Matsudai-machi, Niigata-ken

Hello, and welcome to Niigata-ken, a delightful location on the Sea of Japan. You're probably more familiar with its neighbor to the south, Nagano. Niigata is known for its skiing areas, hot springs, and rice production.

Why the snow motif? Coming from Michigan, one of the colder regions of America where lake-effect snow is common, I thought I had plenty of experience with the white stuff. Then I heard about Matsudai. It seems this rural, mountainous area can have three meters dumped on it at once. The nearby town of Tokamachi is famous for its annual snow festival in February, during which building-size sculptures are carved out of ice and snow. Having my car buried under a foot of snow overnight and seeing my front steps virtually disappear over a weekend is more than enough in my book.

This page (a companion to my University of Michigan site) is designed to record my exploits and discoveries in Japan when I worked as an Assistant Language Teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching program from 1999 to 2001.

Journal excerpts detailing my daily life in Japan.

Photo gallery of Matsudai and other highlights.

Reviews of the Japanese comics with which I keep myself occupied.

So cuddle up nice and cozy and enjoy the scenery!

This page best viewed with the font Calligrapher.
Page last updated September 9, 2001.