West Japan Bucket List

Less than 3 months till our Okayama contract is over. Didn’t we just move here?

I’ve made a bucket list of places in Okayama and nearby prefectures that I’d like to see before I leave West Japan. Some are places that were so amazing, I just need to see them again. Like Naoshima.


My West Japan Bucket List

  1. Tottori
  2. Yubara Onsen
  3. Fukuoka
  4. Osaka/Kyoto/Kansai Area
  5. Universal Studios Japan
  6. Mr. Kinoshito’s
  7. The Ohara Museum in Kurashiki
  8. The Naked Man Festival
  9. Fabric Town Kojima Festival (or anywhere denim is dyed)
  10. Naoshima (again)


I’d love to hear your recommendations! Where would you like to visit?




Not-So-Guilty Pleasures


What I’m doing: Job Hunting

Our contract will be over in mid-March which means it’s back to the job hunt! I’m hoping to move to the Yokohama/Tokyo area. There are many English teacher postings on Gaijin Pot but I’m also interested in knowing if I can work in a creative field, like I did in LA, with my basic Japanese language skills. If anyone has any job site recommendations, I’d love to hear them. 

What I’m buying: Hand Warmers 

My Chicago days are long behind me so I forgot how brutal winters can be. Living in LA has weakened my tolerance for the cold. To keep warm in school, I’ve been buying hand warmers or Kairo (カイロ) . Toss two of these in the pockets of your sweater and your day will be infinitely better. The disposable versions typically last 8-10 hours and can be found in your local konbini. 

What I’m watching: The Walking Dead

I’m always late to the party when it comes to hit television shows and TWD is no exception. I’ve been curling up with a nice hot cup of tea and my daily dose of zombies to cure my winter blues. (Team Maggie + Glenn!) Nearly through Season 4 so no spoilers please! 

What I’m eating: Kibidango

The most famous character of Okayama is Momotaro. We’ve been reading this story in English at school and the constant talk of kibidango has made my craving strong. Kibidango are small delicious balls of mochi (basically rice flour and tons of butter and sugar) and I’ve eaten nearly two of these boxes. They also make a peach flavor and a version that’s covered in a peanut powder. I highly recommend picking up a box. 


This weekend we’re heading to the Kirin Beer Factory for a tour. Hope to come back with some fun pictures :) Have a nice weekend everyone!



I can’t live in Okayama without writing a post on the character Momotaro. “Momo” means peach so we sometimes call him “Peach Boy”.

He’s our town mascot. He’s at all major public events. He has his own t-shirts, socks, and keychains. And his snack line is delicious.

The story of Momotaro is about a young boy born from a peach, found by an elderly couple who take him in and raise him as their own son. Meanwhile, on the nearby island of Onigashima (Demon Island),  a group of Oni (demons) are threatening to destroy the village. In order to save his people, Momotaro sets off on a journey to fight the Oni. Before he leaves, he is given a flag and a bag of kibidango, a soft, sweet treat made with butter, sugar, and rice. Along the way, he meets 3 companions, a dog, a monkey, and a bird, who join him on his mission after he gives them kibidango. Together, they fight the Oni and save the village.

Here’s an English version I found online.


Stay warm y’all,



Apartment Tour

Hey blog world! Happy 2016! I had a nice winter holiday back home with the family and now I’m back to life in Japan. I only have 3 more months in Okayama so I have to make each day count!

Before I move, I wanted to finally post a video of my apartment. Back when I was still in America, about to move with Interac, I was curious to see the kind of places I would be living. Most Interac ALTs are put in Leopalace apartments so here is a tour of what mine looks like. I hope this video helps out future ALTs heading to Japan. And now my friends and family can see my little cozy box I call home.

Have a great one.