Tokyo Kills Me: iPhone X Autumn Edition

Snapshots from the daily commute and everyday life in and around Tokyo

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See the gallery at Tokyo Kills Me: iPhone X Autumn Edition

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Living in Japan

The upside/downsides of expat life in the land of the rising sun

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I recently posted about the ups and downs of life in Tokyo. Due to popular demand, I’m gonna follow up with a sequel about living in Japan…

I arrived in Japan on a three-year overseas adventure before returning to start my next adventure, but “life happens” as they say… Herewith, (partial) lists of what I’ve found living in Japan for nigh-on 20 years.

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Nuclear Nightmares in Tokyo

 Ongoing updates from a Japan expat’s front-row seat of the end of the world

einsteinsminstersThe leaves have turned all Christmas-y red and orange and yellow in the mountains outside town, and white gauze masks have appeared like Santa beards on the faces of Tokyo commuters. Still, as the war of words continues — I wake to the news that Trump has a new nickname for Kim Jong-un: “Little Rocket Man … he is a sick puppy,” — and has put North Korea back on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, and that North Korea has launched yet another missile into the Sea of Japan, the question hangs in the air like background radiation: “Is it safe?”

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Tokyo through Expat Eyes 2.0

The joys and sorrows of daily life as an expat in The Big Sushi

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I arrived in Japan almost 20 years ago (on what was meant to be a three-year overseas adventure, but that’s another story). After four years of living in the inaka countryside of northernmost Japan, Hokkaido, I moved to Tokyo and have been here ever since. The answers below are the most recent iteration of an ongoing, evolving answer to questions which have popped up in online forums such as Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree, Quora, and TripAdvisor: Why are you in Tokyo? What are the up- and downsides of living in The Big Mikan? Herewith, some provisional answers…

Since I wanna finish on a positive note, I’ll start with the downsides of life in Tokyo…

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Nuclear Nightmares in Tokyo: TNT (Trump in Tokyo) Edition

an expat’s view of the end of the world

0-Jl0_lDkKkiVjwAT2And so autumn colours, all Ivanka-kimono red and Donald-skintone orange, have settled over Japan as the Trumps pass in Tokyo like ships in the night: Ivanka on her way out; Donald on his way in.

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Shirakawago: Traditional Farmhouse Village in the Japanese Countryside

An open-air “living museum” of traditional farmhouses deep in Japan’s countryside

Shirakawago; Gifu, Japan

Steep-sloped thatched rooftops reach for the sky like hands raised in prayer. Narrow, fast-flowing drainage ditches alive with carp and trout knit the rice paddies and the hulking, three- and four-story farmhouses together into the village of Ogimachi, the main attraction of the Shirakawago region in a remote, pine-covered mountain valley in Gifu prefecture. The total effect is like something out of a Japanese folktale perhaps: Momotaro Peach Boy, or a whimsical Ghibli Studios anime such as My Neighbor Totoro.

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