Top Resources for Expats and Students in the Kansai Region of Japan

While working on a presentation for new MEXT scholars on how they can advance their careers as Japanese Government Research Scholars, I thought it would be valuable to create a collection of the top resources for both expats and students in the Kansai Region of Japan, which primarily includes Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe.

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How I Created Law of Attraction Vision Boards with Google Drawings and Unsplash

I absolutely love the idea of attracting what you want in life through visualization. After all, the most famous athletes, CEOs, and celebrities, use the law of attraction and visualizing your outcome or success to become successful in life. In fact, Jim Carrey famously wrote himself a check for $10 Million for acting services rendered, when he was penniless and broke. Not only do you have to be able to imagine yourself earning a check for $10 Million, but you also have to envision how you feel once you have achieved your goal. By going through the process of creating a vision board, you can think more deeply and critically about your goals, visions, dreams, and how you feel once you have achieved them. That’s why, a vision board can help you actualize your goals.

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How to Create a Vision Board in Google Drawings in 3 Easy Steps

After researching vision boards and watching some of my favorite YouTube stars talk about them, I decided to create one on my own. But I wasn’t sure how I could create the most efficient and effective vision board.

To get to where you want to go, you first need to know where you want to go. Then, by applying the law of attraction, and visualizing your success, you can make things happen.

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5 Reasons Why I Love Studying at Kyoto University

Thus for the past 2.5 years, I have been researching how women entrepreneurs in Japan leverage opportunities to build a business, and what makes them successful in the Japanese context. In order to research this question, I had to first understand the socio-economic, political, historical, and cultural environment for women entrepreneurs in Japan. And what better way to do that, then taking courses such as “Gender in Japan” at Kyoto University, as well as courses in the Graduate School of Management with actual women entrepreneurs in Japan.

For this reason and many others, in this article, I share my top 5 reasons for why I love studying at Kyoto University.

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What is the Best Thing About Studying in Kyoto? The Utmost Diversity!

The sheer diversity in Kyoto is outstanding! Not only do you have the everyday tourist, but you also have the diverse array of students and faculty members from all over the world. According to a presentation by a Kyoto City Official at Kyoto Makers Garage, there are currently 150,000 students studying at 38 universities in Kyoto. And an astounding 9,000 of these students are from foreign countries. This means that 6% of all students are foreigners in Kyoto, and more impressively, students make up 10% of the population according to the International Student Study Kyoto Network.

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3 Gorgeous & Natural Places to Visit Near Kyoto University

If you are a student at Kyoto University, just visiting for a day, or want to study at Kyoto University, and you really adore nature, then here are 3 great reasons to do so.

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How I Cured My Eczema (Atopic and Contact Dermatitis) in Japan

Since the age of four, I have had eczema — 湿疹 or アトピー in Japanese. For those who have never had skin conditions, or do not know anyone with skin conditions, eczema is a non-contagious form of dermatitis. For me, it had quite debilitating physical and psychological effects during childhood, as it affected my appearance, and no child wants to be different from others.

In this article, I share detailed information about how I overcame eczema, and provide a glimpse into the life of someone who has suffered from eczema for over 25 years.

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Kyoto, Japan Versus San Francisco, California | What Are the Similarities and Differences?

As a San Francisco native and a student who has lived in Kyoto for 2.5 years, I’d say that I have a fair amount of experience to talk about the major differences and similarities between the two cities. After all, the minute you move to a new country, you almost immediately began to compare it with ‘home.’

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An Insider’s Look Into the English Programs at Kyoto University’s Economics Department — PART 2

Why Did I Chose the EA Program at Kyoto University Versus the English Management School's IPROMAC Program at Kyoto University?

After many conversations with my Professor, Chihiro Suematsu, and students who were part of the IPROMAC program at Kyoto University, I decided that the English EA Economics Program was the best for me, because of the ability to spend more time researching (with half the number of units necessary to graduate compared to the English Management School's IPROMAC Program), and the Masters Thesis requirement.

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An Insider’s Look Into the English Programs at Kyoto University’s Economics Department — PART 1

What is the Official Title of the Program?

The title of the program is extraordinarily long, so no one seems to use the official title. Instead, when we reference the program colloquially, we say we are part of the “EA Program.”

The official title is: "International Graduate Programme for East Asia Sustainable Economic Development Studies.”

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A Home Away From Home — Guest House Hachi In Kyoto

When I visited back in June of this year prior to their official launch in August 2017, I was fortunate enough to receive a sneak preview from one of the owners — Takuji — an extremely warm, friendly, and open-minded owner. With his business partners — Onur and Amelia, the trio collaborated and designed an immaculate guesthouse called Guest House Hachi with spectacular decor.

