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Morning prayer with rock star monks

Morning prayer with rock star monks

Emma Koehn's stay at a Buddhist monastery in Japan was a puzzling affair, with monks dressed in Foo Fighters tour t-shirts and Japanese MTV available in her monastery guest room.

Visiting Japan's tsunami-devastated towns eight months on

Visiting Japan's tsunami-devastated towns eight months on

Paul Johannessen writes: Weeks have passed already and a good deal of time has been spent reflecting over my very short but intense trip to Ishinomaki. The town lies in Miyagi prefecture, a few hundred kilometres north of Tokyo and over a hundred kilometres north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear absurdity. I had wanted to go […]

Sequinned cowboy suits and cutesy candy dresses: people watching in Harajuku

Sequinned cowboy suits and cutesy candy dresses: people watching in Harajuku

Naomi Shimoda writes: Few people can imagine a place where it’s totally normal to walk down the street with a teenage boy decked out in brooding gothic gear on your left and a young girl donning a dainty French maid costume embellished with lace on your right. On Takeshita Street in Harajuku, Tokyo’s centre of […]

Teaching Engrish: one day in a Japanese English school

Teaching Engrish: one day in a Japanese English school

Only one more day to go of Paul Jonannessen's part-time gig teaching English to Japanese people, as he introduces us to all his students. From the cheeky young kids to the chronically shy teenagers and older middle management men, it's a sneak peek into Japanese society.

Chicken hearts for dinner

Chicken hearts for dinner

Rebecca Arnold writes: “Chicken heart! Chicken heart! You eating chicken heart!” The two girls next to us giggled and pointed to a picture depicting a person and the various cuts of meat one could have. My boyfriend and I looked at each other and then back at the meat on the plate suspiciously. Surely not? […]

Cities I loved (and one I hated)

Cities I loved (and one I hated)

If you’re anything like me (and may God forgive you if you are), you’ll spend at least part of your holiday reading current affairs magazines. Not so much from a need to keep up to date with the goings on of the world, as a certain amount of nosiness that demands you get up in […]

Living in the whaling nations: White lies, whale-meat and weirdness

Living in the whaling nations: White lies, whale-meat and weirdness

The best advice I got so far is that everyone tells white lies. Especially when it comes to lodging forms with the government, writes Paul Johannessen.

A Japanese holiday

A Japanese holiday

Alex the Crikey intern interviews his housemate Holly Russell on the winter wonders of her solo travelling through Japan.