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Archive for April, 2007

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Farm Life: Q&A

Monday, April 30th, 2007

So… about farm life in Japan! A lot of people have been asking what I’d be doing here, and up until this week I really had no idea. Let me start by answering some of the more common questions. [read on]

SAT 4.21.07 – Typical day in the life of an independent traveler

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Disclaimer: Today’s entry is not a witty story recalling any humorous anecdote. There were no major attractions visited. There were no photos of the weird or beautiful taken. Rather, the following is an account of the type of events that occur during daily life when you break away from the corporate mold and begin to experience the world day by day. For anybody who is too nervous adventure away from their homes, I hope this will serve as insight that everything eventually works out… sometimes better than you could ever have planned.

[read on]

A taste of old Japan

Friday, April 20th, 2007

A blaring speaker in the capsule woke me, reminding me it was time to check out. Great start to a day of wandering Tokyo with a massive hangover. I set out in search of a new bed for the evening and a tattoo artist who would help further brand me as a member of the “Gaijin Yakuza”. I expected to meet with aggravators for my headache, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite… gardens, shrines, serenity, and sake! [read on]

Culture Shock!

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Aside from the minor technological improvements and obvious difficulty reading signs, there wasn’t too much in Japan that I considered strange. I’ve traveled alone to countries where I don’t speak the language. I’ve seen Asian décor and writing before. I’ve seen pictures of schoolgirls and armies of black-suit clad businessmen. But none of that prepared me for the first night I returned to Tokyo. [read on]

The Snow Hike

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

I awoke at 7am this morning to the cries of a rooster. It’s still cold and looks like 4” of snow. Hmm… perfect day for a hike… Why not? I layered up my clothing, unpacked my waterproof gloves, made a cup of tea and headed outside. Grey clouds still shroud Mt. Fuji, but there is a small mountain behind the farm that looks climbable. [read on]

Welcome to the Earth Embassy!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

After two hours of bus transport, I found myself the sole passenger dropped off on the side of a two lane highway in the middle of the woods. It was late and the day’s light was beginning to fade. I literally walked through a cloud, following vague directions towards the farm. Through the heavy snowfall I spotted a few signs in English… Solar Café… Closed!?!? The last bus of the day had long since sped off, and feared the worst: stranded in a foreign country’s wilderness with no shelter as frozen water fell and accumulated. [read on]

Eigo o hanasemasu ka?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Everything is going better than I could have hoped for. I wouldn’t exactly define Tokyo as exotic, but it is definitly a different world. Similar in many ways to a typical American metropolis (with the obvious oriental twist) but much more technologically avanced. Excellent public transportation makes getting around is easy and it’s much cheaper than I imagined. [read on]

Time Travel

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Monday, April 16th I boarded a flight in LAX bound for Narita airport in Tokyo. It was the most impressive plane I ever encountered. There were individual LCD screens in each seat offering a wide selection of programs, movies and radio stations. While that’s not so unusual, the remote control/video game controller and fax/internet hookup in the armrest seemed a little over the top.

Somewhere during the flight we crossed the International Date Line and jumped forward a day in the future. I’m still pondering the mechanics of this, but I believe that if I continue east around the world I’m technically a day younger than everybody else. How does that work? Anybody?!? Maybe Ponce de Leon was right searching eastward for the fountain of youth!

City of Angels

Monday, April 16th, 2007


Three days until Japan.  The anticipation is building at an incredible pace!!  This will definitely be the most exotic country I’ve been to so far, and it’s hard to take my mind off of the impending journey.  However, there have been plenty of wonderful distractions to occupy me here in California.   [read on]

Napa and the Pacific Coast

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

After the great times in Vegas and the scenic beauty of Yosemite, Dad and I headed west to Santa Rosa to visit my paternal grandmother.  We spent a beautiful day in Napa Valley tasting great wines and enjoying our time together.  Since the three of us have been living in different parts of the world for the last twelve years it is rare that we get to convene as a family anymore.   [read on]