Pouring their hearts and souls into establishing the business, the trio often worked long hours and often into the middle of the night to launch this guest house in time for its grand opening this year. Not only did I witness the result of their combined efforts to transform a traditional town house (or 町家 / まちや)into an impeccably-designed guest house in Kyoto, but I also received such a warm welcome that I couldn’t wait to publish an Instagram story about it.

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7 Surprising Facts about the Meat Industry! Who Knew? Need a New Year's Resolution? Here's Some Ideas!

Happy New Year! As we all bask in the wonderful holiday season, full of good cheer and slightly larger waistbands, we may begin to think about our New Year's Resolutions. As such, I felt like this article would potentially spark some revitalized or brand-new interest in trying to eat less meat this year. Or some readers may do something more dramatic — attempting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for an entire year. Regardless, I hope this article teaches you something new. 

As part of a final presentation at Kyoto University, our group presented about the environmental impact of the meat industry. We wrapped up our presentation by sharing our key recommendations to create a more sustainable world. We did our best to answer this question:

“Why Should I Care?”

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The Top 3 Best Salads in Kyoto, Japan

While there are many types of Japanese-style salads that are readily available in Japan, one of the first things that I truly missed are San Francisco-style salads. In the bay area, you can easily obtain enormous, customizable salads with nuts, protein, vegetables, fruits, and even grains at places such as Sweetgreen. One of my personal favorites is a warm, friendly café called Crepevine that serves a hearty Bangkok Thai Chicken Salad with peanuts and a piece of bread on the side. On my recent trip back home, I went to this café at least 3 times with my family.

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Women for World Peace Japanese Speech Contest|日本語弁論大会

After hours upon hours of preparing and practicing the presentation, I finally presented the following speech about “My Future Aspirations” to an audience of over 50 people, including the local mayor. The Women for World Peace (WFWP) NGO organized a half day of festivities for us, replete with a sushi bento for lunch, two spectacular performances, an awards ceremony, and light dessert with the judges at the end.

Enjoy part of my presentation (on albeit, a shaky camera).

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Let's Bring on the Sunshine & Positivity!

I. Why Do You Blog?

Originally, I built my website as a portfolio of what I planned to accomplish, if I were fortunate enough to earn the Monbukagakusho MEXT Scholarship. Fortunately, I did receive the scholarship, and decided to make this an online resource for Japanese women who are thinking about starting their own business. And now, it's evolved into a collection of inspirational stories of Japanese female entrepreneurs, plus my musings of living abroad as an expat in Kyoto!

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The Most Important Factor to Become a World-Class Organization // Defined

World-class organizations are those that strive on a daily basis to make a positive impact on the lives of others, no matter how large. As such, the most important factor in order to become a world-class organization is the company’s leadership, as demonstrated by Google, Wantedly, and Kyocera.

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The Gratitude Diaries // Cheesy, Yet So True

Happy 8th Month Anniversary, Julie Taeko! Congratulations on lasting this long!

Even more importantly, congratulations to all of my fellow MEXT scholars and friends, who have also surmounted many obstacles, made peace with the そこびえ “penetrating cold” winters, securedアルバイト or “part-time jobs,” located barebones apartments for relatively inexpensive prices, navigated the bureaucracy of the Japanese government, discovered the most delicious restaurants for reasonable prices around town, traveled all over Japan and to nearby countries, made friends with people from literally all over the world, and most importantly, uncovered ways to truly enjoy living in Kyoto, Japan!

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The Wonderful World of Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremonies

I’ve been taking advantage of every opportunity available to me such as visiting Taipei for Christmas with Mariko Fukui, attending yoga classes entirely in Japanese, running along the river, attending entrepreneur related events, visiting my aunts and uncle in Osaka, and literally saying “yes” to almost every opportunity that came my way. After all, I am here to learn — about Japanese female entrepreneurs, economics & business, the Japanese language, the culture, traditions, and history!

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A Quickie // The Complexities of Throwing Away Trash in Kyoto

One of my first “adventures” living in Kyoto was deciphering the mesmerizingly complex trash dispensing system. No, it’s not as straightforward as “trash” versus “recycling.” Instead, there’s at least 6 different ways to separate trash. Not only do you have to learn what exactly goes into a “プラ” or plastic bag, but you also have to clean the interior of all items such as bento boxes, almond butter cans, used natto containers, etc. Most places even require you to remember what days specific types of trash can be thrown out.

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San Francisco's Awesome Places | サンフランシスコの素晴らしい所の発表

I wrote and presented this for one of my Japanese courses this past semester, and it's all about my hometown — I place I truly adore. Since it's in Japanese, it's simple, but hopefully, informative.

Here's another blog post in Japanese about female empowerment. Enjoy!

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