New Narita Express Coming 2009

I came to Japan in July 1997, arriving at Narita airport late in the afternoon, with the intention of getting to Nagoya by nightfall. The first challenge was to get to Tokyo so I could somehow board a Shinkansen bullet train and head west. The NEX welcomes you to Tokyo With signs in English, it wasn’t too hard getting a ticket and boarding the Tokyo-bound Narita Express. Although I was […]

Study Kanji Like Tokyo Josh

I studied my backside off when I first came to Japan. I passed level 4 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in my first year, level 3 the next, and then level 2 the year after that. Unfortunately, the jump from level 2 to level 1 is so great that I didn’t even try going for it. Instead, I let seven more years pass without once picking up a kanji […]

Tokyo – Video Montage

I’ve probably only been to Tokyo a dozen times in my 10+ years in Japan, but given the chance I’d love to go again. If I were a rapper, I’d put my baseball cap on backwards, wave my hands around and describe Tokyo like this: Here we go, to To-ki-yo, where’s the gents? It’s so immense, intense, can’t pay the rents. Feelin’ crowded, astounded, tradition surrounded by concrete towers, 24 […]

Arriving in Japan

After I graduated back in 1997, I boarded a JAL flight from London to Tokyo as I set out to experience a country which would later become my home. I was 21 years old and had no idea of what to expect, in fact I wasn’t even sure that the family I hoped to stay with for the summer even knew I was coming! These were the days before the internet and […]