Sunday, November 15, 2009

Whew, so it's been awhile since my last update. It's mostly because I have been busy enjoying my life and haven't really felt the need to update. Still, here is an update.

- It's getting cold here, Winter is around the corner, and I'm using my heater again everyday.
- I passed my driving test last month after 6 months of torturous visits to the closest thing to hell on this Earth, a.k.a. the Japanese DMV.
- Still no girlfriend but it's all good.
- Probably won't be heading back this year because of expensive plane tickets.
- I recorded an album of original music four weeks ago in a town to the south of where I live. It has 5 songs, and was produced and engineered by a friend of mine who is a guitar genius named Kohki. I am very happy with the results, you can have a listen here.
- On a related note, I don't think I will be recontracting with my school here for 2010-2011. I love the job, the town, the lifestyle---really everything that defines my life here, but I've decided that music is what I want to do, and thus it deserves my full attention.


"in my sky"

"Why Goldfish Die"

"Hearts without Boundaries"


You can also check out my youtube channel for additional videos:

Ok, thats all for now, see you when I see you!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Here are a couple of random pics from the last few months, sorry no discriptions this time, Ill have a bigger post coming up soon.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I just got back from a very eventful and fun trip to Taiwan. I decided to go when I found a super cheap ticket over Golden Week (last week, a string of national holidays occur back to back so there is almost a full week of time off work, called Golden Week). I met up with some friends from UNC, Wendy and Ryan, who have been living in Taiwan for about a year, and are both currently teaching English at a Kindergarten. I also saw my other good friend Ryan who has been in Taiwan for awhile and is also teaching English at a cram school. I spend about 4 days in total in the capital, Taipei, and headed out into the countryside for day trips and a single overnight stay in a hot spring town. It was a very exciting trip, aside from getting bitten by a dog and getting a cold. Of course those things also made the trip exciting!

The Taipei 101, which until the construction of the Burj Dubai was the tallest building in the world.

The view from the top.

Inside the mall in the Taipei 101.

A guard who's job as far as I could tell was to stand perfectly still for several hours a day in front of a massive statue at the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial hall in Taipei.

A beach we went to north of Danshui in the north part of Taiwan.

A did a 25 kilometer bike ride in the small town of Pinglin. This photo was taken halfway up the mountain.

This is a mountain stream I swam in after a long day of bike riding.

The aboriginal, hot spring town of Wulai.

Another mountain river I swam in in Wulai.

All in all it was a wonderful trip, although the dog bite had me worried for a little while until I went to the doctor and was told that there have not been any cases of rabies in Taiwan for over 50 years. It was a very interesting country, and of course the food was delicious!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

House tour

I'm heading off to Taiwan in a few days, but for now, here's a quick tour of my house here in Shinano. Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy New Year!

A bit late I know, but it is! Lots has happened since my last post back in December. Still enjoying myself immensely here, I have recontacted for another year here in Shinano. School's going great, the students and teachers are as wonderful as they've always been. I've been doing a lot of skiing and other outdoor activities. Went snow camping two weekends ago on the top of a mountain nearby. Got myself a pair of backcountry nordic skis. I'm actually moving into a new house on Tuesday, a couple of minutes from where I am now but significantly better than where I'm living (not to say my apartment is bad or anything but I'm getting a huge house instead now). I wanted to update today though because got back at the beginning of this week from an exciting 5 day road trip to Japan's southern island, Kyushu. We saw Hiroshima on our way down, stopped in Nagasaki, saw a couple of other cities and then topped it all off with a relaxing two day stay in a hot spring town. Our itenerary was as follows:

Wednesday March 18th - Leave Nagano and drive straight through the night down to Hiroshima.
March 19th - Hiroshima.
March 20th - Nagasaki
March 21st - Kumamoto City and Kurokawa Onsen Village
Martch 22nd - Kurokawa Onsen Village, then return to Nagano.

Without further adieu, the photos!

This one was taken in Hiroshima, looking through a monument through to the blown out memorial structure at the peace park

Looking down the river in Hiroshima

A closer view of the memorial structure

A deer on Miyajima island, right across the bay from Hiroshima in the Seto Inland Sea (Awaji island is also in this area!)

A beach looking towards the "floating temple" on Miyajima.

The floating temple arches, one of the very famous sites here in Japan.

A cool looking old palm tree on Miyajima by a huge temple. It was totally summer here, in the mid 80s.

One of the main streets in Nagasaki.

A crazy 50 foot turtle temple on a hill in Nagasaki.

A famous statue in the Nagasaki Peace Park.

The black monolith there is directly below where the bomb detonated.

I don't recall the name of this volcano but we camped near it before we took the ferry from Nagasaki to Kumamoto City.

Spring has arrived! In Southern Japan at least (Nagano is still pretty chilly). The cherry blossoms are almost in full bloom at this famous park in Kumamoto.

The castle in Kumamoto.

Looking across the grassy, dry plains outside Kumamoto twoards the billowing active volcano Mt. Aso. The landscape here was quite unique, lots of rolling grass plains and huge swaths of burnt land. A little reminiscint of Colorado.

On top of the Mt. Aso, looking down into the pit of doom, the green is a caldera lake.

After the trip, I bought these bananas at my local grocery store for 4 bucks. There's about 15 of em.

Well that's pretty much it for now, I will try to update this blog more. For some reason it's hard to be diligent....