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Last Night in Kansai

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Well that’s it.  Time to start making peace with Japan.  I have less than a week left on my visa.  My ferry to Korea leaves on Monday, and I still need to pay a visit to Megumi in Fukuoka before leaving.    [read on]

Kyoto Part II: Geisha and Matsuri

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007


Already feeling very satisfied with the decision to visit Kyoto, I jumped on a subway heading towards Gion and Hanami-koji, the heart of Japan’s Geisha activity.  Although my hopes weren’t high, the neighborhood where you might spot them is also famous its elegant streets and classical architecture.  It definitely lived up to its reputation.    [read on]

Kyoto Part I: Zen

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007


I did it!  I escaped the magnetic grip of Osaka once again.  Somehow evading its mysterious tractor beam, I found myself on a train bound for Kyoto.  I intended to spend more time there, but the last month in Kansai has sped by in a blur.  The biggest festival in Japan, the Gion Matsuri, takes place annually in Kyoto throughout the month of July.  Although the climactic parade and main festivities peak after my visa expiration, I found information on the web about a lantern parade happening today.  Perfect reason to visit the cultural heart of Japan that I have been neglecting the last month I’ve been in Kansai.    [read on]

Still in Osaka…

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

[read on]

This one photo deserves its own post…

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

I also just noticed that this, my 76th post falls on the 4th of July!  I hope everyone back home is having some wild BBQ action!

The rising sun after Ground Zero

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Ground Zero, a live house (music bar) that I’ve been frequenting.  Played about four sets throughout the night, took a few great photos, drank excessively and generally had a good time.  I’m not going to verbally elaborate much more, so here are some photos.    [read on]

Osaka Life Part II: Late June

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

The past two weeks that I’ve settled in Osaka the days have been drenched from the rain season. Fortunately, the rain has slowed down. Alas, in its wake the area has been suffering a terribly humid heat wave. According to all of the locals I came during the worst month for climate conditions. Not ideal for days spent exploring, but since muggy is better than rainy I set out a couple times this week.    [read on]


Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I finally escaped the grasp of Osaka for a day and took a day trip to Nara, the first permanent capitol of Japan.  About a week ago I talked to a university student from the city who offered to show me around when I came down.  I met Yang at the train station and she began to show me around Nara-koen and the collection of temples and shrines.    [read on]

Pangainoon Uechiryu Karate and the Apartment

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Monday, Osaka was spared another downpour but had to endure an incredibly hot and humid day.  Unfortunately, it was a day filled with a good deal of strenuous activity.  Around 10am, I checked out of the hotel, strapped on my full travel gear and biked to a friend’s house to drop it off for the day.  I then took the ride across town to meet Hugh at the Pangainoon Uechiryu Karate-Do dojo.   [read on]

Tsuruhashi and Karahori-Ezu

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

In Osaka, it is easy to fall into a perpetual night life and only rest during the light of day. I’ve worked hard over the last few days to shift back to a more reasonable schedule. My efforts paid off with a few unique adventures under the old familiar shine of the sun… or what would be the shine of the sun, if it weren’t raining or cloudy all the time.    [read on]