Pilgrimage to the Sea and Mountains – Part 2

Tonight is my second night staying at the big Japanese house in Kii-Tanabe. Last night I was the only guest, but tonight there’s 2 other families staying here with me–all Japanese–for a total of 6 other guests (4 adults, 2 kids). One of the kids is actually screaming in the next room at the moment. The walls are surprisingly thick, though, so even though I … Continue reading Pilgrimage to the Sea and Mountains – Part 2

Pilgrimage to the Sea and Mountains – Day 1

I think this might have been my longest hiatus from this site now. I really fell off of my once a week posting plan. For the past few months I’ve been slowly transitioning from my job teaching English at a public high school in Tokyo to being a full-time freelancer. So for maybe a month and a half that basically meant working almost 2 jobs … Continue reading Pilgrimage to the Sea and Mountains – Day 1

Into the Mountains: Komagane, Nagano (Day 2)

It’s amazing how cold it still gets at night in Nagano even when it was a bright and sunny 75 degrees during the day. Tonight I’ve traded the chilly museum-cafeteria common space for my bunk bed in the still-empty dorm room. The hostel and surroundings are so dark and intensely quiet that it feels much later than 8:30pm. I think there are only two other … Continue reading Into the Mountains: Komagane, Nagano (Day 2)

Into the Mountains: Komagane, Nagano (Day 1)

I feel like this hostel hasn’t really optimized the space of its common area that well. It’s a pretty massive room, at the far right corner a little kitchen space with sink, counter, and such essentials. At the back right (where I’m sitting) is a little gray love seat tucked away in a poorly lit corner of the room. To my left and before the … Continue reading Into the Mountains: Komagane, Nagano (Day 1)

The Impostors of Ginzan Onsen

I’ve been struggling for awhile now with keeping these posts nice and concise and readable. So I’m going to impose a 500-word limit on myself for at least the next few entires and see where I end up. It’s been rather busy in Tokyo these past few weeks. My sister, step-brother, step-brother’s best friend a.k.a psuedo-step brother, and one of my best friends from the … Continue reading The Impostors of Ginzan Onsen

Kanazawa Train Travels – Part 2

We’re now on the second to last day of our trip—we’ll be riding the long local trains back to Tokyo tomorrow morning. The scene outside our current train is the thick blue haze of dusk, with dampness sinking into the fields and onto the black thatched roofs of the little Japanese houses scattered around, or else hovering around the great mountain backdrop and choking it … Continue reading Kanazawa Train Travels – Part 2

Kanazawa Train Travels – Part 1

I’m starting this post not in the best place for blog posting– sitting on the awkward half-seats in the middle of the train corridor next to the door. The area we’re passing through right now is so inaka (countryside) that the doors don’t automatically open when the train stops, and in fact few passengers of this four-car train are alighting at any of the in-between stops, and only … Continue reading Kanazawa Train Travels – Part 1