2017 Shan Shan Matsuri

Tottori_Comic_026_ThereIsOnlyShanShan.jpgWhat do you know about dancing with umbrellas?


Not as much as Tottori City in Tottori-ken, Japan. The Shan Shan Matsuri (鳥取しゃんしゃん祭) is Tottori’s biggest festival. Every year during Obon week, around 4,000 people line the streets dressed in summer festival clothes (usually Happi or Kimono) and do Kasa-odori, choreographed dances with umbrellas… for 3 hours! Continue reading


The Japanese Driving Test and the Japanese Mindset

Much has been said about the difficulty of Americans getting a Japanese drivers license. “They like to fail American drivers… especially the first three times.” is the most common complaint. Even though I don’t have a car, the option of being able to drive has prompted my husband and I into getting our own Japanese license. After all, who doesn’t like a road trip? So I started to read about the tricks for passing the drivers test on the first, or failing that, at least the second try.

Before you are allowed to take the driving skills test, first you must pass an interview. You must bring with you a copy of your drivers’ license translated into Japanese (http://www.jaf.or.jp/inter/translation/index_e.htm), a proof of address Continue reading

Riding to Onomichi, Part 1


So last week I had an adventure. It all started earlier this year when I decided I needed to do something big for the summer, but going to SE Asia was looking less and less likely.  I started looking around the Chuugoku region of Japan for things to do, and Andrea suggested the ShimaNami Kaido, a 70km bike trail that goes across the Seto Sea from Hiroshima to Ehime.
That sounded fantastic, but I needed to up the ante. I know! Why not bike from Tottori all the way there! It’s only 200 km away! Easy peasy!Tottori_Comic_025_BikeTrailMap

The above map is closer to the actual path I took. But my first day of the trip, I decided to make it a doozy and go from Tottori to Okayama City. Thats around 125 km, but I didn’t take the direct route so it was a little bit longer.

It was exhausting but I made it. The beauty of the mountain areas of Tottori (mainly between Tottori and Chizu) was a sight to behold.

I’ll write more about it over several posts, and I’ll even get some video up.
Until next time, STAY AWESOME!