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    Chasing UFOs at Chichibu National Park, Japan

    I had been in Japan only a few days when my brother suggested visiting Chichibu. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “You’ll love it!” I was happy to go along with his suggestion, seeing as he 1.) is my brother and b.) was living in Japan at the time, so I cheerfully agreed, and the following morning I found myself on a little bus destined for Chichibu National Park. This post isn’t really about the national park, however. As we wandered up the hill from the entrance, I munched on my matcha-flavoured pocky sticks and looked around me. It was a sunny day and my brother was right, the park was beautiful.…

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    Stripping Off in Suwa, Japan

    I walked into the Katakurakan onsen with trepidation clawing up┬ámy throat. A smiling lady handed me a small towel and a small key at the window of reception, then gestured gracefully towards a door on the left. This was something I’d noticed a lot since arriving in Japan; every Japanese person I encountered seemed to have been born with the kind of grace that eludes me on a daily basis. Clutching the towel to my chest, I pushed open the door to the women’s changing room and walked in. In no way was I excited about getting naked with strangers. I was dragging my feet with dread. My skin had…