The 5:00 Song

In the town where I live, we have two tunes. One on 4:30 p.m., and the other on 5:00 p.m. I believe those music are for reminding kids to go home before the sun goes down. Although, many kids stay out after 5 p.m. 😉

Cascadian Abroad

Everyday at 5 p.m., the loudspeakers around town play a charming little tune. At first, I thought “well isn’t that a nice little tune,” but as the weeks went on, I wanted to know what purpose it served. End of the workday? Not likely with all of those salarymen shuffling home at 9 p.m.

My Japanese googling skills are getting better and today I finally found the answer, although the next question is why I was thinking about the 5 o’clock song at 9 in the morning.

Turns out, it really is called the 5 O’clock Chime (五時のチャイム or goji no chaimu) and each city has its own version. It’s actually a daily test of the Municipal Disaster Management Radio Communication Network. Much like the Emergency Broadcast System in the U.S., if you hear the chime at any other time than 5 p.m., trouble is a’brewing.

In Kawagoe, our song is called “Wild…

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It’s woderful that you are making crossword in Kurobe. For me, the name ‘kurobe’ reminds me of the big Kurobe dam. Since I am a Japanese, I am not familiar with English crosswords. I wonder if I can solve your crosswords, Anyway, I will check again your blog soon!

Kabuki Crosswords

Howdy and hello!  Thank you for visiting Kabuki Crosswords!  If you’re reading this pretty soon after I post it, then I have no idea how you got here!  Hahah.  I just set this site up and have not publicized it at all yet, so you are one of the lucky few who will see this site in its infancy.  Hopefully, however, you are visiting after I have a few puzzles posted already, and you can start solving!

Kurobe from the sky

Since I’ve got your attention, though, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.  My name is Lawrence, and I’ve been working as an English teacher in Japan since 2009.  I live in a small city called Kurobe on the main island (Honshu), about a 5 hour drive away from Tokyo.  Being a rural city, Kurobe doesn’t have much to offer at first glance, but it is a beautiful…

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Headed to Susukino for Ramen, Sapporo’s Red Light District

Nice pictures of Susukino!
Not many people take pictures of those “Information center”. I believe that forerigners are not familiar with the another side of Japanese night life. Anyway I am glad that you enjoyed your ‘not too salty’ ramen! Many Japanese including myself love salty foods. We must reduce salt in foods little by little.


// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3 and Day 4’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!


The last night in Hokkaido saw us hanging out late at Susukino, Sapporo’s Red Light…

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Traveling Tips within Japan

Nice tips. Thank you for sharing. I was surprised that foreigners expect the top of maps to be north. Thinking about it, I usually do not care about north and south of a map.

Being an expat in Japan

Japan is blessed with a good public transportation system: buses, subways, trains, and airplanes. But travel in Japan is different than travel in the States. Here is some practical advice about traveling in Japan:

Take the train. One of the nice things about traveling in Japan is that they have a great train system. Taking the bullet train is a great alternative to flying because there is less hassle boarding a train, the seats are bigger, there is more legroom, the air is better, and there is a view. Also, the train will take you to the center of town, while the airport is usually removed from the city, so a trip from downtown Nagoya to downtown Tokyo is almost as fast by train as it is by plane and connecting transportation.

Of course, you can’t take a train everywhere. Going to Okinawa, you need to fly or take a…

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AEON Interview (Day 2)

I found your article very interesting. I did not know how the theachers in the English schools in Japan were able to come to Japan. I could not imagine how they were able to find a post in the English school, first of all. Now I know a part of the secret. By the way, I believe the next typhoon will be big, too. I wish you are safe and sound in Fukuoka. 😉

Word Disorder

Day two is considerably shorter than day one.  Which is nice, but also leaves you with nerves at the end, a lot of them.

So, if you get the personal interview, you are invited to come back the next day.  They assign you an interview time, so it’s your job to make sure you’re there on time.  Since I stayed at a hotel about 15 minutes away, I had to give myself plenty of time to prepare in the morning to be there by 9:15.

I got there with some time to spare, so I went up to the third floor of the hotel and waited outside the room.  I could hear snippets of the person interviewing before me, which only added to my nerves.  A fellow interviewee came up a few minutes after I did, so we talked and discussed some of the things we had learned the previous…

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Wakayama, Japan: Kimiidera Temple

Thank you for nice photos on visiting Kimiidera! I was born and raised near the Kimiidera temple. If my memory serves me correctly, the beautiful golden Kannon was not there in these days (more than 40 years ago!). As I have not visited the temple for more than 40 years, I was very surprised how they improved the temple on both inside and outside. If you like Kimiidera, I recommend visiting Koyasan if you have not visited yet.
Thank you for sharing.