I was living in Toronto, Canada, but have moved and am currently working in Tokyo, Japan on a 2 year international assignment with my company.

My interests include globalization, diversity and Web 2.0 – which I believe are all connected or interlinked. In this blog, I’ll probably talk about these topics, but mostly will write about my excellent adventures in Japan.

Finally, I am using this public blog, along with the very popular social networking tool Facebook, to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues back home in Toronto, while on far away on assignment here in Tokyo – it’s my little Web 2.0 and social networking experiment.

July 3, 2010 update:  My assignment to Japan has finished so I am back living in Canada.  I am continuing to post about Japan as I took a lot of pictures so please do continue to follow me – I appreciate your comments.

54 thoughts on “About

  1. Konnichiwa,

    Very rich and interesting contents in your blog. It’s good to see you carry your BlogCentral to the public WordPress. Now not only people in Big Blue can enjoy your blog, but also the public Internet folks. I’m sure lots of people will be interested and benefited from your adventure experience in Japan. Well, at least I’m one of them. I really do find your blog very helpful. Thanks.

  2. I’m working this days on a website that should help foreigners find their way in Japan (trains + walking directions – a bit like hyperdia but with more features).

    I am looking for people who like to travel around and can send me some feedback and suggestions

    If you’re interested, please send me a mail !


  3. Hi,

    We have spotted your blog and find it very appealing.

    We would like to offer you to pay you in exchange for publishing html links to Japanese commercial websites (no pornography).

    I work for a Tokyo-based company called Jokey Gene. We do SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

    I can send you links to our website and partner sites so you can see what the links look like.

    Could you email me if you might be interested in this kind of offer? If you are, I will send you more details about it.

    Best regards,

    Tram Le

  4. Konnichiwa to you, too. Nice blog. Looking forward to seeing more. I’ve been living in Japan for more than 4 years, and I’m a fellow Canadian. I hope you’re really enjoying life in Japan. I sure am!

  5. Hello,

    This is Armine Hareyan writing from http://www.huliq.com. I visited your blog and liked your content.

    Would you be interested to send us a guest post on any of the issues related to the topics that you cover in your blog. We will publish it in our site http://www.huliq.com

    In return with each guest blog we will give one link in the author’s biline back to your blog. We only ask that the guest post ( we prefer it be a news coverage, sources can be Google News, CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo News, BBC and others) be a unique story and not be published in your blog.

    Please let me know if you may have any questions about http://www.huliq.com.

    If you want to consult the topic with me first that’s perfectly fine as well.

    Many thanks

    Best regards
    Armine Hareyan

  6. Konnichiwa ,

    First of all , thanks for the great blog !

    I ll be in Tokyo next week , between 15th Sept and 29 September, I am wondering if there is any nice events like you mentioned in your blog between these dates ( as I know there is Hachimangu Festival near Kamakura , unfortunately too far to Tokyo ) near Tokyo.

    Thanks again

  7. Hi there, I like your blog. Very interesting subjects, also good quality pictures! Thanks for sharing all these. Hope to seeing your postings regularly. Cheers.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog and more importantly, leaving a comment – much appreciated. I do hope you get a chance in the near future to visit or live in this interesting and wonderful country.

  8. What a lovely blog and great photos. Found your blog because my 12 year old son is keen to go to Japan (we live in Sydney) and I was looking at the Anime Festival as a possible event to link a trip to. Any thoughts on experiences that you have had in (or close to) Tokyo that would be fun for a family ?

    Our kids have pretty low tolerance for temples etc. Get into contemporary art if its interactive.

    PS hope you don’t mind being consulted as travel adviser !

  9. Thanks ! Some great ideas here and have even convinced my partner to come along. We’re hoping that gigantic Gundam is still in place.

    I am now trying to figure out the whole maid cafe thing. Would you take your kids ?

    • You are most welcome – I hope this information will be useful to you to plan your trip. Good luck.

