Jail in Japan Is No Hanami Picnic

Disclaimer – I’m not a legal expert and this is not legal advice. The purpose of this article is to entertain and inform. If you have legal troubles in Japan, please seek certified legal help.

In June 2012, Govinda Prasad Mainali was released from a Japanese prison where he’d been held for 15 years and returned to his home country of Nepal. He had been wrongly accused of murder in 1997 and new DNA evidence had set him free. Although there were many men who had encountered the murder victim in her last days, he was the only foreigner, and on top of that he was a day laborer and dark-skinned; in other words, the obvious killer. Continue reading

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

How to Renew Your Spouse Visa in Japan

I just went to the immigration office to get my Spouse Visa renewed and I’m writing this blog post for two reasons:

  • To help you renew your Spouse Visa in Japan
  • To refer to next time I need to do it since it’s so darn hard to find info on what you need.

I always plan on just making two trips. Trip #1 is where I forget something or screw something up or there’s a mysterious document/photo/form nobody told me about. Trip #2 is where you get her done. Hopefully next time I can make it all in one trip. Continue reading