Postcards from Japan: Life in Tohoku, Youtube stardom and taking lockdown one day at a time with Chris Broad // Abroad in Japan

Like many people, Chris Broad's reason for coming to Japan from the UK was to each English and, like many people, he was placed in a very rural area of Japan. What started as a standard placement developed into a deep love for Japan, which in turn led Chris to start the Abroad in Japan Youtube channel, with its 1.85million subscribers.

We asked Chris about his journey to Youtube stardom and his tips on how to make the most of a Japan trip.

Postcards from Japan: Sun-splashed Kagoshima, working for the Shimadzu clan and how to find silver linings with Alex Bradshaw

When it comes to culturally rich destinations with a wealth of scenic vistas and sun-splashed landscapes, Kagoshima maybe takes the cake. It's also home to one of the most interesting Japanese stately homes and gardens, Sengan-en, which still remains in the hands of its original owners - the Shimadzu clan. Alex Bradshaw has spent well over a decade working closely with them and has built a life in Kagoshima, far far away from the Yorkshire hills of Sheffield, where he was born. He shares his top tips and thoughts on why the area is so special.

The New Normal? More like The Old Normal!

As many of us will be painfully aware, Japan is currently closed to international travel, but it has otherwise managed to escape the 14day quarantine list that we’ve been hearing so much about of late. One of the biggest changes has been new formalised guidelines for people travelling within Japan. A lot of these will sound familiar know to us, but, what is interesting, is how much of what is the 'new normal' for us here, is in fact the 'old normal' for Japan! Why is that?

Postcards from Japan: the man behind the 'matsuri', the most unmissable local festivals and finding 'ikigai' in ancient Japanese traditions with Nobuya Miyata

Japanese 'matsuri' festivals happen all year round but summer is particularly famous for its explosions of vibrant energy, especially in the Tohoku region. This year the majority of festivals have moved online to help keep communities connected at a socially distant time but that has meant that the 'mikoshi' portable shrine, which usually leads the processions, has taken a bit of a time out. 'Mikoshi' repairman Nobuya Miyata comes from strong 'matsuri' stock and even had a documentary made about him - we can see why! 

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