Friday, 9 December 2011

Tips for Beating the Chill this Winter...

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I would apologise for not posting in 6 months or whatever it has been but there is a very good reason why I have not; I couldn’t be bothered. And to be honest, I was suffering from extreme culture shock/home sickness. You wouldn’t even believe it. I started to loathe Japan. I wanted to go home. I drafted a letter of resignation and everything. But then I had a turn around moment and I started to make friends and go out and enjoy myself (hmmm… I feel a blog post about this coming on…) so long story short, I’m back. I am going to try harder to reboot this blog. Its not like this blog has an audience or anything anyway, so we are all back on speaking terms.

Anyway, I want to share my top tips for surviving the winter in Japan. As an Australian whose experience of winter has never dipped below 15 degrees centigrade, coming to the dry sub-temperatures of Shizuoka was a bit shocking way back in March 2011. Japanese people walk around and get on with it without complaint as thought this is somehow normal. Well it’s not. It’s strange and unusual. Why do people choose to live in parts of the world where the weather does this? The other day I saw my Canadian neighbour running around town in shorts and a t-shirt. It was about 14 degrees centigrade out. Its unnatural. So for all you normal people who, oh I don’t know, enjoy being warm, this post is for you…

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sea to Summit 2011

On the 23rd and 24th of July, I joined the intrepid volunteer fundraisers for Oxfam as they hiked up Mt. Fuji (3776m) to raise money for charity. 39 people started at the sea and hiked throughout the day to arrive at the summit of Mt. Fuji by 4.30am on Sunday the 24th July. I and 14 others joined the group at the fifth station (2400m). These people were amazing and it was a pleasure to join them for this hike. Mt. Fuji will definitely be one of the most treasured experiences of my life. Thank you to for posting this video of the event!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Getting a Haircut in Japan…

Before I start, perhaps I had better emphasise that the story I am about to tell you is specific to my current situation and hair type. I am sure there are plenty of fantastic hairdressers in Japan. This post is for foreigners living in Japan who are struggling to find a good one and are experiencing rebellious hair (like I was).

The problem with my hair is that it is naturally curly. The curl of my hair is very tight and defined. I decided a long time ago to start straightening my hair and wearing it straight all the time. I have gone back to curly a couple of times and decided ultimately that I do not like curly hair. Straightening my hair everyday whilst living in Australia was not too much of a problem; the weather was very dry and I used good products in combination with a GHD straightener so the style held and I was satisfied with the overall look. But now I am in Japan.

Shopping in Japan #3 : Underwear and Sportswear

Welcome to the final installment of Shopping in Japan. I hope you have found this segment useful!

There are plenty of Nike and Adidas stores around, especially in larger cities and thankfully because these are Western brands, there will be Western sizes to fit you. Uniqlo also stocks an activewear range made from UV protectant materials.

For those who like hiking, you will want to pay a visit to Japanese outdoor outfitters Swen (Shizuoka/Aichi), Oshman’s (Greater Tokyo area), or even check out the flea markets and thrift stores near U.S. military bases if you live near a one.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Shopping in Japan #2 : Casualwear and Shoes

Welcome back. For this installment of Shopping in Japan, we'll address the issues of shopping for weekend wear and keeping oneself shod whilst living in Japan...

It’s the weekend and you can finally wear what you want! But where can I buy clothes that will fit me? There are two options in Japan in terms of aesthetics; Japanese style and Western style. For Western style, again, Uniqlo also stocks lots of active wear and casual wear in larger sizes. You will also want to visit Gap, Zara, Forever 21 and H&M whenever you happen to be in a larger city because these brands do stock Western styles in larger Western sizes.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Shopping in Japan #1 : Workwear

This is the first of a series of installments about shopping in Japan. The series will be completed with a piece on how to pack for Japan...

So you are packing for Japan and you want to know what can be bought there so you can avoid extra costs at the baggage check in? Well, I would like to share with you some tips on shopping in Japan and perhaps we might learn some things about dressing in Japan along the way...

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

So you're thinking about climbing Mt. Fuji . . .(英語版)

And now for a very important message from Shizuoka Prefecture's Tourism Bureau...

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