A view from my house

Picture of the day

May 2nd 2010

This a view of a Chinese buddhist temple, taken from the balcony of my house in Kobe


The best Japanese dictionary App

The best Japanese dictionary App
I did a post about must have applications for iPhone and iTouch back a month ago and a recent version on GaijinPot, but someone pointed out to me that there was a dictionary App out there that was killing all Japanese dictionary out there! And he was right!!!

The App is called Kotoba and the best thing about it is that it is free!! Yes you don’t get that a lot especially for a dictionary app as complete as that one! You heard me right FREE.

Since this App blew me away I did the first ever Gaijinlife youtube video click here for it:

So in this video I will walk you trough Kotoba showing you this App sweet features.
I really hope you will like the video. Dont be shy and tell me what you think about this first video.

Probably tomorrow or at the latest Wednesday I will have a post and video dedicated on the best Tokyo App ever

TokyoTeleport and the TokyoTeleport plus!

Be sure to check it out!


A new Karate Kid movie!

Karate Kid (2010)

I must say when I saw that title on youtube as a 2010 trailer, it kind a hit me. I know we are in the age of remake movies and sometimes I can not say it’s bad. There is a lot of remake that are really good or that have a lot of potential. So seeing the title Karate Kid made me go back in my childhood memories, think about Mr Miyagi. So a remake of this movie got me a bit exited, I thought about maybe new angles on Japan, nice pictures and images selection and a some what good story line or moral that the old version had.

Remastered original movie cover picture

But the world of hope I created in my mind with those 30 seconse of seeing the title got destroyed, torn a part and broken  in millions of pieces when I did press play.

The trailer started and you see a young boy leaving with is mom to China.

Ok Let’s stop there first: ”China?? Karate is Japanese it does have Chinese origins but still it is Japanese.”

”Ok ok what if there is a Japanese sensei so let’s go keep it going!”

The little boy end’s up getting beaten by some Chinese class mate or from a school not far from his, a bit much like the original Karate kid, and like in the original a sensei pop’s in and save the boy. ”That part is much like the real Karate kid”

Then comes the final blow,the one that killed me  for good

The sensei say’s ”I’ll teach you real Kung Fu!!!!”

WHAT??? Humm Is the title of the movie kung-fu kid or Karate Kid, did I miss read or something???

Here is the trailers if you would like to witness what im talking about

The original Karate Kid


The latest you got it all wrong Karate Kid

How come people can be feed so much non sense? I know movie are Hollywood creation but a remake is a remake do it right or just leave the classic in its grave or at lest in its VHS copy. This movie still has the potential to be a fun movie to watch plus the quality of the images are really nice, since China as so much beautiful land scape. But please respect things, Karate is Karate and Kung Fu Kung Fu.

I really don’t enjoy doing  post like that one, but I did have to share it with you all. And don’t get me wrong I totally respect any practitioner of any martial art in the world, I am my self a Kendo-ka and a traditional Japanese Jujutsu partitioner but this is wrong.

I leave you from a quote from MR Miyagi and Daniel San from the Original Movie

Daniel: What kina belt do you have?à

Mr Miyagi: Jc peny G19

!!Coming soon!!

Here is the list of the up and coming post on Gaijinlife

Internet and Manga Cafes

An interview with Dan from Japanese castle explorer.com

money gifts gosyugi

skateboarding in Tokyo and Japan

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden in Bunkyo-ku

Tips to understand Japanese’s sense of humor

Many more post coming in the next weeks

Here is the picture of the day

This picture was taken by Guillaume Marcotte form tokyoluv.com

The shibuya crossing

An interview with Guillaume Marcotte from Tokyoluv

Today I’m bringing you in the world of Guillaume Marcotte or as most people call him Mac. Guillaume is a French Canadian from Montreal. He moved in Tokyo in November 2009, to in a way escape the dreaded Canadian winter and to accomplish a dream of his. Mac is an urban fan, he love the atmosphere and the vibration of a big city. He grew up in the suburbs around Montreal, when he got is first job he quickly made the move to the city of Montreal and ever since kept his passion for big metropolis. Now he lives in one of the biggest and busiest city in the world Tokyo.

Here is Mac

Guillaume is an up and coming photographer, he owns the www.tokyoluv.com website which

as an incredible daily collection of photos, and he now writes and takes picture for the famous Japanese fashion website xojapan.jp.

Here is my interview with Mac

Hello Guillaume, how are you today?

” I’m doing pretty fine today”

What is your favorite quote or life motto?

”You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

When did you start photographing?

”Not so long ago unlike many people think, just over a year. But since I got my first SLR I’ve shot every day, everything, with everyone. I’ve learned from great photographers and I think my graphic design background

help me progress in photography.”

What are your interest in Japan?

”Tokyo, I’ve always loved city, I’ve grew up in the suburb and as soon I got a job to pay a rent I moved to Montreal. I also went to New-York city countless times and now I moved in the biggest and most interesting city in the world.”

What truly touch you since you moved to Japan?

”It’s the people maybe, or at least how respectful everyone are to each other, I wish it could be the same in north America. I think it is something we are lacking else where in the world.”

Do you speak Japanese?

”I speak English , French and I’ve been trying to improve on my Japanese’, but I’m still at basic conversation level, like, “Bar” conversation level hehe.”

What did living in Japan brought you in your life?

