Author Archives: Michael Gakuran
It’s official! Sometime after 10pm JST on 5th July, the UNESCO committee decided that the 23 ‘Sites of the Meiji Industrial Revolution’ submitted by Japan for registration as a World Cultural Heritage Site were worthy of inclusion.
It’s been a long time coming, but it seems Tokyo winning the 2020 bid for the Olympics and the surge in visits from foreign tourists in recent years has kicked some bigwigs into action. The old practice of showing ‘Romaji’ – Japanese words written using English characters – on signs is ending since its inception […]
Lurking in the darkness of some haikyo are sights that are so chilling that they seem almost unreal. Scenes that make me stop and wonder if perhaps I’m the target of a sick, practical joke. Or perhaps I’m twelve years old again and have somehow been sucked inside one of my beloved adventure video games. […]
Continuing an annual tradition here on Gakuran.com, I’m back translating the Japanese buzzwords for 2014. Fresh new expressions and frequently used phrases from this year, providing a glimpse into the national psyche. The list is compiled every year by Jiyu Kokuminsha, publishing 50 nominees and then choosing the top 10 winning words in early December. […]
Hurrah! Autumn is here! The lands are awash in rich reds and heavenly golds and I, tired of the relentless greys of the city, am positively tingling to get out of Tokyo. Nothing beats a warm fall day in Japan, except perhaps one spent in the company of a good friend in a spectacular haikyo. […]
A documentary I coordinated and helped to film on Hashima Island (Gunkanjima) is airing on Sunday Night, an Australian television show, March 9th 2014 as we speak. Reporter PJ Madam shows us Japan’s ‘Ghost Island‘. The best source I have found so far to watch the video online is this one by movingentity: If that’s […]
I was first attracted to urbex (or ‘haikyo‘ in Japanese) by the promise of adventure. The thrill of touring abandoned buildings and sneaking around places one probably shouldn’t go. The excitement of finding long-forgotten rooms and corridors littered with remnants of the past, of trying to piece together the scraps of history left behind. Grabbing […]
Today is the Tokyo Marathon! I signed up on a bit of a whim, but after defying the 1/10 odds and being selected, I started training for the big day.