Bali Temple Mystery – To sarong or not to Sarong?

Do I need to wear a sarong? This is a question that all tourists will ask over and over again when going to a temple in Bali.  People get confused and wonder what other dress codes and rules there are specific for females and males. I wanted to share my thoughts and experience in this regards from a recent trip to Bali. For starters, I will say that the dress code rules vary base on the temple being visited. I dare say there are somewhat-strict and strict-strict temples in Bali which result to this differences in dress code for guests. To help […]

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My Authentic Getaway to South Asia

Close your eyes and imagine hills of verdurous rice paddies, clear blue beaches and colourful vibrate coral reefs waiting to be explored by you.  Now imagine sweating it out at a meditating yoga class and feeling fully refreshed afterwards.  To help loosen up the tension in the muscles, a luxuriate massage session is waiting for you by the resort pool.  Sounds amazing? Bali is a small yet an exotic island that encapsulates all these things.  Its exoticness is exactly the reason why so many people travel there – for the so-called authentic relax paced holiday in South Asia. Cocktails and […]

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All About Ceremonies

Japan is big with ceremonies.  This is specially true when you work at a school.  I understand opening and graduation ceremonies are important as a way of celebration for crucial moment for students who are coming and going.  I personally do not like ceremonies. Ceremonies in Japan took especially a long time.  Attending them, you witness, while a principal is giving everyone a speech after so many others have beforehand, other teachers who are simply there are dozing off. You can totally tell they are because their heads are bobbing up and down so very slightly as you watch them […]

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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 […]

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Trekking around Takasaki

Having only 3 days into the new year, I started my adventure for 2016 and I chose Takasaki City (高崎市) in Gunma (群馬県).  I actually had no idea about what Takasaki had to offer until I decided to go the evening before.  I knew it existed because when catching the train often enough, you start to notice the terminal stations on certain lines you get on in between.  A quick search online and I found that Takasaki is like a gem that does not get enough attention.  During my research, I came across a website, visitgunma.jp.  The website had a […]

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Off to Kamakura

During December 2015, my parents visited me in Japan.  I was lucky to be able to take a few days away from work and use that time to take my parents around some parts of Japan. One of the places we went to was Kamakura.  I had meaning to go for some time since arriving in Japan, but never really found the time.  I visited a couple (literally) of the major shrines there and walked the local streets.  It is no doubt a “touristy” place; nevertheless, a delightful place to adventure around.  I managed to also see a little bit […]

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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 […]

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School night at Chichibu

Chichibu festival – one of the biggest festivals in Japan that happens every year in December 3rd.  Lucky me – I managed to attend this festival this year with my mate N. I was lucky to be able to get away from work early and take the train to Chichibu.  Chichibu is approximately 2 hours away from the town I live in. It was lots of fun. Filled with heaps of culture and an enormous amount of people.  The official parade started at about 6:30pm.  I got to see two major floating shrines go around the street around. These floating […]

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English Speaking Social Club (ESS Club)

At my base school, there is an ESS club.  ESS stands for English Speaking Social Club. Not every Japanese High school has such a club.  It is mostly the high academic or high school that have a strong focus on English that have time.  It is typically a group of high school students who come together after school in their own time and they use it as an opportunity to speak in English or do activities such as games in English.  Depending on the school, a teacher would supervise or participate as well.  In the case of my school’s ESS […]

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