Packing for Ireland in September

I prefer not to check luggage when I travel.  I pack a carry on and a personal item, which means limited space for clothing.  Any and every source will recommend packing interchangeable items that can create multiple outfits, and of course you want to view the weather forecasts for your destination.  But, I thought it […]

10 Items to Improve Your Adventure

aka: Ten Things You Should Definitely Pack, but Might Not Have Thought About In no particular order, all of these items need to find their way into your luggage or backpack no matter what type of adventure you are setting out on.  If you are camping, hiking, backpacking, road tripping, visiting a city, on a […]

Directory: Useful Japan Posts

For those of you who are here in search of information about either ICU or Japan as a whole, below are a few lists of posts that you may find helpful. You can find a complete list of the posts on this blog in the right sidebar, but I assume most of my visitors would […]

Costs, Budgeting, and Money Matters

In this post I will summarize my budget and expenses during my year abroad.  Please note that general living expenses will vary based on a number of things, including the lifestyle of the person, the current exchange rate (during this time -2011 – 2012- it was between 70 and 85 cents to the 100 yen), […]

What Not To Do In Japan

Dear world,Please, whatever you do, do not get seriously ill in Japan.  Should you realize one day that you are not feeling quite up to par, you will not receive any real help from the doctors here in Japan.  They will either tell you that you are not ill at all, or that you are […]

Never Forget

On November 25th I got on a bus headed toward Iwate, a coastal prefecture in Northern Japan located half way between the Northernmost part before the Hokkaido island, and Fukushima, where, on March 11th a powerplant encountered many difficulties and became dangerous to the surrounding area.  The city we went to was called Rikuzentakata.  Rikuzentakata is […]

Meals I Can Make: Okonomiyaki

Well, maybe this one should be titled “Meals I Can Almost Make.”  I made okonomiyaki for myself and it almost entirely fell apart when I transferred it onto my plate.  But, I have to say it still tastes absolutely amazing.I coated a pan with olive oil (I think my problem was that I didn’t use […]

Meals I Can Make: Shrimpy Rice

This is an easy meal that I make quite often.  I usually have some rice to make, which in a rice cooker takes 30 minutes, but once I cook it I can save some for microwaving later.  So, as long as I have either some leftover rice or a pre-packaged microwaveable rice dish (they sell […]