I joined the JET Program (Japan Exchange and Teaching), after spending two months studying history, language, and culture in Japan during my junior year. I am a 2012 graduate of Principia College in Elsah, IL where I majored in Business Administration and minored in Asian Studies. While in school, I played NCAA baseball and trumpet in the jazz band.

Through blog entries, photos, and videos, A Walk in Japan provides information on culture, food, travel, and the JET Program.   Hopefully, this blog can better connect my adventures to friends and family back home, as well as provide helpful information for tourists and JET applicants.

Thanks for visiting! If you ever have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me.

25 thoughts on “BIO

  1. I found your blog to extremely insightful and entertaining. It was a lot better than some of the other blogs I’ve read about American teachers over there. It even answered a lot of questions I had about teaching English in Japan. Right now, I’m in school and once I graduate I want to teach English in Japan. I’ll be studying abroad next year in Saga, which is near Nagasaki. I can’t wait to read more of your posts.

    • Dustin, thank you for the compliment. It’s really good to know that this blog provided some helpful insight for you. I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences in Japan!

  2. Hi! The other day I discovered your Instagram account and I just want to say how much I LOVE all of your photos. I recently came home from a year of teaching English in Korea and I’ve been really missing Asia! I also got to spend some traveling time in Japan (mostly Kyoto) and I fell in love with it. I’ve loved scrolling through your gorgeous photos and reading your blog, so thanks, and keep it up 🙂

    • Thank you for the Instagram love! I’m glad you were able to travel to Japan this past year. I visited Seoul in the winter and really enjoyed it! Best of luck to you back in Canada.

      • Thanks. How long did you spend in Seoul? Did you check out Gyeongbok Palace? Beautiful. I’m thinking of doing a Japan trip next summer, I’ll have to contact you for some suggestions!

  3. Do you go running topless in the 30°C+ heat of Awaji? It might not be you, the gaijin I saw looked older than 20 and I saw him in Goshiki area and I think you mentioned Higashiura. Lol I notice fellow gaijin, there are not many here! Your blog looks interesting, I will have a proper look when I’m on a PC (on my phone right now).

  4. wmckenzie95 says:

    I loved how you were able to apply your studies in Japan towards becoming an assistant language teacher. You have an interesting blog and I enjoyed reading your statement of purpose. It is very well detailed. Currently, I am a creating a blog on Japanese lifestyle/culture and one post discusses the JET Program. Since you went through the program, please feel free to respond to my blog. My website is

  5. Hello Stephen,

    Fantastic blog; I really like the content (writing, photos, and videos). As a former JET myself I feel the youtube videos I made were very amateurish compared to yours.

    Anyways, I’m very interested in collaborating with you to drive more visitors to your site. Can you contact me when you have a minute to discuss? I look forward to hearing from you.


    Yan Sen

  6. Hi Stephen
    interesting and insightful writing. could you please recommend MINSHUKU or RYOKAN in Awajishima island and HIROSHIMA and OSAKA
    I shall visit May 2014 Thanks again CHeers

    • Hi Tan,
      Thanks for checking out the blog. I actually never stayed in a minshuku or ryokan in Awajishima, since I lived there. But I think there are some nice ones in Sumoto City (洲本市). You could also stay in the Higashiura (東浦), but there is not as much English there. When I went to Hiroshima I stayed at “Hotel Park Side Hiroshima Peace Park.” And when I was in Osaka I stayed with friends. Sorry if this doesn’t help much, as I actually didn’t stay in many minshukus or ryokans. Enjoy your time in Japan!

  7. I’ve been doing some research on JET since Ia m contemplating applying. The one thing that worries me though is the fact that I don’t know any Japanese and I am afraid that I’ll have a hard time adjusting because of that. Did you find it hard to communicate and get around not really knowing much Japanese? Were people willing to help when they realized you couldn’t speak much of their language?

    • Hi Ashley,
      That’s great that you’re thinking about JET. The language barrier is a common concern. Personally, I did not have many problems getting around. On multiple occasions when I looked lost, strangers would come up to me and ask if I needed directions. One time a guy even gave me an umbrella when I was caught in the rain. You’ll also pick up more Japanese than you think, just because you’ll be immersed in it everyday at school. Best of luck on the application!

  8. Hi there. I noticed in your blog entry about your trip to Seoul that you went to a jimjilbbang. I lived in Korea for five years so I’m very familiar with these and love them! I will be visiting Japan soon (flying into Narita) and have five hours to kill before I’m able to check into my hotel. Does Japan have something similar to a jimjilbbang where I can just freshen up and relax (while wearing clothes/provided PJ type things!)?

    • Thanks for looking through blog! Japan has similar places to Jimjilbangs. They’re called onsen (natural hot spring), and sento (heated tap water). There are a lot located throughout the country. But, I’m not familiar with the Narita area. Enjoy Japan!

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