The last trip on a plane before covid-19: Skiing in Aomori

Aomori Rockwood Resort snow covered tree lines

From this week, Japan is now (finally) in a state of emergency for not only the 7 prefectures (mentioned in the last week's post) but for the entire country. Basically, the conditions remain the same with no strict enforcement but the government is asking people to reduce human to human interaction by 70-80% (aka working … Continue reading The last trip on a plane before covid-19: Skiing in Aomori

3 days skiing in Tsugaike (Hakuba, Japan)

tsugaike resort in the green slope photographed by native expat 2020

February 11th (Tuesday) is 建国記念の日(Kenkoku kinen no hi) which is a public holiday in Japan so we took a day off on Monday to have a 4 day break to explore Hakuba in Nagano, a region famous for ski resorts. ⛷ Welcome to Tsugaike, Hakuba! Firstly, what is 建国記念の日 (Kenkoku kinen no hi)? This holiday … Continue reading 3 days skiing in Tsugaike (Hakuba, Japan)

Ski into onsen: a long weekend away into Kusatsu Onsen

kusatsu onsen's yubatake in kusatsu onsen photographed by native expat 2020

Known as one of the 3 most famous onsens or hotspring regions in Japan (the others being Gero onsen in Gifu prefecture and Arima onsen in Hyogo prefecture), Kusatsu onsen in Gunma prefecture gushes out the most volume of onsen in Japan. Not only famous for its volume, its healing properties, proximity to a ski … Continue reading Ski into onsen: a long weekend away into Kusatsu Onsen

What’s Seijin no hi (Coming of Age Day) in Japan all about?

Japanese Coming of Age Day ceremony photo from flickr

After two weeks of holiday in sunny and warm South East Asia, returning to Tokyo that’s 25 degrees colder 🥶 and back at work seemed like a challenge. Good news was that a few of my colleagues travelled back home or were on holiday so our office kitchen was filled with souvenirs from all over … Continue reading What’s Seijin no hi (Coming of Age Day) in Japan all about?

New Year’s tradition and its meaning

New Years celebration highlights digitally illustrated by Yukari Wilson for Native Expat, a blog about a Japanese girl who grew up in Australia returned to Japan and sharing her experience being the Native Expat.

Following the previous post about New Year’s Eve tradition and its meaning, this post is about the tradition associated with Japan’s biggest holiday of the year, the New Years and its meanings. Japanese new year traditions! 除夜の鐘 🔔 (Jyoya no Kane, Midnight bell) Japan’s new year starts with the bell rung at temples around the … Continue reading New Year’s tradition and its meaning

Japanese end of the year tradition and its meaning

Japanese traditional end of the year decoration patterns illustrated by Yukari Wilson

The “silly seasons” in the western culture usually means the the end of the year celebrations and Japan is no different. Our silly season is at the end of the year too but not to celebrate Christmas but when many people go to 忘年会 (Bounenkai). It literally means forget-year-gathering so people may be so blinded … Continue reading Japanese end of the year tradition and its meaning

4 differences between Australian and Japanese Christmas

shiba park's Tokyo Christmas market atmosphere photographed by native expat 2019

The last 18 years’ Christmas holidays were spent sweating and splashing in the Australian ocean 🏝. Although it is enjoyable to have an end of the year holiday in summer, funnily enough, it never felt quite right to me. I do enjoy the northern hemisphere December, where you slowly wind down the year as the … Continue reading 4 differences between Australian and Japanese Christmas

Lush centuries-old forest in Tokyo: the Institute for Nature Study

susuki in institute for nature study photographed by native expat 2019

The temperature has dropped to the low single digits in Tokyo in the morning and at night these days. When the sun shone through our curtain on Sunday morning, we decided to warm up by hopping on our bikes to 白金台 (Shirokanedai), with Institute for Nature Study as our destination. A little bit about Institute … Continue reading Lush centuries-old forest in Tokyo: the Institute for Nature Study