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Stories


Amusing articles about life in Japan, written by Chris Broad.

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Road Tripping to Japan’s Mouthwatering Ramen Capital

Road Tripping to Japan’s Mouthwatering Ramen Capital | Kitakata, Fukushima I won’t lie, once you’ve seen a dozen temples and shrines you’ve more or less seen them all. That doesn’t mean you can...

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Wandering the Bustling Streets of Japanese Venice

Wandering the Bustling Streets of Japanese Venice | Kurashiki, Okayama When somebody told me Japan had its very own answer to Venice, the cynic in me called bullshit. Having visited Venice and been blown...

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Tasting the Finest Wagyu in Japan with Natsuki

Tasting the Finest Wagyu in Japan with Natsuki | Morioka, Iwate A few years ago I won a competition called “Tohoku 365” whereby I received funding to travel around all of north Japan and document the ...

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Japan’s Most Underrated City

Japan’s Most Underrated City | Matsuyama, Ehime Ask me what my favourite spot in Japan is and the one that comes racing to my mind first and foremost is the view from Matsuyama Castle, nestled in the he...

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Discovering Sapporo for the First time with Natsuki

Discovering Sapporo for the First time with Natsuki | Sapporo, Hokkaido You can’t beat exploring a city for the first time with a good friend. One August after both Natsuki and I found ou...

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Cycling the Islands of Japan’s Stunning Inland Sea

Cycling the Islands of Japan’s Stunning Inland Sea | Onomichi, Hiroshima If I had to give one place as being the most jaw-dropping, “instagramable” location in Japan, that award would go the Setouch...

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Getting Lost with a Madman in Osaka

Getting Lost with a Madman in Osaka | Osaka City As a lover of cyberpunk, retro wave and Blade Runner, Osaka is effectively my holy city. "What about Tokyo’s Shibuya and Shinjuku districts?” you might...

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Escaping to a Secluded Mountain Temple

Escaping to a Secluded Mountain Temple | Mount Haguro, Yamagata In a world where switching off is all but impossible, sometimes we need to retreat to a secluded mountain temple and pretend like we’re in...

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Wasting the Day Away at Sake Vending Machines

Wasting the Day Away at Sake Vending Machines | Niigata City, Niigata “Sake vending machines.”- Say it out loud. It’s f*cking magical isn’t it? Co...

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Road Tripping Hokkaido in the Winter

Road Tripping Hokkaido in the Winter | Noboribetsu, Hokkaido You can’t quite beat the sensation of relaxing in a hot spring in winter, soaking beneath the steam with the icy breeze blowing against your ...

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Staying in a Traditional Japanese Inn

Staying in a Traditional Japanese Inn | Yonezawa, Yamagata I’d known my cheeky Japanese friend Ryotaro six months when he invited me to travel with him on a visit to see his friend Satou-san, the owner ...

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Devouring a Bowl of Monster Ramen

Devouring a Bowl of Monster Ramen | Akihabara, Tokyo If you’ve always wondered if there’s a place that sells a bowl of ramen so large and ridiculous in scale that you could potentially overdose ...

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Making Friends in Japan: My Experiences and Tips

Considering it’s the question I’ve received thrice daily for the past 2 years, I still haven’t worked out a proper response to; “Will I be able to make Japanese friends in Japan?” ...

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Teaching in Japan: Don’t Overthink it, Just Go

Will I be able to live in Japan without knowing Japanese at first? Will I be discriminated against for being foreign? Can I make friends? Maybe even just one friend? Does Japan have Burger King? Every wee...

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Top 10 Popular Questions about Living and Teaching in Japan (Answered with words)

I tend to get asked the same questions every week about life in Japan and teaching / working in Japan (not that I mind speaking to curious individuals about an exciting future overseas) and decided the time had come ...

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Life in Rural Japan: When Foreigner ‘Rockstar’ Status Goes Wrong

Before coming to Japan, I’d heard from a variety of sources that foreign people living in Japan often experience an almost ‘rock star,’ celebrity like presence. Naturally, this isn’t because foreign people ar...

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A Night of Total Failure and False Assumptions: How I didn’t pull anyone at a Tokyo Nightclub

I recently took my first weekend trip to Tokyo in some time, where the plan was to see and do as much in Tokyo as possible over a two day period – an objective that was met with an excellent degree of success. You ...

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I Love it When a Lesson Plan Comes Together

Bluntly put, I was absolutely bloody terrified when I walked into my first class in September. The thought of having 40 teenagers stare at me in silence and confusion, as I stumbled around with my voice breaking into...

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Japan and the International Language of Harry Potter

One of the things that excited me the most before coming to Japan was the prospect of just being able to speak to Japanese people and gauge their opinions and views on the world. I’d always felt as though...