Tokyo, Japan: My Top 5 Favorites

I am leaving Tokyo in less than a month and after a year of living in the center of Tokyo mayhem I’ve had plenty of chances to discover my favorite (and least favorite) things about Tokyo and Japan. So let’s get to it ~ 1. Tokyo is the safest city in the world. Tokyo is…

Tokyo, Japan: The Amazing and Complex Rail System of Tokyo

Tokyo’s rail system is the most extensive and most used network in the world, carrying about 40 million passengers a day.  There are 882 rail stations in and around the wider Tokyo area; 282 of these stations are subway stations located underground. When I first came to Tokyo I put off using the trains for…

Tokyo, Japan: Finding Community while Abroad

One of the hardest parts about studying abroad is having to make a new set of friends and find a community that you can fit in with and one that helps you continue to pursue your passions from back home.  At home I’m very involved in the fitness community and frequently go to the gym…

Japan: The Fleeting Sakura Season

Winter this year in Japan was milder than usual so everyone was a little surprised when spring seemed to show up late.  In Japan, people associate the blossoming of the cherry blossom trees, or sakura, with the start of spring.  People will typically have hanami, a flower viewing picnic, to celebrate the good weather and…

Thailand: Spring Break

My university in Tokyo has its break between semesters during February and March.  After being in Tokyo for six months, I felt like I was losing some of my original awe for the city.  Additionally, Tokyo winter is very dry and windy.  The perfect combination to convince me to stay in my dorm all day…

Tokyo: Spring Break

Just as everyone back at the University of Mississippi was headed back to classes for the new semester, I was finishing finals and getting ready for my two month spring break.  Now that the stress of eight classes worth of final projects and exams is over, I’ve had time to explore different areas a bit further…

Japan: Food – More than just Sushi and Hibachi

  When people think of Japanese food they tend to think of sushi, ramen, or the popular hibachi grill restaurants in America.  While yes there is sushi and plenty of ramen it’s much different than what you would find in America. No california rolls, or deep-fried volcano rolls.  Sushi in Japan is usually just rice…

Japan: Yakushima – the Island that Inspired a Ghibli Film

For Christmas Break one of my best friends from high school came to Japan to visit and do some traveling with me.  We decided that the main thing we wanted to do was go to this island just south of Kagoshima Prefecture called Yakushima.  This island is famous for inspiring the scenery seen in the…

Japan: Traveling to Takasaki, Gunma

In preparation for the Waseda Fall Festival, students get a three day break before the festival.  During this time, I wanted to take a break from the city and experience the natural side of Japan and see some of the famous changing autumn leaves. I took this trip solo and I encourage you to do…

Tokyo: Halloween in Shibuya

Halloween in Japan was never a a big holiday in until about five years ago when people went to Shibuya for the night to go bar hopping.  But the bars were so full that people spilled out into the streets still partying in costumes.  Now, during Halloween the road is closed to traffic and the…

Tokyo, Japan: Temporary Art Exhibits

One of my goals for the year is to go to as many of Tokyo’s museums and art exhibits as I can.  Because of limited space and a plethora of artists and designers in the area, most art exhibits are temporary here, including some that only last for a week or even just the weekend….

Tokyo, Japan: Kawaii Monster Cafe

When I was first recommended to go here by a friend because of the rainbow food served here, I was expecting a small, cutesy cafe like most restaurants in Tokyo.  However, when I went up to floor of the building that it was located in, I see this:  Discreet, right? True to what I had…