justin

Sakura House’s New Concierge!

Hi all, Sakura House staff are known for being knowledgeable and helpful, but each of us has a specialty.  Some of our staff are more interested in food, some of us are into events in Tokyo, and some of us are into travel. Allow me to introduce Mr. Ono, otherwise known as the travel master.   On standby, ready to help you with a smile! If you need to fly to Osaka then take a train to Fukui followed by an overnight bus to Aomori, this is the man to speak to. Maybe you need to get to your new  Ono-san is a walking encyclopedia of travel!! So if you […]

The Best Parts About Living in Japan

Hi everyone, After realizing that I’d been living in Japan for 4 and a half years (only ever planned to stay one), I thought maybe it would be a good idea to write about what has kept me here so long. The internet is crammed full of Japan-related content these days.  Some of it is really great stuff — people who generally seem to love living here and can appreciate Nippon despite some of its quirkier shortcomings.  Some of the not-so-good content ranges from ALT “I got kanchoed” compilations (don’t get me wrong — it’s funny the first time) to news stories that portray Japan as a strange country to blogs that find […]

Omiyage Galore at Sakura House

At Sakura House, we have staff from all over the world, including France, Bangladesh, the U.S, Korea, China, Taiwan, and even Algeria. But whenever a staff member goes home, we still expect them to bring back omiyage!  Omiyage is the Japanese custom of bringing something back from a trip to give to your colleagues.  Normally it’s just a small snack or sweets or something.  It’s a way to say thanks to your coworkers who helped carry the extra workload while you were gone. So how did our staff who took vacations say thanks this week? Let’s see…   Just look at that spread! What do we have here.. First up […]

Harajuku A House – A Cool History

Working at Sakura House, I get to introduce customers to some really cool buildings.  But as it turns out, the original Sakura House is still the coolest. In 1992, when we first started, we opened this house in Harajuku.  After a few years, some of the rooms were converted into an art gallery called Design Festa Gallery!  Both the gallery and the housing agency have expanded and grown by leaps and bounds since this first building began operating. The rooms that we still rent in the building for monthly stay are extremely popular with artists and young people wishing to experience Harajuku on full blast!  Where else can you live […]

Burger Time at Nakameguro

What better to do on a day off in Tokyo than go eat a delicious cheeseburger? Maybe if you’re only here for a month or so you’ll want to eat only Japanese food.  But after being in Japan for a few months, you start to miss food from home!  Gotta get your fix. I went with my friends Michael and Adrian to celebrate Michael’s birthday.  We chose Sasa Burger in Nakameguro!  It’s the only place you can get the Nakameguro burger. In some parts of Japan it’s still hard to find a good burger, but Tokyo has it covered.  Just take a look at this: Definitely some of the best […]

Sakura House Futsal – TONY CUP!

Hey guys, Justin here. I know that yesterday’s post was about futsal too, so sorry for the double post! At Sakura House, we’re always trying to stay active, and we like to exercise with our residents.  It lets us get to know you guys better. Last week’s match was at Ochiai Minami Nagasaki’s iTerrace building, on the roof!  It was nice to be able to see Shinjuku in the distance.  The match was in honor of a staff who left us recently, named Tony.  Current and former Sakura House staff came to participate, as well as some of our residents.  Here are some highlights from the game!       […]

Gumbo @ Sakura Cafe Ikebukuro!

Hey guys!  Justin here.  I’m back from the states and feeling refreshed, but a bit jet-lagged, and of course.. HUNGRY. While I was at my parents’ house in South Carolina I was able to eat all of my favorite food from home.  When I got back to Japan, I was surprised to find that the Gumbo recipe I taught to Sakura Cafe Ikebukuro a long time ago is now on the menu!  Hooray!  My family loves eating this kind of food in the fall or at Christmas time. Now doesn’t that look great?  Of course, back home, we tend to leave out the octopus. On sale now at Sakura Cafe […]

From Japan to U.S – Reverse Culture Shock?

Hi everyone, Sakura House sales staff Justin here. On Monday of next week, I’ll be returning home to the U.S for the first time in two years. That’s a long time to be away. I’ll take some time Those of you just arriving in Japan or people thinking about moving abroad might be reading about culture shock. I clearly remember my culture shock, the difficulty that came with trying to integrate into a new community and a new country. More than just eating a new food or learning a new language, culture shock is more about identifying with your surroundings. I’ve learned to take the bad with the good, to see the […]

Okonomiyaki Restaurant Sakura Tei to get ENGLISH Website!

Okonomiyaki, or “Japanese pancakes” if tongue-twisters aren’t your thing, is one of the main treats that first-timers to Japan seek out when coming here.  Despite the dish’s popularity, it’s still tough to find an okonomiyaki restaurant with a full English menu and service! Despite just getting an English menu last winter (also translated by yours truly), the number of non-Japanese tourists and Tokyo-ites seeking out the fluffy stuff served up by Harajuku‘s Sakura Tei okonomiyaki restaurant is rapidly growing.  To keep pace with the growing demand, I’ve been recruited to create the English content for this website!  Hooray! (I better get some free okonomiyaki..) No easy task, to be sure. […]

Night Art Aquarium in Nihonbashi!

I’ve always loved goldfish ever since I was a little kid.  Although I was never able to raise one past a lifespan of about 3 days, the ones I did have (usually won at the county fair) brought me joy in the short time that they stayed alive. So now, when my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to go to an aquarium exhibit in Nihonbashi with thousands of goldfish swimming around, of course I can’t say no!  It’s an “art aquarium”, produced by Hidetomo Kimura, and it only runs during the summer.  And wait a sec… there’s cocktails and DJs at night?  This could be cool. For the full […]