      The gigantic Gundam is not there any longer, but I read that it will return in the summer. The Gigantor at Kobe is permanent though if you are in the Kansai area.

      I have not been to a maid cafe before but from what I know about it, I would not recommend taking the kids there. You can read about maid cafes reviews at http://maidrunner.blogspot.com/.

  10. Hi – Bernie Michalik referred me to your blog, which I am enjoying. I am blogging myself and wonder what template you are using? I like it much better than mine and may adopt it. Please let me know and keep up the interesting work! Thanks John Hamilton

    • John, thanks for visiting my blog – I’ll have to pay Bernie a referral fee 🙂

      Anyway, the theme (or template as you call it) is called Mistylook by Sadish. I think you are using a theme called Cutline. You can usually find the name of themes in WordPress blogs at the bottom.

  11. Hi, I just bumped into your blog as I was looking for some information about Hinamatsuri. It’s very surprising that you have been experiencing a lot of Japanese culture.
    I have not seen most of things you have seen, even though I grew up in Japan.
    I was soooo impressed!! Honestly, how can you find those intresting places and events??

    Also I love your photos, they are great. Not only are they good angles, but also you have a taste.

    Where is the next spot you would like to go? or even visit again?

    • Thanks for visiting my blog and leave such a nice comments, much appreciated!

      We still have lots of place to visit in Japan, but I think our next trip outside Tokyo will be to Hiroshima. Also, I do want to visit Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Himeji Castle – so much to do and see, so little time 🙂

      Do you still live in Japan? If not, do you visit Japan often?

      • Hi, thank you for your reply.

        I live in Minato-ku:)
        Yeah, my friend also told me that Hiroshima was a good place to visit.
        Now I’d like to go to Nokogiri-yama located in south Chiba. Have you been there?

        Anyway, keep updating:)
        I visit here very often. Love it!

        • I have not yet visited Nokogiriyama but it looks quite interesting so I’ll have to put it on my list of places to visit.

          Yes, I will certainly continue to update my blog, thank you for continuing to visit.

  12. Hello,I just found ur Blog and really interesting for me,cuz I’m japanese and living in Toronto,Canada.I just have moved So,This blog will be my favorite*

    • Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting – glad you like my blog, please come back often.

      When did you move to Toronto? Which part of Toronto are you staying? Do you like living in Toronto and Canada?

  13. Hi Bartman0905
    Just like Lisamum, I came across your blog while doing a search online about Tokyo. I’ll be in Tokyo for 1mth during the Cherry Blossom season and will be staying in ropponggi area with my 2 munchkins (3 and 1YO). Can you advise how I can maximise my time there and get the most out of Japan. I’m most appreciative if you have information on Supermarket, Eateries, Playgrounds/ Parks.
    Many thanks in advance for your advise.

    • Many places to visit in Tokyo and outside Tokyo, some of the most popular in Tokyo are:

      Meiji Shrine/Harajuku, Odaiba (there is an amusement park so kid friendly), Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tsukiji fish market, Akihabara (Electric Town), Tokyo Disney, Tokyo Edo Museum, watch Sumo wrestling, watch baseball game at Tokyo Dome (Tokyo Dome City is also a good place to visit with kids as it has an amusement park and shopping center)

      Outside Tokyo (can be a day trip): Kamakura, Nikko, Mount Takao, Hakone, Saitama, Kawagoe.

      Even further (may be overnight or longer): Kyoto, Osaka, Sapporo, etc. You many want to think about buying a JR Rail pass before coming to Japan if you intend to travel outside Tokyo. In Tokyo, you can use the subway and train system (taxis are available, but are expensive). Use http://www.hyperdia.com/ for subway and train routes.

