Mike Kanert's Japan Story

First Impressions...

Very Bad Day

Very Bad Day

My first bad day at work as an 'eikaiwa' teacher. Good thing there's Rodin around the corner!

Possible Laptop

Possible Laptop

Ordering a laptop online is easy. Paying for it requires Olympic-class charades.

I Swear I Had No Idea This Was Going to Happen

I Swear I Had No Idea This Was Going to Happen

Spending a day at school with a friend, I discover that ALT life beats the pants off 'eikaiwa.'

Blowing Steam

Blowing Steam

Three days from retirement, an argument lets me tell the staff at Blight how I really feel.

Dig Me A Hole

Dig Me A Hole

My first day as an ALT does not go well at all.

Getting Into Japan...

Gaijin vs. the Volcano

Gaijin vs. the Volcano

Climbing Mt. Fuji is a long, thankless slog.

Chapter 28

Chapter 28

Bringing Halloween to The Village nearly kills me.

The Old Capital

The Old Capital

My first trip to Kyoto inspires me to buy five disposable cameras.

Great Legs of Fire!

Great Legs of Fire!

I become the man of the hour by winning the relay at The Village Sports Festival.

Taiko Festival

Taiko Festival

Video clips from The Village Taiko Festival. And I get a date, too!

Moving On...

The Last Days of the Village

The Last Days of The Village

After two years, leaving Izu is like leaving my second home.

Thailand

Thailand

My first trip to Thailand involves no planning at all. How long is the flight? Where am I going? No clue.

Nightmares

Nightmares

Stressing about work leads to some crazy dreams. Stupid running zombies...

Life on the Shinkansen...

Hanami in Kyoto

Hanami in Kyoto

During cherry blossom season, Kyoto is sublime.

Nihon Sankei

Nihon Sankei

All three of Japan's 'Great Views' covered in one year. It's not as easy as it sounds.

Oh, No! More Lemmings!

Oh, No! More Lemmings!

Getting twelve people from Tokyo to Mishima feels a lot like playing an old DOS-based game.

Reincarnation...

Fall From Grace

Fall From Grace

After four and a half years, A. and I break up, and I have to figure out what to do with myself in Tokyo.