Travel Japan: Island by Island  Off-season in Okinawa
|

Travel Japan: Island by Island Off-season in Okinawa

During winter vacation, I traded Hyogo’s rice paddies and fallen leaves for the pineapple fields and mangrove forests of Okinawa! Hoping to take advantage of off-season prices and fewer crowds, a fellow ALT and I embarked on a journey of island hopping, ocean kayaking, coral reef snorkeling, and a long list of other exciting activities….

Travel Japan: Asahikawa – The Other Winter Festival
|

Travel Japan: Asahikawa – The Other Winter Festival

Last year I traveled to Hokkaido to see a zoo, the Asahiyama Zoo, and maybe take in a couple festivals. I mean who wouldn’t want to see an adorable penguin parade, right? But, it was one of the festivals that really made my frigid trip awesome. The 冬まつり, or Winter Festival, occurs in the town…

Heart of Japan: Izushi: A Little Kyoto
|

Heart of Japan: Izushi: A Little Kyoto

This article is brought to you through a partnership between the Heart of Japan blog, a project by the Hyogo International Association, and the Hyogo Times.   Izushi is a castle town in northern Toyooka City known as “Little Kyoto” –a small town that is filled with traditional architecture, performances, festivals, and soba noodles. Without a…

|

Current Affairs: “Active Pacifism”: Drivers, Decisions, and Direction of Japanese Defense Reform

Since sweeping back into power in December 2012’s lower house victory, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pursued a series of reforms aimed at keeping his increasingly marginalized country a tier-one power. Among these efforts, Abe’s plan for reviving the long-stagnant Japanese economy, dubbed “Abenomics”, has received the most attention. In the past several months,…

|

Current Events: Affirmation in Africa: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Visit

As with the beginning of every new year, people everywhere look toward the future, hopeful that the year will be better and brighter than the last. Sadly in 2013 from January 16 to January 19 those hopes were cut short for 40 people when Algerian extremists attacked and overran the Tigantourine gas plant near In…

|

Special Feature: A Beginner’s Guide to Anna Howard Shaw Day in Japan

With February upon us it is time to celebrate the birth of famous suffragette leader, Anna Howard Shaw, on Anna Howard Shaw Day, or, as some people like to call it, Valentine’s Day.   Like most Japanese appropriations of Western holidays, a sensation of “same same but different” permeates February 14 in the land of…

| |

Your Friendly Neighborhood AJET: February 2014

To stay, or not to stay? That was the question we recently asked ourselves. By now your papers are signed and handed in. For JETs choosing to re-contract, I offer my congratulations! I hope the incoming year will offer more unforgettable experiences. For JETs choosing to make the next big (and scary) step, CLAIR is…