto: First Glimpse"
  • Exploring Osaka - Originally published on 2 June 2006. This post is part of a series of e-mails to home from my first solo summer abroad in Japan! Hello again! So I rode to Osaka with Yoko in her car. It’s a 2.5 hour trip with several tolls along the way. It’s expensive for her to go home!Continue reading "Exploring Osaka"
  • The Nagoya Experience - Originally published on 2 June 2006. This post is part of a series of e-mails to home from my first ever solo trip abroad: Japan! Well hello there! My travels have been pretty good so far, and I’m not done yet! Follow along with me… Monday, I went to Nagoya. This was the first time I’dContinue reading "The Nagoya Experience"
  • Train Travel to Nagoya - Originally published on 29 May 2006. This blog post is part of a larger series about my first ever trip abroad–solo to Japan! Well, hello once again! The trip to Nagoya was ok. I feel pretty accomplished for taking the train and all that all by myself, but I was disappointed in myself for not venturingContinue reading "Train Travel to Nagoya"
  • What to Eat in Osaka - It's What I Ate Wednesday, and today I have a very special edition as part of my Japan series: What I Ate in Osaka!
  • Fun and Food - Originally published on 29 May 2006. This blog post is part of a larger series about my first ever trip abroad to Japan! Kon-nitchiwa once again! I have a big week ahead of me, and I thought of some things to tell y’all before I start in on the big travels. First of all, I loveContinue reading "Fun and Food"
  • Teaching English in Ise - Originally published on 27 May 2006. This is part of a series of posts about living and working in Japan–my first trip solo and abroad! Kon-nitchiwa! (Hello!) I hope everyone’s having a great week. I decided now’s as good a time as any to tell you about working at the school, since so many of youContinue reading "Teaching English in Ise"
  • Lost in Ise City - Originally published on 23 May 2006. This is part of a series of letters to home that I wrote while living and working in Japan on my first trip abroad. So I had the day off yesterday (a pleasant surprise). I decided I needed to explore and kinda see what’s here. Well you’d never believe allContinue reading "Lost in Ise City"
  • Naiku Shrine - Originally published on 22 May 2006. This is part of a series of posts from my time living and working in Japan in 2006. Boy, do I have things to tell y’all! I’ve really missed being able to go to church while I’m here, but I know God’s with me all the time, and He provided aContinue reading "Naiku Shrine"
  • Finding My Way Through Life - Originally published 19 May 2006. This post is part of a reminiscent series of e-mail letters I wrote to my friends and family during my summer teaching English in Japan. Hello all! I hope everyone’s having a great week. Let me know what’s going on over in your side of the world. Here’s what’s happening onContinue reading "Finding My Way Through Life"
  • Japan: First Impressions - Originally published 16 May 2006. This is part of a series of e-mail letters I wrote home during my summer teaching English in Japan! Hi everyone! We just got internet in the apartment yesterday, so now I can write to you! Well, Japan is beautiful. The food is awesome–I get to eat sushi every day! However, myContinue reading "Japan: First Impressions"
  • Japan: Tale of a Fateful Trip - My readers, I’m about to let you in on something life-changing, Earth-shattering, and mind-broadening. At least it was for me. Just over 10 years ago I was 20 years old, fearless, and in search of adventure outside of my tiny little hometown in Tennessee. An opportunity to live and work in Japan practically fell intoContinue reading "Japan: Tale of a Fateful Trip"
%d bloggers like this: