Posted in September 2011

A taste of JET

I wasn’t a JET. When I tell people I taught English in Japan, they often respond with “oh, were you a JET?”. Then I have to explain that I wasn’t a JET (Japanese Exchange Teaching Programme), and I wasn’t an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher). I worked for a private language school (“eikaiwa” in Japanese). This … Continue reading

A-Z of Japan: P is for…

In my A-Z of Japan, P could be for Pokemon  (ポケモン), purikura (プリクラ) (Japanese photo stickers from a photo booth) or pachinko (パチンコ) (a Japanese game which is sort of like a pinball machine crossed with a slot machine). But instead, I’ve decided that… P is for… pagoda! Pagodas are featured in a number of different … Continue reading

Halcyon Days

Halcyon Days, written and directed by Shoji Kokami, received mixed reviews. I went along to see it simply because it was by a Japanese writer, without really bothering to read much about the story. The programme didn’t give much away, but the names of the acts intrigued me as I waited to see the play. … Continue reading


I’ve been putting off writing a review of TeZukA which I saw at Sadler’s Wells recently because I simply didn’t know what to say. It was like nothing I had ever seen before, and I’ve been struggling to find the words to describe it. Basically, TeZukA was a dance performance choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (link … Continue reading

Beyond Words | Beyond Borders: Messages to Tohoku

If you’re in London and interested in Japan, you might like to pop down to the Embassy of Japan before 30th September to see their current exhibition “Beyond Words | Beyond  Borders: Messages to Tohoku“. (Image: Embassy of Japan) The exhibition is a collection of colourful messages to Japan from school children across the UK. … Continue reading

A-Z of Japan: O is for…

When thinking about what O should be for in my A-Z of Japan, I thought of origami (折り紙) (the art of paper folding), Osaka (大阪) (a fabulous, exciting city) and otaku (おたく) (Japanese geeks or fanboys, often collectors of anime, manga or computer games). But instead of those topics, I have decided to write about something which … Continue reading

5 Reasons to Visit Japan

***UPDATE: The September 2011 Blog Matsuri can now be viewed here: Reasons to Visit Japan.*** It’s Blog Matsuri time again, and this month the theme, hosted by A Modern Girl, is “Reasons to Visit Japan“. I don’t need to be asked twice to promote tourism in Japan, so without further ado, I give you: 5 … Continue reading

Akari Lantern Project at the Thames Festival

Last weekend the Thames Festival took place in London. The Thames Festival celebrated the mixture of different cultures present in London, including Polish, Brazilian, Spanish, Korean and Japanese. The Japanese community was represented by the Akari Lantern Project, organised by the Japan Society of the UK and lots of volunteers. During the day, there was … Continue reading

A-Z of Japan: N is for…

N could be for a number of things, in my A-Z of Japan. Ninja (忍者) or natto (納豆)? Nikko (日光市) or NHK? Or even Noda (野田), the new Prime Minister of Japan. But I’ve decided to write about something else. Something important to me… N is for… Nagoya! Nagoya is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban … Continue reading

Events in Japan: Festivals

Whenever I hear that someone is going to Japan I get so excited for them and want to share advice about all the wonderful things to do there. One thing I would recommend to all visitors is to try to check out a festival (matsuri/祭り) while you’re there. All throughout the year there are various … Continue reading