About Me

1. Where were you born?
Mississippi, USA

2. Where did you grow up?
Florida, USA

3. When did you come to Japan?
In 1990, at the age of 20.

4. Where do you live now?
In Tokyo, Japan.
With my Japanese wife and our three kids (hence this site’s name: “Tokyo Five”)

5. Did you experience culture shock when you came to Japan?
When I first came to Japan, many aspects of Japan’s culture surprised me. But I’m quite comfortable in Japan now.
I don’t have opportunity to visit America very often…so the last time I was there I experienced culture shock in America.

306 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Prianca February 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Hello Tokyo5,
    I came across your comment on another blog about a couple’s trip with their children to Japan. They wrote about how they did struggle to find food, nappies etc and places to see with the children. I was hoping you would be able to recommend to me what I can see/do if I have about 8 days in Japan flying into Tokyo on the 5th of October. Any festivals, cities etc.
    Any help would be awesome!!
    Thanks
    Prianca

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

      Sure. I’ll do my best to help. Could you use this form to contact me via email and tell me more info…such as how many kids you have and their ages, whether or not you’ve been to Japan before, what you’re interested in seeing in Tokyo (traditional, modern, etc).

      Also…have you see this post I wrote about place to visit in Tokyo with kids?

      Like

  2. Tom Miller August 8, 2015 at 6:36 am #

    Hi,
    Firstly thank you (Arigatou ありがとう) for taking the time to create the blog. I am looking to find out different things about Japan and it’s language, and have recently began to learn hiragana along with romaji. I am still very much a beginner at the moment but with the help of apps,videos,books reading blogs like your own encourages me to push on with my self teaching.I would like to eventually read katakana,some kanji and be able to speak reasonably well in Nihongo.I was interested to read about your personal journey in moving to Japan and settling down with your family. I would like to visit Japan in my lifetime.I wish your family health and well being and continued success with your blog and future ventures.
    Best Regards
    Tom

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 August 8, 2015 at 9:57 am #

      Thank you. Good luck with your Japanese studies. Why did you decide to study Japanese, by the way?
      Where do you live? Have you ever visited Japan?

      Like

      • Tom Miller August 10, 2015 at 9:09 am #

        Hi, it’s morning in Tokyo, so I will say: Ohayou Gozaimasu おはよう ございます
        I decided some time ago to learn Japanese as I had been training in Ju-Jitsu which incorporated some Japanese terms. I became interested in the history of the martial art in its origins. I was interested in the culture behind Japanese society too.
        I tried a while back to learn, but for various reasons did not continue at that time. I am now back to learn and this time I am more determined to succeed. I live in Scotland, near the city of Glasgow. I haven’t as yet visited Japan, but would love to get the opportunity to do so in my lifetime.
        At the very least I would love to get to know the language better and build possible friendships with people who live in Japan or who can speak Japanese.

        Regards

        Tom

        Like

      • tokyo5 August 10, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

        Thanks. It’s evening now, so こんばんは。
        Good luck with your Japanese studies this time. You should visit Tokyo if you get a chance!

        Like

  3. Marc-André June 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    Love your page:)

    And love Japan. We go every year and a half and I have just posted about some of our travels on my own blog hehe ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 June 29, 2015 at 12:27 am #

      Do you visit Japan so often? Great! How long are your visits?

      I looked at your website. A lot of cute cats!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marc-André June 29, 2015 at 3:05 am #

        We tend to go for two weeks and a bit every year to year and a half. My partner used to work as an English teacher near Tokyo and our cousin is currently teaching in Matsuyama.:)

        And thank you😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • tokyo5 June 29, 2015 at 8:41 am #

        That’s nice! I don’t go outside of Japan very often…international travel is expensive! Especially for five people!
        Our most recent overseas trip was to Florida in 2004.

        Like

  4. 000001qwerty May 27, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    thats cool
    a potato cookie how did it taste
    is it like chips

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 27, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

      It doesn’t taste like a potato chip. Like a biscuit cookie.