      There are many supermarkets in the Roppongi, but two which are foreigner friendly are: Food Magazine and Preece (inside the Tokyo Midtown shopping center)

      There are many parks in the Tokyo area, where you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing (so they may be crowded):

      Ueno Park
      Yoyogi Park (near Harajuku and Meiji Jingu Shrine)
      Shinjuku Koen
      Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens (near Tokyo Dome)

      For food, there are too many restaurants and eateries in Japan to list, and it will depend on your taste and budget. In Roppongi, there are several Western restaurants like TGIF, Hard Rock Cafe and Tony Romas.

      Have a great time in Japan and enjoy cherry blossoms as it is very special here (see https://bartman905.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/sakura-2009/ for our experience last year).

  14. Hi Bartman0905
    Many thanks for your generous info. Will take note of these places you recommended and plan my way there.


    • Rick Martin (who is now more famous than the Latino singer Ricky Martin),

      Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

      From your blog, you are a fellow Canadian living in Tokyo – how long have you been here and how long are you planning to stay?

      Anyway, I have added you to my RSS reader so I will follow your blog from now on.

  15. Hello.
    You have great experiences in Japan. I enjoy reading your blog very much.
    Recently i link to your blog from my own blog, i hope you’re not mind.

  16. I was curious where you were after your Okonomi post. I see you have returned to passport country. Any reverse culture shock?
    BTW, thanks for keeping up with me on my blog. Your photos are beautiful. If you are doing that with an iPhone you need to offer a course.

    • Yes, I have been back to “my passport country” (which is Canada) for almost 1 1/2 years now. No, not really reserve culture shock. Although we terribly miss the different and wonderful life in Tokyo, which has become our second home so we plan to visit back as often as we can.

      Thanks for the nice comments. I don’t have an iPhone so I can’t help you there. Most of the pictures in my blog have been taken using a Canon entry level DSLR (Rebel, or known as Kiss in Japan) which I bought in Japan. Some pictures were taken using an old Panasonic point-and-shoot.

  17. So lovely to “meet” you! So enjoying your blog as it brings back happy memories for me — I also lived and worked in Japan for a few years, am originally from T.O., then Mississauga, then moved back from Japan with my hubby to Chicago and now we’re back in Mississauga…but oh so homesick for our life in the East! Loved looking through your posts, and looking forward to more 🙂

    • Thank you for visiting my blog, commenting and all the “likes” – much appreciated.

      We have been back to Toronto for almost two years now and miss our “second home” in Tokyo and Japan. Although there are so many other places to see around the world, we hope to visit Japan as often as we can (we were actually there last Christmas).

  18. Hi, I’m Natalie from Indonesia
    I’m the social media admin for my company, Jellyfish Education Indonesia (www.jellyfish-indonesia.com), which promotes studying in Japan
    Would you mind if I use your blog contents and photos into our social media accounts?
    I will make sure to mention you as the source and feel free to check later on

    By the way, I studied in Japan for 18 months and have been back to Indonesia since 2008
    Your blog only makes me realize how much I MISS Japan…
    Hoping for a chance to visit Japan again one day *sigh*

    Thank you ^^

  19. Hello! Can I please use your photo of Amitabha in an upcoming book publication in Singapore? Would you also be able to send me a hi-res image of it please? Let me know if you would like any details of the publication.
    I look forward to your response via email (deborah.yip@cengage.com) Thank you!


  20. Hello, I am a roving Editor for the Guardian publications here in London, and soon will be posted to the Tohoku area for a few years. Since I do not know any Japanese people, I was wondering if you knew of a few trekking/walking/rambling clubs/circles/groups/associations in the Tohoku/Kanto/etc area by any chance? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. I offer you my gratitude in advance; and remain peacefully yours, Tony…

    • Hi Tony,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Unfortunately, I do not know any trekking/walking/rambling clubs/circles/groups/associations and it has been awhile since we left the Tokyo area so I am afraid I am not going to be of much help at this point. Anyway, all the best in your upcoming assignment in Japan, I know it will be a very interesting and rich experience. Gambatte!

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