Archive for August, 2009

Medical Exams in Japan

August 10, 2009
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Medical Exams in Japan

I’m a little nervous as I sit waiting for the sensei. Did I come to the right office? I even forgot to slip on the lobby slippers once I had removed my street shoes – more out of the thought that they didn’t have slippers my size. The setting is the same, regardless of...
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Gaijin Ura Hanzai Magazine Incident

August 10, 2009
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Gaijin Ura Hanzai Magazine Incident

Is it any wonder that some Japanese people fear the foreign presence in Japan? I’ve seen my share of hospitality, normality, stares of awe, and some of disregard, but never have I quite encountered those of hatred as I’ve seen online in recent days. Family Mart, a popular convenience store in Japan, has stocked...
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Adoption in Japan

August 10, 2009
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I’ve run kilometers on end. I work out regularly. I can hold my own in a fight. Adrenaline and I are close friends. And yet, I recently found myself beyond my natural limits, all in response to the saddened look on a six-year-old girl’s face. Pushed to the point of exhaustion and tired from...
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Health Insurance and Pension Information

August 10, 2009
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Health Insurance and Pension Information

Paperwork by luxomedia Every person regardless of nationality over twenty years old residing in Japan is required to be enrolled in a: 1. Health insurance program 2. Pension fund program Employee’s Health Insurance (健康保険) kenkou hoken Back to basics: the insurance system in Japan, depending on the size of the company in which you’re...
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Samurai Parade on Miyajima

August 9, 2009
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Samurai Parade on Miyajima

The day of the Vernal Equinox also happens to be a national holiday in Japan. The result? No work, and the chance to march in a Samurai parade in front of Itsukushima Shrine (厳島) on Miyajima. It was a beautiful day for a parade, and a great chance for me to participate. Although I...
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Yakushima: Among the Yakisugi

August 9, 2009
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Yakushima: Among the Yakisugi

Normally at the beginning of these little travel pieces I start out very poetic, praising the unique features of the area, and highlighting how much I benefited from the experience. Although I did enjoy staying on Yakushima, the hiking, the main feature, was subpar by my standards. Oh, don’t get me wrong – the...
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Tanegashima: Surfs Up

August 9, 2009
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Tanegashima: Surfs Up

I’m sitting in the waiting room at the jetfoil port on Tanegashima (種子島). All I can think about is “had we but world enough, and time.” Coming to small islands like this one was a major appeal when deciding between Kagoshima and Tokyo – I’d enjoy it even more if I were visiting an...
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Umbrella Burning Festival

August 9, 2009
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Umbrella Burning Festival

Soga Don no Kasayaki (そがどんの傘焼き) Umbrella Burning Matsuri in Kagoshima. Held at nightfall in front of the Museum of the Meiji Restoration on the fourth Saturday in July.
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Kaimondake

August 9, 2009
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Kaimondake

Often called Satsuma Fuji, or the Mt. Fuji of the Satsuma region, Kaimondake (開聞岳) is the largest peak in southern Kyushu, and as such, gives you great views of Kinko Bay, Tanegashima (種子島), Yakushima (屋久島), and the deep blue sea. The ascent will take you about two hours with a steady pace, between 2-3...
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Shikoku Pilgrimage: Keeping Pace

August 9, 2009
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Shikoku Pilgrimage: Keeping Pace

Originally written May 5th, 2007 I awake warm and rested, yet find myself covered in mosquito bites – might be a good idea to bring some netting the next time I choose free lodging. My companions are quick to rise and set out to Temple 23 (Yakuōji 薬王寺) – the LAST in Tokushima-ken. I,...
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