About Me

The Japan Chronicles is a blog covering the journeys and learnings of an American now living in Tokyo.  With an interest in history and the variety of interesting, incredible and sometimes puzzling things that can be seen in Tokyo and throughout Japan, this blog is not only a record of things that have happened, but an explanation of why these things are and what has brought them about.  I hope it can be as helpful to understand and appreciate Japan and Japanese culture and history for those visiting or living here as it has been for me researching about.  There will also be plenty written about modern culture, sights, travel, food, drinks and activities to keep everyone else interested as well.

Navigating this Site:
I have added several pages to this blog to make navigation easier ( as well as more fun / easier to understand everything as a whole).  2 of the pages are additional content of useful info.  The first being a festival calendar of Japan's major festivals listed chronologically with name, location and a brief description included.  The 2nd is a list of things I'm looking forward to doing, learning and seeing, as well as future posts I have yet to write, so you can keep ahead of what I'm still exited to do in Japan and look forward to topics I'll be writing about.

The map might be the most exciting and helpful page.  I will be tracking each entry on an interactive map so everyone can better understand and see where the places I'm talking about are.  For entries from one specific place I will mark the place on the map.  For entries talking about multiple places I will mark the city. They will also be color coded by year and big trips will have the route displayed.  All of the markings on the map will be linked to their respective entry.

Tags are also used in this blog in the following way.  Each entry is given a main topic. If there are other terms or topics not related to the main topic that are discussed, then these will also be added.  Each entry will be given one location.  This will include the place, city and prefecture.  Other places featured heavily will have place or city only.  Names of people will only be tagged if new important or interesting information has been discussed within the entry.

About my Writing:
For those of you who have been with me since the beginning may remember my early entries to be copious, all-inclusive and long.  While I still plan on being copious regarding the research and explanation of my posts, I am now breaking up my posts more.  This not only makes more sense with the map and tags, but should be easier on the reader.  As a result, entries since July 3rd follow the current format while entries before this date will be different in tags and formatting (they are still on the map and otherwise the same as the new posts).  When or if I go back to these posts to clean everything up depends on when I have the time available to review everything.

This also includes Japanese names.  In Japan, family names come first, followed by given name.  I had been writing it in the western way thinking it might be easier for readers to understand, but the only thing it seems to be doing is making me confused.  Entries also since July 3rd will have names in the Japanese style and how you'll see it in Japanese history writing.


  1. I still find myself coming back to this blog whenever I'm curious about an aspect of Japanese culture. Thanks for writing!

  2. Thank you for sharing on the net your 'journeys and learnings'. Although I have lived in Japan for 3 years - many-many years ago - I see many places on your site which I never visited. On the other hand traditional places like shotengai were still very common in Tokyo. From the 'Ryugakusei-kaikan' to the Takadanobaba Staion of the Inokashira-sen one walked through one of those enchanting shopping malls with very traditional shops servicing the locals.