Many first-time visitors to this site stumble upon it via Google while looking for information on Tokyo, or how to become a kindergarten teacher in Japan. You may be wondering then why essentially all the posts since April have been non-Japan related.

Well, for the last six months I have pretty much been travelling non-stop. I had always toyed with the idea of setting up a sister site to IKIMASHO! – one for my travels outside of Japan, but the truth is I just wanted to keep everything in the one place. I see this site as an extension of myself, and so I wanted it to showcase all my interests, not just Japan. That’s why on IKIMASHO! I post up my art, stuff I have written for other publications, as well as guest posts from some of the punk bands and electronica artists I love. And of course, writings and photography from my travels worldwide – with three continents/ten countries in the last six months alone.

Japan > Thailand > Nepal > Northern Ireland > Morocco > Spain > Northern Ireland > Denmark > Sweden > Northern Ireland > Sri Lanka > Bali > Java > Thailand > Northern Ireland

This constant travel, as well as my other interests, means that IKIMASHO! can sometimes feel a bit disjointed and ‘all over the place’. First-time visitors may ponder: “Oh, it’s a site about Japan! No wait, it isn’t. It’s a travel site. No hang on, it isn’t a travel site either. What is this?” I wouldn’t say that it troubles me per se, but it is something I have been thinking about over the last few weeks. I am still glad that I decided to keep everything under the one roof, but I’m slightly worried that regular readers kinda wonder what the hell is going on.

I guess IKIMASHO! will continue to be, first and foremost, a documentation of my time in Japan – but with my other interests such as travel, art and music making an appearance. It just so happens that right now, since I am outside Japan, the posts about travel are taking centre stage. But I intend, over the next month or so, to write a bit about Japan and feature some Japanese-inspired art I am working on. Right now I am visiting my parents in Northern Ireland and I will be here for Christmas, with the intention of going back to Japan early next year.

I won’t share this post on social media, it’s just something I wanted to write down for myself and get clear in my own head. But if by chance you are a subscriber to IKIMASHO! – or have come here via WordPress – I’d very much appreciate it if you took a quick moment to write a comment below and tell me that you’re still here, and still following despite my absence from Japan over the last few months. I hope the randomness of the site doesn’t bother you too much.

IKIMASHO! has grown a lot over the years – this year in particular – and so I hope the random mixture of Japan, travel, art, music, culture and weirdness isn’t too oddball a mix. And if it is? Well, screw it, I’ll continue doing it anyway.

Hope you are all doing awesome.

Justin / IKIMASHO!


  1. Trevor

    Been reading for a while and still really digging it – the travel posts have been on point! I’ve especially enjoyed your south east Asian gym exposé. That being said, your kindergarten posts were always classic.

  2. Wendy

    I’ve been reading for a while as well. I started because I also live in Japan, and you posted such interesting unique trips. You’re blog gradually began broadening the topics it addressed, and I saw it (and still continue to see it that way now) as a natural extension of you and your life. It’s your unique view that keeps me coming to read again and again 🙂

  3. Still here! I enjoy reading about Japan but also your other travels too. Keep on doing what you’re doing. I think the best blogs are when people are true to themselves and write about what they love. You do and that’s what makes your site unique.

  4. Thank you Joella! I must read more of your blog, just clicked in it there. Wow, so lucky to have the chance to live in America – I love California ^_^

  5. Cool! I’ve never been there. I used to teach sometimes in Kawagoe and Kasahata in Saitama, and Kashiwa in Chiba. I think they are both about an hour away. I never knew Crayon Shin-chan was set there! I must pay a visit next year 🙂

  6. Joe C

    hey I live in New York, and really have no idea how I found u haha but I’m glad I did. Been following for about two years, always interesting and kinda made me more open minded in general. keep up the good work. I’ve always wondered, do ppl smoke pot in Japan? random question I know, but there ya go haha. c ya

  7. Cheers man! No, weed is not big at all here and you can get in serious shit. A friend of a friend is currently in jail for apparently having a joint on him. They are just keeping him in for ages then he’ll prob be deported. Drugs and Asia are two words you don’t wanna mess with as the consequences are harsh. You can buy synthetic stuff called Spice but I have heard nothing but bad reports of bad trips and the like. So stay away! Sure who needs drugs in this country anyway!

  8. Joe C

    Thanks! I was torn between ‘maybe they’re the out there artistic type’ and ‘they all must be on f ing acid’ lol. I vaguely remembered when I found you, btw… I found a crazy video you posted of ppl dancing dressed like penises lol then one click led to another and I’ve read every post now. I think the Sumatra trip was my fav. (never thought I’d be up all night Google mapping random places in Asia lol) but hey if u ever need a house to crash on Long Island just let me know. not much in the way of cannibals and jungle gangsters tho sorry haha catch ya later

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