Like many Americans, I love all things royal, however un-American that may seem.Whether I’m reading about Henry VIII’s doomed wives, Juana la Loca’s heartbreaking spiral toward insanity, or Kate Middleton’s latest fashion faux pas (of which there are few), I am hooked. Monarchies, past or present, captivate me. They act as rare links to bygone days, while posing the difficult question of what’s to come … Continue reading The Chrysanthemum Throne
I begin this post by admitting that I am an avid runner. Call me a masochist, but I enjoy the pain. More importantly, I reap the rewards. Running helps me stay in shape. Period. So, for those of you who hate running and are about to stop reading, just wait. I admit I like to run. But my husband does not. To quote, “Cardio kills … Continue reading Why Walk When You Can Run?
New Years in Japan is different than the raucous party holiday we celebrate in the States. It’s more like Thanksgiving or Christmas: a time for families. Generations gather to ring in the coming year, which certainly makes more sense than masses of strangers standing in the freezing cold to watch an oversized disco ball. Instead, midnight brings the peals of Buddhist temple bells across the … Continue reading Are You Feeling Lucky?
I’ve noticed an astounding trend here in Japan: the man purse. They’re ubiquitous. Every man I see taking the train or walking down the street has some form of bag. There are the usual suspects: messenger bags, backpacks, briefcases. But also full-on purses made of black or brown leather that would make any woman swoon. I’m particularly attracted to the shoulder sling, which looks like … Continue reading I-“MURSE” Yourself in Japanese Style
As a child I loved to stay at hotels. The thrill of a new place was exhilarating. I’d push past my parents and run into the room, scoping out the better bed, and then rush into the bathroom to inspect the collection of complimentary toiletries. Finally, I’d turn on the TV and surf through the channels, looking for shows I wasn’t usually allowed to watch … Continue reading Cabin Fever
Newly licensed in Japan, Alex and I were ready for our first test-drive. And what better way than a real-life Mario Kart adventure through the streets of Tokyo? That’s right, with less than three minutes of instruction and dressed in ridiculous costumes, we zoomed around Japan’s capital in tiny go-karts, bobbing and weaving our way through the thick traffic. A pretty cool way to celebrate … Continue reading Tokyo Drift: Go-Kart Edition
You can’t come to Japan without noticing how clean it is. There’s no trash on the streets, and any debris that does happen to fall is instantly swept away by one of the countless custodians. However, if you wish to throw something away, good luck! Japan has a very strict trash sorting policy, and you’re expected to save that candy wrapper or water bottle and … Continue reading Let’s Talk Toilets
My husband and I occasionally succumb to the draw of HGTV. Late at night, while snuggled in our bed, pillows acting as a cocoon, we sit together and find ourselves entranced for hours as the episodes tick by, watching the over-expectant house hunters search and search for the perfect place. We laugh together as silly first-time buyers ramble off a wish list one mile long … Continue reading House Hunters International
I want to make an impassioned case that dressing well as a tourist pays off. I’m not advocating ball gowns and 5” heels, but a grungy t-shirt and ratty jeans just doesn’t cut the mustard. I say this not only as a proud American who wishes to restore our good name abroad, but as a girl who’s made this mistake herself and come to regret … Continue reading Please Avoid the Tourist Look
When in Japan… you eat… well, I’m not really sure. … Because we moved with the military, we have the option of living in a little America. We can live on base, eat at the local Chilis or McDonalds, and go to a traditional movie theater on the weekends. And frankly, it’s a nice safety blanket. But we moved here for the purpose of trying … Continue reading Epicuriosity