Author - Tim Patrick

Enjoying Your Japanese Meiwaku Towel

Do you ever have one of those days where you perform major remodeling on the exterior of your home, inflicting several weeks of construction noise and dust on your neighbors? I hate it when that happens. But when it...

Visiting Tokyo During a Pandemic

When I moved to Japan a few years ago, I expected to engage in local tourism: visit thousand-year-old temples and castles, take in a bit of sumo or Noh, ride the bullet train to the far reaches of the country, have my...

The Most Non-Japanese Japanese Word

You probably didn’t know this, but the Japanese language can be difficult. Of course, the grammar is complicated. And don’t get me started on particles, the parts of speech that are the bane of every Japanese student...

Enjoying Japanese Onsen Tamago at Home

Sometimes on a lazy weekend morning, I venture out to my local Denny’s for breakfast. Mind you, this isn’t the American version of Denny’s. You won’t find oversized Grand Slam plates or umpteen ways of serving up fried...

How Fast is that Japanese Train?

Japan Rail (JR) and the other major train companies provide a variety of regular and express services. Unfortunately, they use a jumble of names and speeds for these services that don’t necessarily carry from one system...

The Little Joys of Everyday Life (in Japan)

There are so many big cultural touchstones that draw people to Japan from across the globe. Manga and anime, sushi and tempura, bullet trains and sports cars, rakugo and Noh, sumo and karate; the list seems endless. And...

Japanese Income Tax Season is Here

As March arrives in Japan, many people across the country are wishing away the brisk air and looking forward to flowering cherry-blossom trees. But it’s not all pastel dreams. Lurking behind the spring air, Uncle...

What Happened to Kōhaku Uta Gassen?

New Year’s Eve of 2021 marked the first time since the 1990s that I didn’t watch Kōhaku Uta Gassen, Japan’s televised year-end music extravaganza. If you are not familiar with the program, it is a celebration of the...