Japan: Owl Cafe

On my first trip to Japan (2012), I visited a Cat cafe in Osaka.  It was a really great experience, so this time around (2015), I decided to visit an owl cafe in Shinjuku, Tokyo.   For ~1500 yen ($13 USD) you get a drink and an hour to hang out with Read more…

Japan: Ishinomaki (Part 2)

Onagawa is a town heavily damaged in the 11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The tsunami reached 15 metres (49 ft) in height and swept 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) inland, destroying the town centre and leaving over 1000 people missing, with over 300 confirmed dead. [via wiki]

Grace Mission Tohoku brought us to see Onagawa’s bay.  The tsunami’s power became real once we arrived — even though the devastation has already all been cleared away, one building remains toppled on its side:

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This is the bottom of the building: (more…)

Japan: Ishinomaki (Part 1)

Ishinomaki city was among the most seriously affected by the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami which hit on 2:46pm 11 March 2011.  Located 300 miles North of Tokyo, it takes around 4 hours by train (2 transfers) to get there.

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I first heard of Grace Mission Tohoku (GMT) through Crash Japan, a Japan-wide Christian disaster relief organization (thanks to John for connecting me with Crash Japan in the first place!).  GMT’s relief, rebuilding and caring efforts in the Ishinomaki community has been both impactful and well received.  I’m so glad God brought me there for a week, meeting and partnering with all the GMT staff — Rimpei sensei, Virginia, Satoshi, Atsushi, Kathleen, Richard & Mickie…!  It was eye opening to see their dedication and faith through these tough times.  Even though we are now miles away, I know God is doing wonderful things with them there!

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Japan: Instant Ramen Museum

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Instant Noodles are a hungry man’s best friend, and actually a large part of my childhood.  So while I was passing through Japan, I paid homage to the man who invented it — Momofuku Ando and his Instant Ramen museum located in Osaka (and also Yokohama, which is closer to Tokyo!).

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Sleeping in Japan (Part 2): Manga Cafe

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Manga Cafe also known as mangakissa in Japanese is a kind of café in Japan where people read manga (comic books).  Patrons pay for their time in the café where they can read in a comfortable setting.  Most offer internet access and drinks.  For an hour’s stay, the cost is generally about 400 yen (~$4.5).  Longer stays are often cheaper, and so staying overnight is actually affordable.  With Peter’s help, I stayed overnight at a Manboo, a manga cafe located in Shibuya for only $22.  Below are photos of my adventure…

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