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Why did I give up meat (and more) for a week?

Not long after arriving in Japan, I started to have digestive issues. I thought my changed diet was a shock to my system but as the months went by things got worse. After extensive research, trips to the doctor and allergy tests it turns out I am lactose intolerant (which I knew) but also intolerant to… BEEF?!?!? but but I love beef. I was also “getting up in age” and my eating habits had to change.

give up meat - sushi pescatarian

Sugar!

Before now, I didn’t have the economic means (or discipline) to give up meat. I decided to do a one week experiment to not only give up meat but also dairy and to greatly reduce my sugar intake – a pescatarian diet technically. April 1st to 7th lined up perfectly – It was spring break from school. I had already hardly consumed dairy so that was easy and surprisingly I didn’t miss meat much but sugar, sugar, sugar. I had some serious cravings for sweet things and had to get used to not adding sugar to anything or eating certain snacks.

Positive Results

By day three my stomach felt so much better, no more constipation and gas, regular easy trips to the toilet and honestly more energy. Although I have started to eat meat again I have decided to be more mindful of how much I consume. I want to only cook chicken at home and when eating elsewhere I will try to opt for things with no or less meat.

Next Challenge – One Month

I did seven days without much stress so next time I want to do a month! The next big break from school is in August and I think I am going to go for it. It wasn’t the intention but maybe one day I will be able to take on the pescatarian lifestyle fully. We shall see. Got any tips and recipes? Tweet me @Jamaipanese or leave a comment below

Monster Hunter Rise 1st impressions

When I first got introduced to the Monster Hunter series with Monster Hunter Tri I described it as the “perfect ego masseuse and stress reliever”. The feeling of achievement after beating a difficult monster is addictive especially when you start realizing how you have grown when you crush troublesome early monsters like cockroaches late in the game only to wet your diapers when you randomly run into a Deviljho. Will Monster Hunter Rise continue to the legacy?

Monster Hunter formula remains

11 years later and the core formula remains the same with Monster Hunter Rise; fight monsters, upgrade your equipment, defend the town, keep the balance and feel good doing it. After playing Monster Hunter World a lot my PS4 broke just when Monster Hunter Iceborne was released. I ended up not playing it at all so I am extra excited about Rise.

Monster Hunter Rise

Demo and weapon selection

I played the Monster Hunter Rise demo sparsely as I only wanted to get a feel for the weapons. The demo is still available via the Nintendo eshop if you want to try out the game. The 4 weapons I decided to go with are the Sword and Shield, Gunlance, Light Bowgun and my always reliable Lance. I considered switching my lance out for the Charge blade but as the monsters got harder and harder I went right back to my most reliable weapon.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

What makes Monster Hunter Rise Different?

The big additions to Monster Hunter Rise are the wirebug, the palamute and riding monsters:

  • The wirebug is for traversing the world vertically. This game is really built tall and this tool makes it easy to move around.
  • The palamute is a new dog animal companion that players can ride and battle alongside
  • Riding monsters is so much fun. Mounting has been in Monster Hunter for a while but now paired with the wirebug acting as the reins the process is more involved and fun

Monster Hunter Rise

Let’s explore Kamura Village together

30+ hours in, I am just about to enter High Rank, but like Monster Hunter World, I think Rise is awesome! The story surrounding the Kamura Village is nothing to write home about but I dig the Japan-themed setting, new monster and the excellent music. I look forward to enjoying this game for a long time. If you want to play together the best way to get in touch is on Twitter @Jamaipanese or during one of my live streams or leaving a comment below. I will have more to say about Monster Hunter Rise once I have got some more experience playing.

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise



Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise

Shimanami Kaido cycling adventure

Shimanami Kaido is an epic cycling route that connects Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture to Imabari City in Ehime. You can start the 70+ km journey from either end but I started from Onomichi with friends. We decided to do the journey in 2 days seeing that none of us were fit or experienced cyclists.

Tale of two days

It was really a tale of two days with the first day being bright sunny and relatively manageable with the 2nd day being a rainy hilly nightmare. I did a very poor job recording footage and taking pictures, especially on the second day as I needed every fibre of my being to focus on pedalling. In the end, it was worth it and I highly recommend it in good weather. You can take your time and see the sights or start early and complete it in one day.

Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido box checked

Maybe someday I will return better prepared and attempt it from the Ehime side. I honestly had a memorable experience cycling the Shimanami Kaido and it is right up there close to my Mount Fuji hike in terms of the great feeling of achievement when I finished.

I wonder what the next adventure will be – subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow me on Twitter @Jamaipanese. Thank you for your support!

