Header image from the winner of the 2021-2022 Photo Contest.

Sayonara Max

Farewell fair Shinkansen, I hardly knew you. With the corona virus’ arrival in Japan not long after my own, there really hasn’t been much opportunity to ride the double decker Max Toki Shinkansen to Tokyo. But for many other Niigata residents, and former ALT’s that’s not the case. So for Read more…

Climbing to New Heights

“Why are you putting your foot there?”   “No, no, grab that one!”   “No one needs that much chalk!”   These are just a few of the things that I yelled at the TV while watching one of the Olympics’ newest sports, Sport Climbing. The Sports Climbing competition kicked Read more…

Enjoy a Niigata Stay-cation this Summer!

Has the past year given you a travel itch? Does your employer or town still request you don’t leave the prefecture? Then a “Summer Stay-cation” may be just the ticket! Niigata prefecture’s latest travel campaign named “Tsukattoku!” (使っ得!pronouncedつかっとく!), which translates to “use it” or “take it”, is practically screaming for Read more…

The Island No One Knows

  We all know that Japan is an island nation. There’s Kyushu and Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku; Okinawa is almost entirely islands. But there’s an island no one knows, and it’s where I’ve been living since August of 2018 While many of you have heard of Niigata prefecture (perhaps some Read more…