Showing posts from May, 2017

Hidden Japan: IZU Part 2 of 2 (Shuzenji)

For Part 1 about Izu's Mishima City, Click Here.  Welcome back to Shizuoka, Japan's peninsula of Izu! As some kind locals pointed out, these are only a fraction of fun things to do, based on the sights I was able to squeeze into my last trip to Japan, and it still required a second part! So strap in, because our next stop is Shuzenji! Outside the entrance to Shuzenji, the Buddhist Temple  Like Mishima, Shuzenji is one of those seemingly tranquil towns, hiding massive quantities of history, sights, and culture! Straight away you will notice the rural feel, beautiful Katsura River, and the romantic, red bridges and hand rails running along it.  Shuzenji is said to be founded by Kobodaishi, the prominent Buddhist monk of Japanese folklore. This semi-historical figure, like America's Johnny Appleseed, had a mysterious knack for locating onsen , natural hot springs, up and down Japan. The name of the foot onsen below, "Tokko", means iron club, because Koboda

Adulting 101 Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of " Why Did No One Tell Me?!? " or, " What High School Should Have Taught Me. " ( Part 1 is here. ) Buy a house. You need to live somewhere, right?  It seems obvious and an oft mentioned part of The American Dream, but if you're like me, you grew up in an apartment. If high school taught how to get from living with your parents to moving into your own home, I must have been sick that day. Besides what we learned in Part 2 about needing good credit , I was 25 years old before I heard anyone mention that the typical down payment for a home is 20%. To give you an idea of size of that challenge: According the the U.S. census , the median price for a new home in the U.S. is $315,100, so 20% of that is $63,000!! By the time I realized this, I had already been in the workforce for 9 years, and had saved nothing toward that - overly concerned with paying off student loans quickly, which I also discussed in Part 2.  Another thing I ha