Shimanami Kaido


Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Kaido cycling adventure


Poorly explaining the joy of Blogging and Content Creation

I’ve got myself a new camera and though my reasons I have trouble vlogging remain, I must say I have been enjoying creating videos lately. My Youtube channel is getting content at a rate it hasn’t seen in years and I have so many videos planned out with more and more seeing the light of day – blogging and content creation is fun?

Winter Adventure Video

One video I like to look back on and remember the joy I got from making it is my Winter adventure video shot in 2 hours on a cold stormy evening after work. I honestly wasn’t feeling so great but I took a turn in the opposite direction of home when leaving work and started to film. A couple more hours of editing and voila!

Blogging and Content Creation

I like blogging and content creation

I hope I can continue to reproduce this joy when making content. Void of the dollar signs and the attention – I just really like blogging and content creation. I must like it to be doing in here for 15 years and a couple of years more before that. It doesn’t have to be a career but I take it seriously and I have noticed time and time again over the years how this sensation has refuelled me – my Winter Adventure is just the most recent dose.

What do you enjoy doing? Tell me via a comment below or tweet me @Jamaipanese

Nyaruto! Naruto Figures from MegaHouse

What do you get when you combine Naruto and cats? Nyaruto! This is a set of 8 Naruto characters transformed into small vinyl figures and I got the whole set. Let’s check them out together as they are inspected by Alphonse.

This is actually the 2nd set released by Mega House. I didn’t get the first nyaruto set because it sold out everywhere but I wasn’t disappointed because this set had more of my favourite characters. So let’s go through them in order of my favourites.

Nyaruto! NARUTO – MegaHouse figures

1st up we have the Ero Sennin himself – Jiraiya. He is my favourite character and I took his death in the anime so bad I stopped watching afterwards. A post about why I like the Naruto anime is one of the 1st posts on this very blog!

2nd we have Orochimaru who to me is one of the best characters in anime or manga period. He is quite creepy as well but unlike Jiraiya, he died cheaply and was just tossed aside after being the big bad for much of the early part of the series.

Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„

3rd I will go with Rock Lee – That Rock Lee vs Gaara fight in the chuunin exams is a classic and another example of how the Naruto storyline was so much better and connected in the early parts of the series before the time jump.

Next up we have Lady Tsunade – an alcoholic and a gambler that could punch you into next week but skilled enough to heal you to full health before you get there. She became the leader of the hidden leaf village at a very important time.

Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„

Zabuza or the Demon of the Hidden Mist was the first antagonist in Naruto. His arc really sold me on the series and showed that this wasn’t going to be some cherry flavoured happily ever after story. Zabuza came to kill and would have murdered everyone if it wasn’t for Kakashi’s Sharingan.

Haku was the weaker partner in the team with Zabuza and the two had a complicated relationship. He sacrificed himself to try to win the battle for his master and his death scene laying beside Zabusa is a real tear-jerker.

Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„

The star, the hero, the main character and the namesake of the series. Naruto as a character isn’t that unique and takes on all the tropes of many shonen manga characters. He has just enough uniqueness to stand on his own though and makes a great protagonist.

This is were the Sasuke fans will try to burn down my house but I wasn’t a fan. His backstory is tragic, yes but I didn’t really like his arc and I think he had the most plot armour of any character in the series – feel free to change my mind in a comment below.

Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„

More please!

Here are some more pictures of the figures. Leave a comment below telling me your favourite Naruto character and don’t forget to subscribe to me on YouTube and check me out @Jamaipanese on Twitter!

Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„

Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„





Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„
Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„
Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„
Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„
Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„

Nyaruto! NARUTO - Mega House figures - γ‚΅γ‚Ήγ‚±γο½žγ‚“γ“γ£γ‘γ«γ„γ‚‰γ£γ—γ‚ƒο½žγ„

DJI Pocket 2 – small portable cameras have never been better

For the last few months, I have been using the DJI Pocket 2. I really like watching tech reviews, but I am sometimes a bit sceptical, as I believe that when you spend your own money to buy the product that you are reviewing, you can see it in a different light. I wouldn’t call this a review per se but here are my quick thoughts on the DJI Pocket 2 creator combo from a consumer’s point of view. I’ll share what I like about it, what could be improved and my favourite accessories.

About the DJI Pocket 2

The DJI Pocket 2 is the 2nd version of the DJI pocket camera series. Its main selling points are its tiny size, high-quality videos, stabilized footage, time-lapses and accessories that can take it from a camera you pull out to quickly catch a video of the baby walking for the first time to a production behemoth complete with wireless audio and so much more.

dji pocket 2 creator combo

What the DJI Pocket 2 does well

Stable crisp footage! cellphones and action cameras have come a long way but nothing beats a gimbal and there is none smaller than the DJI pocket 2. The pocket 2 can shoot at various framerates and resolutions all the way up to 4K.

