• Hikes & Walks,  Hokkaido,  Japan,  Mountains

    Hiking An Active Volcano In Hokkaido – Mount Meakan

    Hiking 登るHokkaido :  Mount Meakan (雌阿寒岳 Meakan-Dake) In June 2015 I headed out east to celebrate Rina’s birthday. My friends being my friends, our idea of a decent celebration is hiking 1,499m up an active stratovolcano. This is Mount Meakan, the highest mountain in the Akan Volcanic Complex located in Akan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve visited the Lake Akan region perhaps around six times, but I never had a chance to hike this volcano… until now. A relatively easy hike (despite the height), many of my friends have climbed this mountain many times before and their pictures always looked stunning. At the summit you can see two unique…

  • Health & Wellness,  Hokkaido,  Japan,  Relationships,  Working Abroad

    How I “Dated” A Family (And Why You Should Too)

    Recently, I finished Season 2 of ‘Easy’, a drama anthology series by Joe Swanberg which you can see on Netflix. In the final episode (*Spoiler Alert!* In case you watch this show and don’t want to know what happens – just skip past the photo to read the article!), a lady in her late 30’s has recently broken up with her boyfriend and is feeling kind of lost and confused and old as she is edging slowly past the conceivable age to have children. It seems to her like the window is moving further and further away, and at this moment a friend reaches out for help on looking after…

  • Culture,  Japan,  Working Abroad

    5 Amazing Aspects Of Japanese Working Culture

    Known for their long hours, bureaucracy and strict policies, Japanese working culture can often be viewed in a negative light. But it’s clear that Japanese companies are very successful at what they do, and people enjoy long lives and suburb health, and a peaceful, harmonious society. Do we need to take a lesson from the Japanese and adopt these amazing aspects into western working cultures? Here’s a run-down of the five top things I experienced from two years working in Japan. 1. Yearly Medical Checks (Kenkōshinda 健康診断) Every year in October all employees and school kids go through a full health check, all at the employer/schools’ expense. The full body…