One of the things that surprised me while living in Japan, was the fact that there are so many seasonal foods in Japan. Coming from a country where it is considered completely normal to eat tomatoes all through winter and where young people think pineapple is a local produce (it's not!), I was charmed by... Continue Reading →
A time for goodbyes… and gifts!
Our time in Japan has come to an end. [insert dramatic silence] Yes, that's right. After only one short year, it's back to Belgium for us. Our pleads to Toyota to extend our stay have been to no avail. The project is finished and new projects await in Toyota Motor Europe. Resistance is futile. That... Continue Reading →
Are Japanese people impervious to cold?
Winter in Japan seems to provide me with endless inspiration for this blog. One of the things that keeps amazing me is how lightly some Japanese people dress, despite a freezing cold outside. It is not uncommon to see people walking around without a coat, without gloves or in open shoes without socks while it... Continue Reading →
The sunny side of Japan
Yesterday it snowed in Toyota City. That's a big deal because in this area of Japan it rarely snows. In addition to that, the amount of snow we had yesterday (about 15 cm) occurs only once every twenty years, according to my Japanese teacher. I was surprised to see that everyone in Japan uses an... Continue Reading →
6 ways to keep warm during Japanese winter
Winter is in full swing in Japan and it is cold! While the average daily maximum temperature for the Nagoya region in January is 9°C (according to the Japan Meteorological Agency), this year has been particularly cold with many days where the temperature doesn't go above 3 or 4° C. Japanese homes, unlike Belgian ones,... Continue Reading →
The Mochi Mobile
Anyone who has lived in the Toyota City center or has visited Toyota City will know the characteristic sound of 'The Mochi Mobile'. It's a little van that drives around the city while blasting it's characteristic song from a megaphone. This is what it sounds like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyjU2aurzHQ&feature=youtu.be I've heard the wildest theories about the significance... Continue Reading →