Japan Attraction: Disaster Prevention Park

Useful Japanese words:
Saigai 災害 / さいがい (Disaster)
Jishin 地震 / じしん (Earthquake)
Tsunami 津波  / つなみ (Tidal Wave)
Abunai 危ない / あぶない (Dangerous)
Anzen-sei 安全性 / あんぜんせい (Safety)

Japan is very prone to earthquakes. The Tōkyō Rinkai Kōiki Bōsai Kōen (東京臨海広域防災公園), or Disaster Prevention Park in English, is right on the edge of Tokyo Bay in a district called Odaiba. It is a park dedicated to the education and training of people on the proper preparation and response to common natural disasters in Japan such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The park facility has several educational presentations, displays and programs for visitors to browse.


Japan Culture Corner: Sumo!

Useful Japanese words:
Rikishi 力士 / りきし (Professional Sumo Wrestler)
Gyōji 行司 / ぎょうじ (Sumo Referee)
Yokozuna 横綱 / よこづな (Grand Champion)
Ryōgoku Kokugikan 両国国技館 / りょうごくこくぎかん (Sumo Hall (arena))
Dohyo-iri 土俵入り / どひょういり (Ring-entering Ceremony)

The Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) was buzzing with excitement as spectators entered the building. Some of the locals were wearing their traditional Japanese yukatas to the event, celebrating a traditional Japanese sport. The outside of the building had painted murals of Sumo wrestlers, and the foyer was lined with more murals and inscriptions detailing the history, legends and mythology of Sumo. Fans wandered around the halls, buying food and souvenirs.


Japan Daily Life: Tokyo Densha 東京電車

Useful Japanese words:

Densha / 電車 / でんしゃ (Train)
Basu / バス (Bus)
Eki / 駅 / えき (Station)
Doko / どこ (Where)

Upon arriving in Tokyo, one of the first things I needed to do was figure out the train system and public transportation options. Now that I’ve had a little time to figure things out, I want to share what I’ve learned, so if you ever decide to visit Tokyo, you hopefully won’t be too lost about how to get around.


8 Tips For Long Term Travel

If you’re going to travel to many places or to one place for a long time in one trip, then you need to plan for a lot of things and it’s probably going to mean you need to bring a lot of stuff. In the process of preparing for a year-long Exchange program in Japan, here are some things I have learned about preparing for a long-term trip.


A World of Opportunity ~ 10 Steps to Studying Abroad

If you or a student you know is considering or even curious about studying abroad, here is an overview of steps to take and issues to plan for to make an international experience a reality and off to a great start! As stated in my previous blog post, “Saddle Up Your Horses,” I am about to embark on my own adventure as an exchange student in Japan soon.


Saddle Up Your Horses!

It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post, I realize.  It’s one of the reasons I had trouble viewing myself as a writer – consistency and self-discipline is hard, especially when there are so many other things demanding attention that have greater consequences if left unfinished.  However, ultimately, it all comes down to how important it is to me.  If I value you it the way I ought to, then I will find a way to make the time to do it.  So, here we are again!  I’m going to get back to writing and this time we have some new adventures!


The Old Cowboy’s Secret

(Thank you to Lucas Nease for submitting this entry as a guest blogger!)

I once met a man who was riding from Buffalo to Santa Fe. I had run out of gas on a road in the plains of eastern Colorado. It was just before sunset and I was walking back up the road to where I had last seen a gas station sign. I saw him camped in the field with his horse staked nearby.



(Photo courtesy of www.syfy.com. Thank you!)

I let at least a month go between blog posts recently, and I’m sorry for that. Sometimes life can seem to get the best of you (and me). No matter how much planning you do, no matter how prepared you feel, life has a way of throwing curve balls and unexpected plot twists your way that can really rock the boat and make you wonder if you’ll ever be able to get it back on track. It’s hard enough to face financial problems, relationship problems, physical problems, emotional or mental problems, social or educational problems, work problems, and any number of other kinds of problems one at a time, but sometimes they seem to flood in almost all at once and that’s when it feels like you’ve just been trapped inside a Sharknado!


Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil

The world is full of discouragement and perceived limitations. We are constantly bombarded with ideas and lies that tell us that we can’t do things, or change the way things are. We all too easily give up on dreams because we can’t see the direct path to achieving them. If there is anything I’ve learned so far, it’s that life is rarely predictable, and often the best achievements are made from simply taking a first step, even if you don’t know how, when or where the second step will be taken. People too often seem to base their decisions to try for something on whether they can see the whole plan and picture right from the beginning. It rarely works that way, and almost never goes the way we expect even when we think we know how everything will turn out.