      Like

  5. qwerty May 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    whats that pink thing in the wrapper next to next to the meal is it food
    i have been to a lot of restaurants in japan and they all seem to have lots of cups and saucers with garnishes i hardly knew what to do with them
    are they meant to go on top of the meal.

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 25, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

      It was a sweet potato cookie.
      Some go on top of other dishes, mostly they’re eaten seperately though.
      You should ask if you’re unsure.

      Like

  6. Shell Burger May 25, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    tokyo5 Thanks for stopping by the blog (http://www.okishell.wordpress.com) and commenting. I love living in Okinawa and all the food. We hope to travel more to mainland in the coming years while we can.

    Shell

    Like

  7. qwerty May 24, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    hello its me im just exploring your website and leaving messages here and there
    mwa hahahahaha

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 24, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

      Thank you. Feel free to leave a comment on any post!

      By the way, you wrote me via my Contact Me, but didn’t include a valid email address … so I couldn’t reply to you.

      Like

  8. thatssojacob May 19, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    Hello Tokyo 5! I’ve decided to read and follow 10 interesting and new blogs a day every day of May 2015, and yours is today’s #8! Feel free to come visit me when you can at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com, and follow if you like what you read. Happy blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 May 19, 2015 at 8:19 am #

      >read and follow 10 interesting and new blogs a day every day of May 2015, and yours is today’s #8!

      Thank you. But only today? 😉

      Like

  9. David Smith February 1, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Being different from China is good!

    Do you have an area of Tokyo you’d recommend. We’ll be going to museums with our son – we want to try some great sushi and ramen noodles – maybe take a day trip – but we are thinking of a week in Japan.

    We are going to go to China again – but mostly to meet a friend of my wifes new baby!!!

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

      Have you considered Yokohama? Chinatown and the Ramen Museum are both there … both are good places to get ramen.
      There is also the museum for the Japanese childrens cartoon Anpanman.
      An amusement park, free zoo, shopping mall and Red Brick Warehouse shopping center are there.
      All within walking distance of each other.

      Like

    • tokyo5 February 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

      By the way, I was confused at first who you were. Your twitter name is different, isn’t it?

      Like

      • David Smith February 1, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

        Twitter is davidsmi – same name (I think).

        I will consider Yokohama. Thanks for the tip!

        Like

      • tokyo5 February 1, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

        Sorry, I get a lot of email …

        Ueno in Tokyo also has many museums and a zoo. As well as a great toy store. (Ginza and Omotesando, Tokyo have great toy stores too).

        Both Yokohama and Ueno have a Hard Rock Cafe.

        Like

  10. davidsmi January 29, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    Going to spend a week in Japan in July with my wife and almost 6 year old son.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    David

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 February 1, 2015 at 1:38 am #

      Your first time to Japan?

      Like

      • David Smith February 1, 2015 at 2:36 am #

        Yes – we’ve been to Asia before – but first time to Asia for our almost 6 year old sone

        Like

      • tokyo5 February 1, 2015 at 9:54 am #

        Japan is very different from other countries in Asia.

        Like

  11. icthelion January 24, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    Fun site! I know exactly what you mean by reverse culture shock. It’s not as bad as it was 10 years ago thanks to improvements in the internet, but when I do rarely go back, I always marvel at buying a gallon of milk and how rude people are at fast food joints. Japan has spoiled me rotten there.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      I was surprised how much of a visitor I felt like when I went to America!

      Like

  12. isaac976 June 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Awesome blog Tokyo5. will visit more often now, I didnt know you had one..

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      Thank you. Yes, please visit it often!

      Like

  13. johnwilsonbach March 20, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Where were you born in Mississippi? I lived in McComb as a boy, for a bit, and I taught in Yazoo City of awhile. Great site you have!! – JWB

    http://johnwilsonbach.com/

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 20, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

      I was born in Meridian, Mississippi. But I only lived there as a baby. I don’t know that state well at all…I have never heard of those cities you mentioned.

      I grew up in Florida. It’s been many years since I’ve been there though…so I don’t know Florida too well anymore either.

      Is Mississippi nice?

