Asakusa Toro Nagashi Lantern Festival

We went into Tokyo for the Toro Nagashi in Asakusa. It’s a lantern festival were people send floating lanterns into the river at night. The festival is very crowded with several thousand people sending lanterns into the river and 10x that there to watch. But in traditional Japanese style, everything was very orderly and relaxed. […]

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Enoshima Island

My dad and step mom came to visit. They spent an afternoon hanging out with their grandkids while we snuck off to Enoshima Island for a little exploring. It’s a little hilly island an hour by train due south of us just down the coast from Kamakura. The island is covered by a big shrine, […]

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Joshinetsu-Kogen Snow Monkeys

We were in Shiga Kogen last month and headed to Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park to see the snow monkeys. These monkeys come down into the valley daily to relax in a hot spring and have their picture taken. The monkeys are blissed out and so used to people that you can get right next to them […]

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Thanksgiving in Kyoto with Toddlers

We took the Shinkansen to Kyoto over Thanksgiving weekend with my mom and stepfather (Jodi and Max). The fall colors were just about at their peak. The city was tremendously crowded, but it was so beautiful that it was worth fighting through the masses. Plus in Japan, even when there are huge crowds, everyone remains […]

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Cuban Coffee

When I returned from my most recent trip to the states, half of my suitcase was stuffed with coffee beans. Coffee culture here is very different than in Seattle – there are plenty of Starbucks but we haven’t found lots of local roasters. So when Stacy and I spotted the little shop near our house […]

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Catching the Keisei bus from Narita to Sagamiono

If you are reading this, hopefully that means you are coming to visit us – exciting! (Or maybe you found this page on Google and are going to visit someone else, in which case, they’re probably excited too!). Narita Airport is pretty far from where we live. The easiest way to get to us is […]

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Daiyūzan Saijō-ji Temple – The Buddhist Temple You Hope You Find

One of the dreams of living in Japan is to find those hidden gems that are far from the tourist track. I’m talking about places that are exactly what you are looking for but aren’t in the guidebooks, that can only be found either with an expert local guiding the way or through deep exploration. Last […]

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Traveling with Toddlers – Kamakura and the Great Buddha

In the world of toddler travel, it’s important to remember and accept that there will be successes and there will be failures. I’ve got to admit that sometimes it’s not easy, and it’s always exhausting. We asked our friends Peter and Leslie, who live in London with their 2 year old, how they manage to get out and […]

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Awkward Adventures in Japan – No you can’t have this matcha.

I’m just a few weeks into my “Let’s Learn Japanese!” adventure and I’ve already hit rock bottom. It happened last week when I went into a green tea store to buy Stacy some powdered green tea, or matcha. I wanted green tea. This store specialized in selling green tea. How hard could this be? So […]

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  • Driver's Ed
  • Nissan Lafesta
  • Nissan Note

Car Shopping in Japan

Five days after arriving in Japan, we took the Army’s mandatory half-day driving class. The class ended with a driver’s test (perfect score, thank you very much). At lunch, we went and bought two cars. Neither of us are the type to make big ticket purchases on impulse. Yet we literally did no more than […]

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