English Skills


*Gaikokujin = Foreigner

*Sugoi = Cool


Often times when walking down the street, kids will casually practice their English with me. Usually it’s very simple sentences like “What is your name?” or “How are you?”. If you’re lucky, the kids will know how to respond if you ask a question back, but the main thing is to keep them encouraged to try out speaking English since, as they get older, kids usually shy away from random street interactions.

From my experience, the Top Ten English Phrases in Japan For Elementary Students:

  1. Hello
  2. How are you?
  3. Bye Bye
  4. I have a pen.
  5. I have an apple.
  6. Pen-Pinapple-Apple-Pen.
  7. Good Job
  8. What is your name?
  9. Where are you from?
  10. I like (insert Japanese word for when they inevitably forget the English one)

No joke on the Pikotaro line… kids say this every day.

Until next time,



The Snuggle


If you’re familiar with Japan or Japanese culture, cat cafes are nothing new. But I’m glad to say(and Andrea is glad to hear) that they even exist here in Tottori.  With Andrea’s love of the feline kind, I know that we would eventually visit the cafe. And so we did!

All cafes will be unique to their areas, but in most of them you’ll find a wide open room Continue reading

Cold Kendo



It’s been a while, so I thought I’d let you know what Nihon no Bunka (Japanese Culture) things we’re up to:

Martial Art I’m Practing: Kendo.

When the Meiji Era begin, the Samurai class was re-arranged and with it, the Samurai art of swordsmanship and martial arts.
Aikido is hand-to-hand combat, but nearly all moves are based on swordsmanship. Kendo is known as Japanese Fencing, and focuses on the swordplay aspect using the bamboo sword, the shinai.

My brief history hardly does any justice to both of these martial arts, but you can find out more about Kendo, The Way of The Sword, here: http://kendo.com/

Until next time, Stay Awesome!