      Like

  14. Anonymous March 18, 2014 at 4:29 am #

    If I’m citing you what would I use as your name?

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 18, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      Where do you want to cite me?

      Please use my blog title / URL.
      Just as if you cite a dictionary or encyclopedia as a source, an author’s name isn’t necessary.

      Like

  15. Jemma Jones February 1, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    Many thanks for following my blog “My TEFL Adventures (http://www.mytefladvetures.worpress.com)! I hope that you will enjoy my posts about my TEFLing adventures…

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 1, 2014 at 8:54 am #

      Sure! Your blog is interesting!

      Like

  16. Ben December 8, 2013 at 2:47 am #

    You’re a ****head!! Boy oh boy, Jose was sure right about you. He wasn’t even exaggeration about your lack of self esteem and and self loathing.

    Good riddance to traitors of your kind,America is a better place without you.

    A**hole

    Like

    • tokyo5 December 8, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      I edited your rude language. Your silly insults don’t offend me in the slightest … but children use the internet too.

      >Jose was sure right about you.

      You’re referring to the person who made ridiculous claims on a different post over two years ago and when I asked him for more details about those claims, he was never heard of again.

      >He wasn’t even exaggeration (sic) about your lack of self esteem and and self loathing.

      Actually he didn’t say that. You did. About two years ago.

      Sorry though, I’m perfectly happy. No self-confidence issues.
      You sound unhappy with your situation though.

      >Good riddance to traitors of your kind

      What “kind” is that? An immigrant?
      Plenty of Americans immigrate to other countries. And America is made of people who have emigrated from other countries.

      Do you understand what a “traitor” is? Immigrants aren’t traitors.

      >America is a better place without you.

      Is America a better place with you? How have you contributed?

      >A**hole

      Really? And how would you describe yourself?

      Like

      • KatiusciaP December 11, 2013 at 5:05 am #

        Hello, I’m Italian and I’m going to have a Holiday in Tokyo the 13rd of this month so I was browsing the web searching information and just find your blog.
        As I was looking for the more recent comments I just came to read the last and your response, and I don’t understand the stupid comment about your life.
        So I’m writing to you just want to say hi and how beautiful it must be to have a mix between two cultures so different.
        I live in Sardinia, one of the two biggest islands in Italy, and I have a japanese friend here who is married with a sardinian man, and they have a little baby called MiTo in romanji which is SardoJapan we said, half from Sardinia and half from Japan, and they are a really lovely family as I suppose you five are.
        I send you my best regards and wish you and your 4 happy holidays.

        Like

      • tokyo5 December 11, 2013 at 7:29 am #

        Thank you … and don’t be concerned about the comments from “Ben”.
        His nonsense is actually humorous.

        Will you visit Japan the day after tomorrow?
        Your first time here? For how long?
        If you have any questions about Tokyo, feel free to use my blog’s “Contact Me” form to ask me.

        What part of Japan is your friend from?

        By the way, my grandfather was Italian.
        He immigrated to America from Sicily. So I guess I’m 1/4 Italian!

        Like

  17. hollywoodsam August 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    >What kind of painting?

    Search on my blog show you what kind of paintings I do.

    >KISS Alive II !
    That was my first KISS record was I was a kid!

    Kiss are quite big in Japan. That’s why you really moved to Japan isn’t it?

    >What I really like are photographs.

    Japanese photographers?

    Unless you have done post on it, could you name FIVE THINGS THAT YOU MUST SEE/DO IN TOKYO!

    ありがとう Edo-san

    Like

    • tokyo5 August 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      >my blog show you what kind of paintings I do.

      OK, I’ll check it.

      >KISS…why you really moved to Japan isn’t it?

      Not only were they very popular here, they also have Japanese influences in their image.

      So, maybe subconsciously that is why I came here.

      HAHA!😉

      >Japanese photographers?

      No particular photographers.

      But, as far as painters, I like Hokusai from Japan (he did ukiyoe actually), Monet from France, and Rockwell from America.

      >FIVE THINGS THAT YOU MUST SEE/DO IN TOKYO!

      That’s not so easy. There’s so much to see and do in Tokyo!
      Only five things?

