But why start another blog – aren’t there already millions of blogs on the Internet that people don’t read? Well, because at the start of 2014 I spent three months living in Tokyo and fell in love, with the city that is. I already had a wife and two kids but during our time there I managed to do the following:
- Ride on a Shinkansen (Bullet Train) at speeds over 300kph (only slightly faster than the 7:30am from Hurstville (a suburb in Sydney, Australia, my hometown);
- Master the art of using chopsticks (both the single and double stick varieties)
- Survive the more than 10 earthquakes that hit Tokyo in the time we were there (two of which we actually felt); · Finish the Tokyo Marathon;
- Learn enough Japanese to be able to order food at a restaurant and not be surprised by the food that is then actually delivered to our table;
- Visit Tokyo Disneyland;
- Achieve the world record for cooking 2-minute ramen noodles in 1 minute and 36 seconds;
- Spend more time bowing than at any other time in my life (mostly in response to being bowed at, as opposed to any particularly interest I have in bowing);
- Drink hot coffee from a can from a vending machine on a daily basis;
- Eat lollies and candy that ranged in taste from super sweet to “diabetic inducing” sweet.
Ultimately I came away from the land of the rising sun with so many thoughts, comments and questions about all things Japanese that I wanted to start a blog to deal with some of them. And so here we are – Turning Japanese.
My hope and prayer is that week by week, Turning Japanese will be a place that gathers people together to answer questions and offer insights and anecdotes about Japanese society and culture (both my own and others), to explain some of the mysteries of the language, and to reveal some of the highlights and lowlights of eating, drinking and travelling in Japan.
This is a blog for anybody who has ever felt like they are Turning Japanese.