“This is Japan” is a weekly blog post where I talk a about my life in Japan.

It’s a place where I can share some of the strange, funny, or interesting stories from my week. Sometimes it is a bit personal or random, but I hope you will enjoy learning what it is like to live in Japan.

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I’m going to Thailand! Tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning I will be heading to the airport to board a plane bound for Bangkok and then Chiang Mai. It is not a personal trip though. It is a research/study trip with a few students and professors from my university.

We will stay in Chiang Mai for about 10 days where we will visit Chiang Mai University and meet with and interview a few Hmong and Tai Yai (Shan) women.

As you may know there are many ethnic groups in northern Thailand. They are generally referred to as hill tribe people. Hmong and Tai Yai are two ethnic groups. Hmong people are originally from China, and Tai Yai are from Myanmar.

We will also visit a few cultural centres as well as a monastery for women monks. My group is focusing on women in the markets, so we will visit a few different markets.

There is even a bit of time in our schedule to see one or two temples. And free time in the evenings to explore the markets. So, while even though it is a research trip, and we have to do work, I think it will be kinda sorta fun.

Read: Amphawa Floating Market in Thailand

This is also my first international trip since I have started a travel blog

So I will try harder to take photos of things which I might not normally take a photo. I have noticed now, that as I look back through my photos when I want to write a new post, I don’t have photos of things that I would like. Like restaurants, food, signs, or general street life.

Hopefully I will come back with lots of new post ideas and photos to go with them. Fingers crossed I don’t get too shy or awkward to take photos.

going to thailand

In other Japan-related news

I picked up some McDonald’s on my way home from school this evening. Remember when I said Japan always has new and limited time only menu items? Well, at McDonalds right now is a locomoco burger, which I think is a Hawaiian thing.

Today I had a curry locomoco burger. It was a patty, a fried egg, and curry sauce. I can’t recall every eating a curry burger, so I tried it, but to my slight disappointment, it was not as yummy as I’d hoped. It wasn’t terrible by far. I could eat it easily, but I might have preferred a cheese locomoco.

McDonald's Loco Moco

So, I guess that’s it for now, folks.

I am still planning to update my blog with regular posts while I am gone. So you can all look forward to that!

I’m going to Thailand tomorrow!

Have you been Chiang Mai? Let me know in the comment section.

Read: Wat Bang Kung, the Temple Inside a Tree



  1. Haha! I think it’s durian season now. If you have time you could try getting a car with driver to bring you to Chiangrai for a day trip.

    • Is it durian season. That might explain why it is everywhere. I just thought everyone loved it all the time. I tasted it yesterday, and I did taste a hint of onion. And I wore plastic gloves so my hands don’t stink afterward. My friends liked it. I wish I had time to go to Chiangmai, but unfortunately we don’t.

  2. That’s exciting!! I’m sure you will enjoy the trip even if you are going there to do work. Looking forward to your Thailand posts!
    I know what you mean about not having the photos that you would like, I’ve been finding the same thing. I’m planning to take different types of photos next time we travel now that I know I intend to share it on our blog.

    Also, I’m glad you got to try the loco moco burger! It is a Hawaiian thing and my friend showed me a photo of it when she was in Japan and we really wanted to try it! That’s too bad it isn’t as good as it sounds.

    • It’s a bit annoying now that I don’t have some photos of things I want to write about. But at the time a lot of things didn’t seem photo worthy. Ya know?

      I’m glad I tried the burger too. Next time I might just try a regular locomotor and not the curry one. If it’s still there, that is. Guess I need to go back to Hawaii 😉

      • Yes, totally know what you mean! I am annoyed too that I don’t have the photos of my past trips that I want to write about 🙁

        Yes, always a good excuse to go back to Hawaii 😉

  3. Wow Jen, have an amazing time in Thailand. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip both from a tourist point of view and your studies and cultural perspective.

    I have also noticed the same thing in my travel pictures, a lack of the details that I want to write about, so I am also trying to stop and photograph the details (at least when my friends and family are patient enough to put up with it).

    As for the locomoco burger, how interesting to find it as a hamburger at McDonalds. We had locomoco in Hawaii and it was delicious, but when I tried to recreate it at home, it was not so good. Maybe it is just always better in Hawaii?!

    • Thanks. It’s only been a day here so far, but I like it. I hope I have some interesting tourist and cultural things to report. It can be hard to take photos sometimes, but I’m trying to take more this time. Probably the best place to get locomoco burgers is only in Hawaii, and anything else will never be as good.

      • I’m sure it will be a wonderful trip for you. Enjoy the experience and safe travels, Jen! 🙂 And as for the locomoco, I think that is just one of Hawaii’s many ways of making visitors return…

  4. You can refer to my blogs on Chiangmai if you want to know where to visit. And yes I do have a blog about visiting the hill tribes in Chiangmai. Chiangmai is a nice city and I personally prefer it over Bangkok.

    • Thanks, I did check them out. I really want to see the White Temple, but it is Chiangrai. Chiangmai does seem nice. I really like it here so far. I have not been to Bangkok though so I can’t compare. I’ve seen and smelled lots of durian 😉

  5. Oooh exciting! I love the feeling that precedes a trip. The excitement, the packing, the rushing around with a thousand things on your mind. You go have a ball, lady. Will wait to read your observations from Thailand.

    The locomoco burger sounds odd. Curry in a burger! I might pass on it.

    Safe journey 🙂 xx

  6. How exciting! I’ve never been, but the landscapes and the food must be incredible.

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