It is a Small World After All

Christmas Update

In Discovering Australia, Discovering Japan, New Beginnings on December 24, 2015 at 22:44

Merry Christmas everyone! /Happy Holidays.


The Holiday

In the spirit of an Xmas letter I thought I would let you know what has been going on in my life since the last blog post. I am looking to share more experiences in the near future and it makes more sense if we are all on the same page. 🙂

A lot has happened since the last time I wrote a blog post, but I’ll keep it short-ish.

After three years of working in Kamagaya as an English teacher for elementary schools I decided it time to look for something new. I had established an English curriculum and the lessons were all working fine, teachers getting on board, kids actually getting the gist of the lessons. A job well done I thought, and even though teaching is rewarding in itself I am more interested in business & was in need of another challenge.

I joined a recruiting company in Tokyo called Pacific Associates as an associate consultant. The clients were large pharmaceutical companies like Novartis, Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novo Nordisk, AbbVie etc. My job was to find good candidates for their positions via cold calling, emailing, and other means of communication. Also interviewing them in English (or Japanese if they couldn’t speak English) and understanding what their main motivations and intentions were. This was some great experience and I learned a lot about communication and the world of recruiting.

After being in Tokyo for a year living with my girlfriend we found that we weren’t really saving money and felt we would have a better shot back in The West. Only to be in for the rude awakening that it is almost impossible for a non-married European and American couple to live and work together. So we moved to Australia!

So that’s where we are now. We are currently living close to Brisbane and are enjoying our Christmas Summer down under! (Working at Costco now.) So far we are really enjoying the people, food and animals/wildlife here. We also escaped the cold clutches of Winter – so I am calling this a win.


Brisbane ‘Story Bridge’ by night

To summarise:

My English teaching days have been fun and I moved to Tokyo for a recruiting job. I learned a lot of the business and then decided to move back to a Western country with my American girlfriend. We have ended up in Oz and are enjoying it greatly so far!

Will post more about Australia in the months ahead. I have this really neat idea I want to try.




The End of an Ambassadorship

In Discovering Japan, New Beginnings, Welcome to Chiba! on June 13, 2013 at 21:57

Thank you Chiba-kun!

For good things to happen, others must come to an end.

I’d like to take today to mark that I am no longer an official Chiba-kun Ambassador. I sent in my badge and have received my retirement package. It features an adorable pin of Chiba-kun embracing the world.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget that big red dog now, and the places I got to see around him. I’ve had a great time as a Chiba-kun ambassador and have met some great, funny, and interesting people along the way.

A Touching Chiba-Kun Pin with My Thank You Letter

A Touching Chiba-Kun Pin with my Thank You Letter

Why stop?

I feel I have seen a lot of Chiba Prefecture, and learned a lot. I’ve also found I was rather busy and don’t think another year in the programme would get the due diligence it deserves. I would like to give others the same chance I was given: To start off into Chiba all bright eyed and bushy tailed. I think I’ve made the right choice.

HangerMy hang-ups

I would have liked to have spent more time travelling through Chiba the past year. I would have liked to have uploaded more content. However, it takes up a lot of time to get a relatively decent coverage of the events that I go to.

A lot of the things you just need to see for yourself to really ‘get it.’ I could pour a thousand words into a post and you still don’t really experience the festivals, the exotic feeling of adventure, and the charm that is in Chiba. However, I hope I have given a lot of people an idea of things to see in the Chiba prefecture.

From now on?

As my farewell letter says: I may no longer be an official Chiba-kun ambassador, but I will continue to share the things in Chiba I  enjoy. I also have more time to look into other places I might enjoy. So you can expect some more travel posts for sure!

I have also been thinking of trying out some new projects: Sharing interesting Japanese phrases that reflect culture. Sharing useful Japanese for people that don’t know any, maybe as a Youtube series. I’ve also thought of sharing some interesting stories of things I’ve come across.

More Chiba-kun Ambassador blogs

If you want more from the Chiba-kun ambassador project, check out the link here! It is still ongoing with many fine and enthusiastic people writing about events.

Last Note

With every end comes a new beginning,
and these chapters in life don’t last forever;
it is important we enjoy them while we can.
With this in mind I am grateful for what has passed,
and look forward to what is to come!



Nokogiri-yama, Sawtooth Mountain

In Discovering Japan, Welcome to Chiba! on May 16, 2013 at 22:34

Last month, April 20th, I went on an unofficial Chiba-kun Ambassador Tour to Nokogiri-yama (鋸山), also known as Sawtooth Mountain. Located in the Minami-Boso peninsula.

I had already seen some views of it when they advertised it with me on TV a while ago. More recently I read about it in the Tokyo weekender, so I was excited to finally go myself.

A view of the cable-cars going up and down the mountain.

A view of the cable-cars going up and down the mountain.

The road through the forest

The road through the forest

We arrive by car at the cable-car station that would bring us easily and quickly to the top of the mountain.

Once we get out of the mountainside station we are right in the middle of nature. There are roads and stairs going through this mountain forest, but it doesn’t detract from the view.

The Hyakushaku Goddess of Mercy

Goddess of Mercy

The Hyakushaku Kannon

We get to the Hyakushaku Kannon carving of the Buddhist Goddess of mercy.

A shaku is a Japanese measurement of the average length between nodes on bamboo.

Quite a funny measurement you wouldn’t find in the west!

Further up the mountain

This majestic bird just flew straight past me

This majestic bird just flew straight past me

We get further up on the mountain and witness an eagle stealing someone’s lunch! It was quite a spectacle, but nobody was hurt luckily.

Going further we come across Jigoku Nozoki or ‘The view of hell”. Despite its unflattering name I find the view rather beautiful and impressive. It should be called View of Green in stead I think. With the mountains and the lush green of the trees leading up to the sea, it’s a great place to relax and take it all in.

If hell looks like this I don't need to go to heaven

If hell looks like this I don’t need to go to heaven 😉

I startled one of them

I startled one of them

Lots of Small Company

Next we go down the stairs taking the “1500 Arhat Approach” which is lined with small Buddhas everywhere! There is lot of nature as you descend the stairs past the small cheeky statues. They all have their own character with different facial expressions and postures.

Once we get to the bottom after a long and lengthy stroll past all the tiny Buddhas and the beautiful scenery, we arrive at the big guy. The Giant Buddha or Daibutsu Yakushi Nyorai; Buddha of Healing. There is a great atmosphere here in the open air and he is the largest in Japan. (31meters tall)

Yakushi Norai, the Buddha of Healing

Yakushi Norai, The Buddha of Healing

Getting there by train
If you wanted to access Nokogiri-yama by train. I’ve read you can get off at the Hanakayama or the Hota station on the Uchibo line, and go through the traditional entrance between them, along the coast and through a narrow path that leads up the mountainside.

More Pics
If you’d like to see more pictures of this trip, you can check out its facebook album.
(We had some fresh fish and stopped by Gake-kannon again.)
If you have any comments or questions feel free to post them in the responses below.