Where to Stay in Japan

If you’ve visiting Japan and you need a place to stay, you’ve got two options:

  •  l  Stay with a friend in their shoebox-sized Tokyo apartment
  • l  Spend the cash and book a proper room in one of the country’s fine hotel facilities.

There are lots of lodging options in Japan and it can be confusing if you’re a first time visitor, so here’s a quick rundown.

Western-Style Hotels

Japan is full of western-style hotels and most of them are really nice. In fact, they’re too nice; you won’t find the cheapo-but-not-too-horrible hotels by the side of the highway. Most of these hotels are located in major cities and they cost an arm and a leg. However, the price is usually worth it. Service is guaranteed to be good and the amenities will rock. Continue reading

Tornadoes in Japan

I saw the news this morning and it looked just like something from my hometown – an evil looking sky with a swirling tornado in it, bearing down on the countryside. Smashed sheds, upside-down farm equipment, twisted trees and electrical poles lying horizontally on the ground. It looked like springtime in Missouri.

It turns out that on Sunday afternoon, twisters ripped through Ibaraki Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture. One hit the town of Tsukuba where a friend of mine used to live. One 14-year-old was killed and about 40 people were injured, with lots of houses destroyed and other damage. Continue reading

How to Tell If Your Japanese Sucks

Japanese people are exceedingly kind. They’re so kind, in fact, that they won’t tell you honestly if your Japanese sucks.

Let’s take an example from my home country, the ol’ U. S. of A. If you walk into one of our fine fast food establishments and order your triple quarter pound meatwich with anything less than the most perfect American, the cashier is likely to lean toward you sneering and go, ‘HUNH?’ Continue reading