Tag Archives: blog

Jay Dee in Japan is 5 Years Old

It was 5 years ago today that I made my first post on this blog, way back in 2009.  I can’t believe it’s been that long.  Now, there are more than 500 posts and more than 73,000 views.  I’m hoping for another 5 years on this blog, even if I’m no longer living in Japan.  I still have tons of photos to post.

Here is my original blog post.

Thanks for reading everyone!


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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sorry I haven’t been posting much in the latter half of the year.  I’ve been very busy with another blog of mine, and will be getting back to doing Exploring Japan, as well as working on Japan by Train.  Look for more great stuff in 2014!

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Exploring Feels Good

As I said earlier, I was restarting Japan by Train this month, and I finally did today.  I took my daughter walking around the Mutsuainichidaimae Station neighbourhood, and it felt great.  I was able to recapture the feeling I had whenever I went exploring new places, and I found a couple of really nice places.  One was a temple, the other was a shrine.  I’m a bit tired, as we walked for 4 hours, and probably around 10-15 km.  But you know, it doesn’t matter that I’m tired.  What matters is that I was able to feel peaceful the entire time.  I’m definitely doing more.

Exploring Japan will also be returning soon with Niigata prefecture.

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Japan by Train to Resume

Ever since my daughter was born, I haven’t had much time to go out and see things.  In fact, I haven’t been able to do this since my wife was pregnant.  And lately, I’ve been feeling this itch to get out and explore.  The way things are right now, Japan just doesn’t feel like Japan.  It doesn’t feel like what I came here to see.  Everything is routine, work, family, sleep.  That’s going to change.

Starting in October, I’m going to resume exploring areas around train stations.  However, I’ll be bringing my daughter with me.  I’ll be adding playgrounds to as places to see.  Japan by Train will be returning, even though I have yet to make a single blog post for it.  Unfortunately, many of the earlier explorations may have been lost due to a Blue Screen of Death on my old computer where I have all those photos stored.  I may be able to recover them, as it’s just my system32 directory that’s corrupt.  My current Exploring Japan may also not be done every week, as I always work on it on Thursdays, and that’s the day I’d be out exploring.  But it’ll be finished early next year anyway.

I’m feeling pretty motivated to do this, and it’ll be great for some father-daughter bonding, as well.


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Exploring Japan Off Week 2

Due to sickness, both my daughter and I are down with some viruses, I’ll be taking this week off from Exploring Japan.  Just not feeling up to all the research I need to do for it.  It should be back next week, though!

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Exploring Japan off week

In case you’re wondering where Exploring Gifu is, I’m not doing it this week.  Don’t worry, it’ll be done this coming weekend.  I’m taking an off week.

While this is a weekly series, there are only 47 prefectures.  The first week was an introduction to this series, so that would be 4 weeks in which there’s nothing to post.  I’d originally decided to do the 4 largest cities in Japan.  However, I’ve changed that plan.  I’ll be doing Tokyo over 2 weeks (a week for western Tokyo, a week for 23 Wards Tokyo), while the other 3 weeks I’ll treat as off weeks.  I’m taking my first off week now.

The reason for this is that over the past week, there’ve been a few obstacles set against me.  The record-breaking pollen levels in the Tokyo area have affected me very strongly.  On Thursday and Friday, I actually felt quite sick.  I’d thought it was the flu, but it was just my allergies.  I planned to do the work on Gifu over the weekend, but my daughter was having problems sleeping, as well.  She was crying constantly for several nights until finally falling asleep around 2 or 3 am.

To make a long story short, I’ve been exhausted, felt like crap, and had no motivation or time to work on any of my blogs.

After this, I hope to return to normal.  I can’t wait for the end of allergy season.


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2013 Weekly Series – Exploring Japan

Last year, I completed the Picture of the Week successfully.  This year, I’m doing more of a writing series, all about Japan.

Every week, I’ll write a post about a different prefecture in alphabetic order.  Following that, I’ll post about the 4 biggest cities, not including Tokyo.  Tokyo is kind of a special beast.  It’s not really a city, it’s not really a prefecture, it’s a metropolis.  It will be covered as a prefecture.  That means there will be 51 posts.

But wait, aren’t there 52 weeks?  Why, yes there are!  This is post number 1 right here.  This is the introduction, and I will briefly talk about the prefecture system in Japan, as well as types of cities.


There are 47 prefectures in Japan, 4 of them having special status.  The regular prefectures have the suffix “ken (県).”  The special prefectures are as follows:

  • Metropolis “to (都)” – Tokyo
  • Urban prefectures “fu (府)” – Osaka and Kyoto
  • Territory “do (道)” – Hokkaido

Tokyo is the really special one.  It doesn’t have a city government.  In fact, the “city” part is separated into 23 special wards that are officially cities on their own.  The Tokyo government governs the entire metropolis, which also includes the cities of western Tokyo.

So, for the first 47 posts, I’ll be discussing each prefecture, including vital statistics, the biggest cities, places I’d like to see, and local food I’d like to try.  Here are the prefectures in alphabetic order, the order I’ll be posting:

  1. Aichi
  2. Akita
  3. Aomori
  4. Chiba
  5. Ehime
  6. Fukui
  7. Fukuoka
  8. Fukushima
  9. Gifu
  10. Gunma
  11. Hiroshima
  12. Hokkaido
  13. Hyogo
  14. Ibaraki
  15. Ishikawa
  16. Iwate
  17. Kagawa
  18. Kagoshima
  19. Kanagawa
  20. Kochi
  21. Kumamoto
  22. Kyoto
  23. Mie
  24. Miyagi
  25. Miyazaki
  26. Nagano
  27. Nagasaki
  28. Nara
  29. Niigata
  30. Oita
  31. Okayama
  32. Okinawa
  33. Osaka
  34. Saga
  35. Saitama
  36. Shiga
  37. Shimane
  38. Shizuoka
  39. Tochigi
  40. Tokushima
  41. Tokyo
  42. Tottori
  43. Toyama
  44. Wakayama
  45. Yamagata
  46. Yamaguchi
  47. Yamanashi

At the end, I’ll be asking for advice about good places to see, events, and food.


There are 4 kinds of cities in Japan.  The first is the regular city with a population of at least 50,000 people.  Second is special city, which has at least 200,000 people.  Then it’s core city, which has at least 300,000 people and they take control of some prefectural level functions.  Finally, we have the designated cities.  These have at least 500,000 people, and control many functions normally designated to prefectures.  They are also required to be divided into wards “ku (区)” which take over many functions that cities perform.

I will be showing you the 4 largest cities of Japan, not including Tokyo.  They are all designated cities.  They are:

  1. Yokohama, Kanagawa
  2. Osaka, Osaka
  3. Nagoya, Aichi
  4. Sapporo, Hokkaido

I will do the same as the prefectures, discuss vital statistics, places I’d like to see, and food I’d like to try.  As for Yokohama, I’ve lived in and around this city for nearly 8 years, so I can also talk about places I’d recommend.

So, I hope you enjoy this series.  Any questions?


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