      Sumo at the Kokugikan Sumo Arena,

      Walk from Tsukiji Fish Market → Ginza → Imperial Palace,

      Walk from Meiji Grand Shrine → Omotesando → Harajuku → Shibuya,

      Tokyo Sky Tree → Asakusa → Akihabara,

      Ueno

      There is SO much more to Tokyo than that but I think that’s a good start.

      Like

  18. hollywoodsam August 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    >Paintings?

    はい. します.

    Like

    • tokyo5 August 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

      What kind of painting?
      Oil? Watercolor?
      Landscapes?

      I like art.
      I’m not artistic, but I like to look at it.

      What I really like are photographs.

      Like

  19. hollywoodsam August 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    はい .

    Like

  20. hollywoodsam August 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Kiss alive II kaimashita.

    What I was trying to convey was that I was lazy for not using kanji and hiragana. Romanji is easier. I am still learning. I should try to avoid reading and writing in Romanji if I want to get better at Japanese. Perhaps I will write again in the future only in Japanese as to practise more.

    Arigatou.
    .

    Like

    • tokyo5 August 8, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

      KISS Alive II !
      That was my first KISS record was I was a kid!

      Feel free to write in Japanese if you want to … but no pressure if you don’t.

      I looked at your blog. You’re an artist, aren’t you?

      Like

  21. hollywoodsam August 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    >Is she of Asian descent?

    のつまはくじんです. へんですね.

    >(What happened with typing in Japanese characters?😉 )

    めんどくさい!

    >What kind of music do you listen to?

    音楽が好きです

    ジャズと重金属 等

    キッスのレコードを日本にかいました.

    This is clearly a good exercise for my Japanese. It’s not easy.

    >Why did you choose that specific area?

    It’s the sister city of my city. On my previous trip to Japan we visited their schools, met their teachers and have a connection with the students and staff through my wife’s work. We also have Japanese friends near there. There’s history and a sister city bond. This year is the 25th year of the relationship between cities.

    Thanks again for your advice. Please have a look at what I do, if you haven’t already.

    Matta-ne.

    Like

    • tokyo5 August 8, 2013 at 12:19 am #

      >のつまはくじんです. へんですね.

      (That Japanese is a bit wrong … but you want to say “my wife is caucasian. Isn’t it strange (that she’d be mistaken for Japanese)?”. Right? )

      Yes, that’s odd. Where did that happen? Japanese customs?

      >めんどくさい!(Burdensome)

      You don’t have to write in Japanese if you don’t want to.

      >音楽が好きです

      I like music too.

      >ジャズと重金属

      You want to say that you like jazz and heavy metal.

      Did you use an online translator site?
      That means “heavy metal”… but not the music genre — that’s the scientific term for irons, copper, etc. 😉

      >キッスのレコードを日本にかいました.

      Which KISS record did you buy in Japan?

      >This is clearly a good exercise for my Japanese. It’s not easy.

      Good job too!
      Feel free to write more to me!

      >Please have a look at what I do

      On your blog?
      OK, I will.

      Like

  22. Anonymous August 7, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Thanks for the info. キッスが好きです. はいそうです.

    >For the KISS concert?

    Unfortunately not as they are sold out.

    We are two adults and a baby (10 months old in Oct when we will be there).

    He would still be small enough to carry in a baby carrier however, prams to have a lot of pro’s about them. Many of the large Japanese cities are busy, especially when using the subways. A stroller sounds like the way. We just didn’t want to take too many things with us, as it can be difficult to juggle a baby and a lot of baggage and alike. I just wanted to get as much advice before landing there. You know, be prepared.

    >How did you learn Japanese?

    I like to learn languages. I haven’t studied Japanese per se. Only through conversation and books. The internet helps too. We plan to move to Japan for a while in the near future.

    Why did you move to Japan?

    >Will you be in Tokyo the entire trip?

    We will predominately be in Osaka and surroundings. I haven’t been to Tokyo before. I would like to visit Tokyo this time. Maybe for a few days.

