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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Karthik Rampalli — A Young Man With a Big Mission in Japan (Part 3)

Welcome to a 3-part series, highlighting Karthik Rampalli's life. For those who didn't read Part I about Karthik Rampalli's arrival in Japan, or his experiences at Tokyo Institute of Technology, check out this article. If you are interested in learning more about Karthik's experiences of co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA), working at various part-time jobs and internships, and organizing 5 TEDx events and 1 Hackathon, then read Part II.

Now get ready to learn about Karthik's perspective on living in Japan and the benefits that come from it, and his overall appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him achieve everything he has accomplished thus far, as well as the MEXT Scholarship. And finally, learn some important clues to help make the best use of various opportunities in Japan.

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Karthik Rampalli — A Young Man With a Big Mission in Japan (Part 2)

Welcome to a 3-part series, highlighting Karthik Rampalli's life. For those who didn't already read Part I about Karthik Rampalli's arrival in Japan, or his experiences at Tokyo Institute of Technology, check out the first article in the 3-part series.

In Part III, you will learn about Karthik's perspective on living in Japan, the benefits that come from it, and Karthik's overall appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him achieve everything he has accomplished thus far, as well as the MEXT Scholarship. And finally, learn some important clues to help make the best use of various opportunities in Japan.

Now let's learn more about Karthik's experiences of co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA), working at various part-time jobs and internships, and organizing 5 TEDx events and 1 Hackathon.

Read More

Karthik Rampalli — A Young Man With a Big Mission in Japan (Part 1)

Welcome to a 3-part series, highlighting Karthik Rampalli's life. In Part II to learn more about Karthik's experiences of co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA), working at various part-time jobs and internships, and organizing 5 TEDx events and 1 Hackathon.

Then in Part III, you will learn about Karthik's perspective on living in Japan and the benefits that come from it, and Karthik's overall appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him achieve everything he has accomplished thus far, as well as the MEXT Scholarship. And finally, learn some important clues to help make the best use of various opportunities in Japan.

Now, let's get started on Karthik's experience of moving to Japan, diligently studying Japanese for 1 year of intensive studies, and obtaining acceptance into Tokyo Tech's Department of Information Engineering.

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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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A New Favorite Japanese TV Show Promoting an Alternative Lifestyle // アットホーム・ダッ or At Home Dad

By searching Abe Hiroshi’s name in Netflix, I discovered a TV show called アットホーム・ダッド, or “At Home Dad” by Fuji TV. And of course, this show immediately sparked my interest. After all, I am researching female entrepreneurship and empowerment in Japan.

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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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The Essential Guide for Traveling Overnight in Japan

What’s It Like to Ride on a Night Bus? The Essential Guide for Traveling Overnight in Japan.  

Towards the end of June, I rode my first overnight yakkou bus in Japan. Although many Kyoto University students ride this inexpensive type of bus for long-distance travel, very few will recommend it. As such, I asked around, read an online blog, and figured out how I could make it the best experience possible. After all, I relish new experiences and this was most definitely, a unique experience.

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What It’s Like to Intern at a Japanese Tech Company in Tokyo?

Without a doubt, I am thrilled to be working in Tokyo for a Japanese startup called PhoneAppli, a company that specializes in cloud collaboration technology. I mean…how cool is that? All of my core passions are combined into this experience — learning and experiencing new things, plus working in the dynamic world of technology. One of the many tech companies in Tokyo, PhoneAppli is no google japan internship, but it is a Japanese tech company that offers internships in Tokyo. 

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Introducing Kay Deguchi, Owner of Ochanomizu, an Innovative Orthopedic Rehab Center – Part 2

As this is Part II of a wonderful interview with Kay Deguchi, please refer to Part I before reading Part II.

A second life lesson she shared with me was the fact that our time is running shorter by every second.

Steve Jobs once said, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”  

Our days pass by, so it’s up to us to actively participate in life. So why not live life to the fullest, instead of complaining all the time? It’s our call.

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Introducing Kay Deguchi, Owner of Ochanomizu, an Innovative Orthopedic Rehab Center – Part 1

This interview was so juicy with phenomenal content that I ended up splitting it into two parts. In this first blog post, I will introduce her and her chosen field, as well as share a life lesson that she imparted on me. Enjoy Part I! Skip ahead to Part II, if you want to read abut the advice she shares to female entrepreneurs

Kay Deguchi, owner of Ochanomizu Orthopoedic Clinic — an innovative rehab center, is an exceptional entrepreneur.  With over a decade of experience in pharmaceuticals, medicine, medical devices, and even media companies such as Disney, Kay is extremely knowledgeable and brings a diverse set of skills to her chosen field of interest

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A Day in the Life of a Kyoto University MEXT Scholar!

One of my dreams was to live and work abroad. Thus, I applied for the MEXT Monbukagakusho Scholarship. I am writing this with the hope that it will be valuable for future MEXT scholars, and anyone who is seeking to pursue a graduate degree in another country.  

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Memories to Last a Lifetime at the SGI Hall of the Great Vow

If you are planning to visit the Hall of the Great Vow (HoGV) 大聖堂 Daiseido, please secure a Letter of Introduction from your home country’s SGI office. Otherwise, you won’t be able to visit. The Soka Gakkai Headquarters Building, or the Hall of the Great Vow 大聖堂 Daiseido, is dedicated to world peace. 

Thanks to my mother’s advice, I went straight to the Josei Toda Center from Shinanomachi 信濃町駅 Station to receive my ticket for the Hall of the Great Vow around 10:30 am — quite early. You never how crowded the Hall of the Great Vow may be that day, so it’s best to go earlier than later to secure your ticket!

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3 Things in Japan That I Can’t Live Without!

Ever since coming to Japan, I’ve been cooking breakfast and dinner on most days. That way, I can eat healthy foods that I love and save a bit of money. Thankfully, I adore the food here. It’s healthy, mostly gluten free (except the ubiquitous soy sauce condiment and most noodles), and contained in well-designed packages.

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What are Some Unspoken Rules in Japan? 4 Unveiled Here!

Living abroad in any country is needless to say, difficult. Besides the obvious cultural, language, and social differences, there are a multitude of unspoken rules in Japan, four of which I’ve listed below. 

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