Category Archives: Food

Ramen is truly a food of the (fat) gods

Tonkotsu ramen
Tonkotsu ramen is a truly amazing thing. Remember to drink the broth!

I finally got around to eating some ramen this stay in Japan. For those of you who don’t know, I love ramen.

Today I ate at a place that’s no more than a five-minute walk from where I’m staying. My old roommate, Yoshi, recommended I go as soon as possible. Well, I did. And it was amaaazing.

Did I mention it was cheap, too? 600 yen for the standard bowl of ramen.

I mention this, because in all of Texas, I’ve only had good ramen twice. Once at a food truck in Austin that closed down this summer, and at a new place that opened up a month ago, also in Austin. But there a bowl of ramen was something like $9 or $10, I believe. And it still wasn’t as good as this.

If only it were healthy. デブになるよ!

Japan guide

Welcome to my guide to visiting Japan. This is based off my experience visiting and living in Japan. It’s not a completely travel book by any means. It doesn’t cover specific places to go, but general knowledge on getting around the country. I know there are things that are not on here that probably should be. In which case, leave a comment to let me know, and I’ll try to include information about it.

I’ve been asked by several people the past few years for things to do when going to Japan. Things like using the subways, good Japanese phrases  and words to know, price of things, etc. I love sharing my knowledge with others, but I find myself repeating myself, so rather than have to come up with a new list from time to time, here’s my compendium of things to know before going to Japan. Continue reading Japan guide

Living in Tokyo

A strawberry cake. Don't forget to check out the rest of my photography (click the image).

Back when I was in the U.S. I thought to myself, “Wow, Japan is fun to visit. It’ll be even greater to live there, even if I have to use teaching English as a vehicle to get myself over there.” Well, it turns out teaching English isn’t really what I want to do with life, let alone a year. I wanted to wake up in the morning and yell out, “Yes! I’m a teacher!” But, I never felt that. Not even once.

Five months after coming here to teach English, I quit and moved on up to the Tokyo area. Tokyo is pretty sweet. If you’re bored here in this city, it’s probably your own fault. Or maybe a lack of funds, though you can still have fun on the cheap.

Yamaguchi-ken, where I was teaching, was all right. Rent was cheap! An equivalent apartment to what I had there (roughly $600/mo) would be at least $1,500 here in Tokyo, I think. The prefecture had a lot of nature and countryside things to see and do, but I’ve always been more of a city boy. I grew up in a city. Went to college in a small town of 30,000. Then I moved to Houston. Afterward a “small” town of 150,000 in Japan. Now, I’m in Tokyo, a place with more than 8 million people!

So, I quit my job teaching, right? Just what have I been doing? I’ve been looking for work. Just about any non-teaching job I can find. I must say though, that with my lack of amazing programming skills or strong grasp of the Japanese language, it’s challenging.

I have met some interesting people here in Tokyo though, such as Fabrizio Bortolussi, an Italian who designs creatures and models. Perhaps you’ve seen his work in Avatar or District 9.

The same day I met Fabrizio, I also met Nakamura Tomoyuki, one of the three people behind chiptune band YMCK. Speaking of which, it appears I’ll most likely head out to Blip Festival Tokyo next weekend.

Truly Tokyo has many amazing experiences to offer. I hope I can stay here longer and report on what I find. But first, does anyone want to offer me a job? Writing, PR, publication design? Maybe even photography?