    ありがとうございました

    Like

    • tokyo5 August 7, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      >Unfortunately not as they are sold out.

      They’ve added two more Tokyo dates and I think there are still tickets available for their Osaka show too …

      >in Oct when we will be there

      Which dates in October?

      >We plan to move to Japan for a while in the near future.

      In Osaka?
      To teach English?
      Is your wife, by chance, Japanese?

      >Why did you move to Japan?

      The job that I had at the time in America was understaffed at their Tokyo branch and asked if I’d like to go to Japan for a couple of years …
      that was in 1990.

      >I would like to visit Tokyo this time. Maybe for a few days.

      You should definitely visit Tokyo if you have a chance!

      You could compare Osaka’s “okonomi-yaki” to Tokyo’s version, “monja-yaki”.

      >ありがとうございました

      No problem.
      Any more questions?

      Like

      • hollywoodsam August 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

        Oh…I see that there still tickets. I fly home the next day after the Osaka Castle show. I didn’t see them in Oz, I would consider seeing them in Japan totomo kakkoii desu.

        >Which dates in October?

        1st-22nd.

        >In Osaka?
        To teach English?
        Is your wife, by chance, Japanese?

        No. Outside of Osaka out in the country…Inagawa-cho. Very country!!!!!
        Yes.
        No, but she was mistaken for being Japanese because she had to declare Japanese food in Sydney, watashi wa meccha hen to omoimashita.

        >You could compare Osaka’s “okonomi-yaki” to Tokyo’s version, “monja-yaki”.

        Hai, okonomi-yaki oishii katta desu! Monja-yaki ga tabetai!

        I like Japan. It is good place to buy vinyl. I also plan to make some collages based on the the paper stock i return with from Japan.

        How do you find, as a westerner, living and working in Japan? You clearly speak Japanese and are more confidant there now than if you were to return to the states after so many years.

        Arigatou!

        Like

      • tokyo5 August 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

        >I would consider seeing them in Japan

        Tickets are a bit pricey … but a KISS concert is very exciting and this may be their final tour.

        >(October) 1st-22nd.

        Oh, a long holiday!
        Just sightseeing?

        >Outside of Osaka out in the country…Inagawa-cho.

        Why did you choose that specific area?

        >Yes (to teach English)

        Do you have a job lined up in Japan?

        >she was mistaken for being Japanese

        Is she of Asian descent?

        >Monja-yaki ga tabetai

        Do you know about monja?
        It’s very tasty!
        (What happened with typing in Japanese characters? 😉 )

        >It is good place to buy vinyl

        Record albums?
        There are many record (and CD) stores in Tokyo!
        What kind of music do you listen to?

        >How do you find, as a westerner, living and working in Japan?

        I love Japan, especially Tokyo, very much!

        >more confidant there now than if you were to return to the states after so many years.

        Well, if I went back to America, it would certainly be a culture-shock and it would take a while for me to re-adjust!

        Like

  23. hollywoodsam August 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    キシスが好きです. 十月私は日本へいきます.
    Second time there, first with a bub. Any suggestions for making life easier travelling around. The whole to pram or not to pram and breast feeding in public?

    あなた のblog おもしろい とおもいます. ありがとう.

    Like

    • tokyo5 August 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      > キシスが好きです

      You mean 「キッスが好きです。」?

      >十月私は日本へいきす。

      For the KISS concert?

      >Second time there

      When did you visit Japan before? For how long?

      >first with a bub.

      Does that mean “baby” ?

      >Any suggestions for making life easier travelling around.

      How many adults? How many kids? How old is the baby?

      Will you be in Tokyo the entire trip?

      >The whole to pram or not to pram

      How big and heavy is the stroller?
      Unlike when my kids were babies, almost every train and subway station in Tokyo has escalators and elevators now… so I’d certainly use a stroller if I had a baby. A small, lightweight stroller would be best.

      >breast feeding in public?

      Not really done in Japan.
      There are baby changing / feeding rooms in some stores … but you should use a bottle in public.

      >あなた のblog おもしろい とおもいます.

      Thank you!
      How did you learn Japanese?

      Like

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