• September 30, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Woodworking experience in Hokkaido

    Wood lathe craftsman in Hokkaido The other day, I attended a trila session of wood lathe. It was a rare opportunity to learn from a veteran craftsman, who has 60 years of experience in this field. Until a decade ago, all the legs of chairs and beds were handmade with a lathe. Asahikawa is known as a town of woodworkers, and there used to be dozens of craftsmen who handled such wood lathes and opened workshops. Mr. Abe, the instructor of this workshop, is one of them, and his Christmas trees are popular in online stores. Christmas trees crafted with lathe, designed by Abe Yasunori Asahikawa craft center The class was held at the Asahikawa Craft Center. Since woodworking is a major industry in the city, the municipality has established a product testing center for crafts. The Craft Center is located in a quiet ground on a hill, called Asahikawa […]

    • September 28, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Magnificent View We’ll Want to See before We Die

    The winter in Hokkaido is beautiful but too long and harsh A hometown is a place to long for from a distance, not to actually live in. This is the English translation of a Japanese famous proverb that often crosses my mind especially around this season. After graduation from college, I had been outside my hometown (Asahikawa, Hokkaido) for about 15 years. Indeed, for a while after coming back, I was just glad to escape from the crazy summer heat and humid climate of the main island of Japan, but now I have been fed up with the long, cold, and snowy winter in my hometown. I know this is man’s foolish nature, like crying for the moon, but the winter in Hokkaido is so long and harsh. The autumn in Hokkaido is short but beautiful Due to the long winter, the autumn in Hokkaido is relatively short but very […]

    • September 21, 2022
    • January 27, 2023

    Japan Travel in the Know: What You Need to Know before Eating Salmon Roe in Hokkaido

    Hokkaido is the home of salmon fishing in Japan I’ve been wanting to do fly fishing since I watched the movie “A River Runs Through It.” Unfortunately, I hardly remember any of the content, but the fishing scenes left a strong impression on me. A fishing rod whipping to and fro smoothly, a line sparkling by reflecting the sun’s light and describing an arc in the air, etc. It’s beautiful and completely different from what I always do. It’s ordinary bait fishing: just wandering along rivers and casting bait. Why don’t I do fly fishing? That’s because bait fishing is easier and can catch more fish. In the past article, I knowingly quoted Hemingway “When you can’t catch fish, think it gave you time to think about life.” To tell the truth, I hate to get skunked (go home empty-handed). Today, I’m introducing the charm of Hokkaido through the story […]

    • September 13, 2022
    • December 16, 2022

    The Japanese Housing Market: How to Survive in a Small House in Japan

    The greater also serves for the lesser? In the US, the price of homes still increases, while the Fed (FRB) is fighting inflation. In other words, even though the interest of home loans is going up, housing supply is still short in the market. Every time I see the news, I can’t help thinking from my point of view as a Japanese, “Isn’t the size of American homes too big? The supply of homes could be increased more easily by making them smaller.” As I believe it’s a well-known fact, the average size of Japanese homes is small. The floor space per capita is only 36 sqm (according to the stats about 20 years ago, though), while that of the US is 65 sqm! In the infamous EU memorandum leaked to the press in 1979, Japanese houses were harshly depicted as “little more than rabbit hutches,” and many Japanese people […]

    • September 11, 2022
    • October 6, 2022

    What is the best kindling for a bonfire in Hokkaido?

    The charm of bonfires Do you like bonfires? What kinds of things have you burned in your childhood? I was a very serious child and never played with fire, but I completely got fascinated by bonfire when I grew up and started camping. When building a fire, you are immersed in a routine process. The process of growing a small fire into a large flame requires a kinds of concentration. At the beginning of the fire you would be busy to take care, but once a large flame is built up, it’s no more so much work, and then you can just spent time gazing at it on your favorite chair. Cedar leaves are good kindlings in Kyoto When I was living in Kyoto, I spent relatively longer time as bachelor and graduate student. I used to go camping wtih friends whenever I found free time. In Kyoto the most […]

    • September 6, 2022
    • December 6, 2022

    Marketing Tips: How to Make a Paradigm Shift and Get Over the Ups and Downs

    We can learn a lot about marketing tips in museums I don’t understand art, but I like to go to museums, maybe because I enjoy trying mysteries that can never be solved by me. In Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum until this July, there had been a special exhibition: “The Greats, beauty masters from Scottish National Gallery.” Now, the exhibition is held in Kobe for your reference, by the way. It was so interesting and informative. Let me share the two big lessons I learned in the exhibition. Good example to prove the importance of naming strategies What impressed me most among the paintings in the exhibition is “Sweetest eyes were ever seen” by Sir John Everett Millais. To tell the truth, I’m not so impressed by the painting itself. What rouses my interest is its title. I always use a museum-guidance service. According to the guidance, the painting was first […]