I started this blog in 2008 while employed in the ass-crack of Tokyo, eking out an existence as an average “salaryman” office worker. The blog was in answer to other expat writings at the time, which mostly followed the theme of, “Hey! I’m in Japan for the next year and a half, and everything is SO exotic! And I’m an amateur photographer, so here are my pictures of cherry blossoms and Green Tea Kit Kat! ^_^”

Screw that.

Japan may be your otaku-happy-fun-time-land, but it was never mine. J-life is a very different animal when you are married into the culture, a working-class dude with Japanese being the primary language at work and at home. And when society expects you to toe the line, to question nothing and simply acquiesce because dammit, this is the Japanese way, you can either seethe in quiet or find an outlet. This blog was mine.

I wanted to write about the nit and grit, the practical and the inane, for newcomers and old-timers like myself. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned and I ended up having to return to the U.S. in late 2009. (You can read all about it here, if you like.) I let this blog languish for a while, but I still very much have a connection to Japan, and there are things I have left to say.

This is my Mad Tokyo.

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6 Responses

  1. Hi,
    You mentioned about microbrews on your page about the Asahi stout and was wondering if you knew of a website or some sort of resource for finding microbrews in Japan (specifically Miyagi). I’m interested to see what the microbrew scene is like in Japan.

    Thanks for any help,

  2. I found this list (in English) of brewpubs but it’s rather Tokyo-centric: http://www.bento.com/r-beer.html

    Here’s a list of actual breweries, as opposed to brewpubs, for Japan (be sure to scroll down a bit to get to the list): http://www.bento.com/kansai/rev/beeronline.html

    And Google.jp gave me this list (in Japanese) of Miyagi ji-biiru establishments: http://maps.google.co.jp/maps?hl=ja&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=%E5%AE%AE%E5%9F%8E+%E5%9C%B0%E3%83%93%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB&fb=1&split=1&gl=jp&view=text&cd=1&output=html

    Apparently, a certain “Naruko Onsen Brewery” is located in Miyagi as well.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Brian & co have some good info on the BrewsNews site. I have about 60 or more craft beer bars on my simple blog, but again it’s Tokyo centred. I try to simply provide links to the bar websites and the particular beers on tap that day. Try to update every day but it’s not always possible. Got a job to do at the same time.
    Good blog, John. not sure about the word ‘groin’ but good reading, nonetheless.

  4. Hey there Chuwy,

    I’ve seen you around but for some reason it didn’t click that you had a blog of your own. I checked it out and was happy to set up a link to it. I look forward to going through it in more detail.

    And the word “groin” rocks.

  5. This is some funny shit, jturningpin!

    Too bad I never saw yer blog til just now cause we coulda had some real laughs together here with that loose cannon of a humor you got. But great for you in your new adventure.

    This country won’t let -me- go, even when I wish as hard as I can, or even when I often find myself looking at my wife over chopstick glob of noodles as she waits for -me- to finish, but then somehow changes her mind and wanders off after letting out a disgusting sigh…


    Tres in China, I mean Chiba.

    Groin… Yeah, it is pretty cool.

    • Much appreciated, my man. Would’ve been great to hook up with a fellow, in-deep expat. Oh, wells. Maybe on one of my odd trips back to J-land we can grab a beer one of these days. Good luck with those globs o’ noodles.

      Heh. Groin.

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