”Joy, maybe… I wasn’t unhappy back home, but it seems like every day in Japan is a new adventure. I am always meeting new people and experiencing unique stuff, I guess the kind of work I do help thought…”

Where do you

picture your self in 5 years?

”If it’s not a photographer in Tokyo, then I really don’t want to think about it. Plus as long as I find work to pay my rent and onigiri I’ll stay around here.”

What kind of music do you like? any Japanese bands?

”I love electro music, my favorite band are Boys Noize, The Qemists and MSTRKRFT. I also like smooth stuff like shirft, Emiliana Torrini and Radiohead. I don’t know many Japanese artist beside FLOPPY and Hatsune Miku, if she really count like one ^_^”

And to finish off could you tell us what are you working on at the moment?

Well of course there is always my website tokyoluv.com which I try to update everyday with some original photos, also I’ve recently start blogging for xojapan.jp a blog about fashion in Tokyo, those people are super cool. I’ve been shooting more and more fashion lately and I have a new project in progress that I will announce soon. I’m always open to collaboration and proposition too! ^_^

Of course I strongly recommend you to visit his web site.

If you are also interested to communicate with Guillaume all his contact info are on his web site or just click here

It was a pleasure fo me to bring you a little insight in the life of a gaijin photographer in Japan hope you liked it.


I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures taken by Mac and that you can view on his web site.

all the pictures used in this post are copyrighted and belong to Guillaume Marcotte

Chiba’s surf life

Ok every year comes a season I love!! Summer!

Every summer I’m really lucky because I have a beautiful month off. One of my good friend moved in the prefecture of Chiba 千葉県  2 years ago, I did not have the chance to visit her until this summer. She lives in Ichinomiya 一宮町, a small surfer village near the ocean and the city of Mobara茂原市 .

Being in vacation I decided to go pay her a visit. From where I live in Koshigaya, it takes around 2h30 to get to Ichinomiya. If you’re leaving from Tokyo station it’s around 1h30. When you arrive there you are greeted with a typical small Japanese village. Ichinomiya is in my opinion a really great place to live. You have the Kujūkuri Beach 九十九里浜 at your door step, the second largest beach in Japan. The beach covers 66km and there are 9 municipalities located along it.

Not long after my arrival my friend picked me up, first stop the beach! At the beach I was welcomed by my friend husband and a short board (typically not for beginners). The first thing they had in plan for me was a surf lesson. Ok if you did not read about me before I’m Canadian from Montreal. People generally don’t surf where I come from, the ocean is far and in winter you can forget about the surf it’s -25 degrees. But now here I was on a beautiful beach attacked by massive (at that time for me) 7 foot waves, a surfboard in hand.

Having done many sport in my life, most of them consider extreme I did not hesitate to jump in the water. I must say, after the first 4 minutes of paddling I noticed a strong current and it made me some what uncomfortable. Even with that feeling I managed to try to ride a wave. 20  minutes later I was dead, I did not have anymore energy. No need to say I did not catch one wave but a connection born.  An emotion was waking up in the roots of my body. It was the love of surfing.  After that day my friend got me a room or should I say a house near the beach and I stayed in Ichinomiya surfing till the end of my vacation. The surfer’s life is pretty easy, get up at 6 or 7am, eat, take a walk to the beach, check the waves, if they are good you do a little morning session, then go back home to regroup with the friends, go back to the beach surf till the sun goes to sleep and finish it off with a nice BBQ on the beach. Wow what a life!! I wish I could live like that every day like a lot of real surfers but for me it will only result in 1 month a year full-time and for the rest of the year I will call my self a ”weekender”.

The surf life is amazing, the friendship between surfers is super great and really welcoming. I got the chance during my month in Chiba to meet so many nice Japanese friend. It is already on my list for next year. Surfing is wonderful you learn how to feel the ocean and enjoy the beauty of being in nature.  At the end of the summer I was proclaimed by my fellow surfer friends an official surfer which made me really happy.  My wave total for last summer was 6 really good and clean rides, 30 something good one and 1000’s bad ones.

Soon I will buy my first board and get ready for next summer, which is already at are door steps.

!!Coming this summer!!

This summer I will also try to make a post about the best beach to surf in Chiba and also an article: a surfer’s budget for an incredible Japan surf vacation!!!

!!Coming this summer!!

Impressive views of Tokyo

On a beautiful day in June, I was walking to a post office near Asaka city. After going to the post office I stopped at a near by river. Sitting near a river in Tokyo is a must do in summer, those of you living in Japan will understand me. It so hot here and humid. All of a sudden I saw a weird thing in the sky. It was a blimp! Actually it was the world largest zeplin, the Zeppelin NT of Nippon Airship Corporation.

Seeing this beast in the sky was pretty nice. I must say the Tokyo sky or Japan sky is incredibly fun to watch. There is a lot of chopper and plane traffic especially military ones. Back in Canada the sky is not so entertaining except for commercial airplane.

Not long ago I was surfing the web to find a good panoramic picture of Chiba city. I came up on an article on the NT zeppelin. The night pictures of Tokyo and the surrounding took from the blimp are amazingly beautiful, I need to share them with you on my blog. Here their are!

Tokyo and Mt Fuji

Saitama City

(near where I currently live)

Tokyo Tower

Ripongi and the Tokyo tower



Tokyo Dome

Imperial Palace

Chiba city

Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba


River City

Toyosu and Tokyo Disney Resort in the distance