London Escape

During the end of August to early September, schools in Japan go on summer vacation. My workplace, a Japanese high school, was no exception (although, most students and teachers continue to linger around school for extra classes and extra curriculum activities – aka school club activities). Luckily for me, my job role did not bind me to any work commitments of the sort.  Not sure whether it was the travel bug or the stress built up from work, but I had to go for another holiday to unwind. Together with my friend, A, we booked flights and headed on our […]

Continue Reading

A break before the rush

Before work began getting hectic for the new school year, I headed off on a trip to Hong Kong and Korea.  It was a 10-day trip with my friend, A. The purpose of the trip was to relax and get away from work.  There was also another goal we had for the trip: and that was to eat! Hong Kong Our first stop was Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is a place I had always considered as my second home. My dad moved from Hong Kong to Australia in 1982.  My first trip to Hong Kong was when I was four. […]

Continue Reading

Nengajo Tradition

Nengajo is the Japanese word for New Year Cards.  Sending out nengajo is a Japanese tradition that you do once a year and rely on the Japan post office to ensure that they arrive before or on  January 1st.  Very similar if not the same to the purpose of what a Christmas card serves.  You can choose to design the postcards or buy pre-designed ones.  It is a rather fun and creative way to get in touch with people you wish and tell them how you have been. Until a few months ago, I had no clue what New Year […]

Continue Reading

Christmas Japan Style

Christmas time is a funny time of the year.  Yes, I say funny.  My own family does not celebrate it. Not in recently year at the very last.  Growing up in an Asian family with hardworking parents, you end up working along with this.  The so-called celebration for me was generally at the family restaurant and meals eaten not at a table but a fridge top.  On a handful of years, my family had gone to a Christmas buffet at a restaurant down the Gold Coast.  But, this year, I celebrated Christmas and New Years in Japan.  It isn’t the […]

Continue Reading

Embracing Thanksgiving

I never quite knew what the big deal was with Thanksgiving.  I only knew that it was a day for families to get together and celebrate with food.  Moreover, I also knew from my previous job that most of my American colleague would by not available to help with any technical issues that occur during that time, so I was on my own.  But this year, I celebrated my first Thanksgiving with a bunch of good JET people at a friend’s place.  As an Australian, where we do not celebrate such an occasion, I was able to embrace it and […]

Continue Reading

My Obon in Japan

Obon is a time in Japan where Japanese people return home (as in parents home or main family house) and pay their respects to the deceased loved ones. Where I live in Kazo, Saitama, shops or semi big grocery stores would close one or two days for their employees to celebrate obon with their family. I did not realise how big or important the occasion was to Japanese people as I was not fully aware of it until one of the teachers, G S, mentioned it. Obon is actually very similar to a Chinese traditional date called “Ching Ming”, which […]

Continue Reading

Home Delivery Surprises

I truly love the delivering system in Japan.  It is by far the most well organised and well mannered systems I have experienced.  I come from Australia, so home delivery is always between the hours that is most convenient for the delivery man.  Should you not be at home, there is no problem, because the delivery man will leave you a slip saying you HAVE to pick up your package at the local post office.  The Japanese delivery system is not the same.  Should you miss the package that is sent to your apartment, the delivery person will live you […]

Continue Reading

Dream a little … Why not?

Following your dream are words that we hear many times in our lives.  However, these words are not that easily satisfied. For years, I had dreamt of working in Japan and that is exactly what I am doing right now.  I currently live in a beautiful town in Saitama and am working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) under the  Japan Exchange and Teaching program 2015. I am not a teacher.  In fact, before coming here, I worked as a software engineer for an international organisation.   That was actually my first job since graduating from university.  Over the course of […]

Continue Reading