Goodbye 2019. Hello 2020. / さよなら2019、こんにちは2020


As evening slowly casts its shadow on the last day of 2019, I thought I would take a minute to briefly reflect on the 364 that have come before it. I’m sometimes a little weary of compiling end-of-the-year round-up posts because, more often than not, they reek of people bragging about what they have done throughout the year. Or at least that’s how my cynical brain reads them. So please know that anything I write here isn’t intended to be interpreted like that. This post is merely a way for me to reflect on the past year, and set some goals for the next one.

My highlight of 2019 was getting married. It was amazing to have all my friends and family in the same place, something that rarely happens the older I get and the further we all live apart. My wife and I were so happy that both our families could spend time together.

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 17.13.14

On the blog side of things, and with regards to travel, I made trips to:

Brands I worked with:

I wrote 35 blogs which rough equals one every 1.5 weeks. This is less than in previous years – but along with running the IKIMASHO Facebook page, I reckon it would be pushing it to do any more. Plus, because I want to focus more on writing about daily life here, it takes about two weeks to gather enough material to write a post.

So what for 2020?

Well, last week, while waiting for the train, Mrs. IKIMASHO picked up a free magazine on the platform and read my horoscope for a joke. While I don’t believe in that kind of thing, one line of advice struck a chord with me and so that is what I will take with me into 2020.

It basically said for me not to take on anything new – rather focus on further developing the things I can do already.

So I’m not going to try and learn any new skills or take up any new hobbies next year. Instead, I am going to improve my art and my Japanese. I want to try and use watercolours more, and paint some of the daily scenes I see in Tokyo every day. I got given a wee set for Christmas and have been playing about a bit.


My ONE-MINUTE-MASHO videos on Facebook have proved to be very popular, and we both enjoy doing them, so they will definitely continue. I reckon I could bash out another 20 this year.

I would like to visit Okinawa at some point, maybe Taipei again, and then make a trip to Europe. But as of right now I have no travel plans. That will come as the year progresses (and the places will probably change ha).

But for now, wouldn’t you know it…

During the course of writing this post, daylight has turned to darkness, and the sun has set in Japan for the last time in 2019.

Let’s all have an amazing 2020!



  1. Lorraine Wilson

    Thank you for your blogs this year. I have two friends, former students, in Japan and hope to visit one day.

  2. Well done ! I have been a follower for many years in addition to being a traveler to Asia for business (Japan, Taiwan, Thailand & HK) . Best wishes for a Healthy, Happy & Successful 2020 ! Ron B.

  3. Thank you so much for your message, and thank you for following! What country in Asia do you like best? Thailand is so nice as well, especially the food.

  4. I love Japan the best, especially exploring the nooks & crannies which is why I like your blogs & pics so much. Once took the wife exploring Kurashiki on our own after a business trip to Osaka. Next best would be a tie between HK & Thailand. We’ve been to Phuket shortly before the Tsunami but the beach there doesn’t compare at all to the one we get to walk every day here in Ponce Inlet, Florida. Take good care & carry on! Ron

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