Speed! – you can power on this little thing in 2 seconds – no waiting for boot screens or any kind of loading. Press the button and its ready to shoot.

Audio! – Audio is a big deal and is often overlooked when it comes to making videos. Not only does this thing have multiple mics on the device that you can manipulate depending on what you are shooting it also has wireless audio if you get the creator combo.

Timelapses! – This is by far the feature I have used to most. The timelapse capabilities and options on this little thing are insane. The gimbal can be programmed to do some really creative motions while recording a timelapse. I am still in awe at the shots I got visiting castles and shrines/temples in Shikoku, Japan.

Small size! – The “pocket” in the name is not a marketing ploy. This thing is incredibly small and light but still, sturdy and doesn’t feel cheap. Its small size and ergonomics make it unassuming, unlike a giant DSLR or cellphone.

dji pocket 2 case clip pokemon

What could be improved

Wireless connection to Phone – I think the wireless connection to the phone is unstable and unreliable half the time I use it. I also think the feature should be standard and not require an accessory

PC Connection – Why can’t I connect this camera to my PC and use it as a webcam DJI? By far this is the thing I am most upset about as I thought this was just standard with any type of camera these days. With each firmware update, I keep hoping the ability will be added

Object Tracking? – It works…okay but again so unreliable and jittery even in great lighting. So many wasted takes to the point where I have just given up on using this feature for my vlogs and figure shoots like my recent Samus and Dark Samus Amiibo video.

Favourite accessories for the DJI Pocket 2

My favourite accessories are a carrying case that allows me to neatly bring everything I got in the creator combo and more. The wireless mic I got in the said combo is also unbelievably useful and high quality. The wireless control module can be a little finicky but it is how I use the Pocket 2 95% of the time. It allows me to set up shots without worrying. Believe it or not, a simple multipurpose clip is one of the best things I could have bought for this camera and the Pocket 2’s size allows me to do things I could never do with bulkier cameras.

dji pocket 2 creator combo desk

There you have it. Thoughts on the DJI pocket 2 from a consumer – the things I like, the things I don’t and my favourite accessories. I will link to a few of the videos I have uploaded to Youtube below and I have at least half a dozen projects in the pipeline I am excitedly working on. So let me know what are your thoughts on this camera an tell me what camera you are using!

Project Triangle Strategy Demo – turn-based strategy is back?

Project Triangle Strategy is the working title of a turn-based strategy RPG from Square Enix coming in 2022. It was revealed at the recent Nintendo Direct and seems to use the same engine and 3D HD sprites system from Octopath Traveler (a game I didn’t get around to playing).

Turn-based Strategy

I LOVE turn-based strategy titles with Final Fantasy Tactics advance being one of my favourite games ever on a handheld console. From the demo, I am getting obvious FF Tactics vibes but also a pinch of other games (and TV shows) like Chrono Trigger, Fire Emblem Three Houses and *wait for it*… Game of Thrones?!?

Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY

Project Triangle Strategy Demo

The demo is out now on the Switch and was a pleasant surprise. It did a great job showing off the game mechanics. However, what I am really excited about is the “convictions” story element whereas the player I can choose between choices aligned with Utility, Morality or Liberty and it will drastically affect the story. Just from the demo, these choices were already on show, with my two playthroughs yielding very different battles and locations depending on if I handed over the prince or not. I can’t say the story curveballs were anywhere as good in Fire Emblem and that was a disappointment.

Genuinely excited

I am genuinely excited about what’s to come in Project Triangle Strategy. There are so many likeable (and annoying) characters previewed already and I can’t wait to put my team together to take on the bad guys. I already see an attention to detail and a more mature kind of storytelling that if done right could make this game an instant classic.

Did you play the demo or watch the trailer? Let me know in a comment below or tweet me @jamaipanese

The Boring Book – Japanese Children’s book

There has been a book collecting dust on my desk at work. Another result of my on again off again frustration when studying Japanese. “The Boring Book” is the English title for ぀まんγͺい ぀まんγͺい by Shinsuke Yoshitake. It is a picturebook released in 2017. I finally took it up dusted it off and read it in one sitting – It shouldn’t have taken me this long. You’d think that after my Unko Kanji Drill success I would have kept the momentum going.

The boring book - ぀まんγͺい ぀まんγͺい by Shinsuke Yoshitake

぀まんγͺい ぀まんγͺい by Shinsuke Yoshitake

The book follows a little kid as she tries to find something interesting to do with her free time. After many crazy attempts, she finally chats with her grandfather and then her father but in the end, she is still… bored!

The Boring Book

぀まんγͺい ぀まんγͺい turned out to be a good read. It’s all in hiragana with simple sentences and vocabulary. Absolute beginners who are learning Hiragana and Katakana will find this book useful and even those who know kana can use it to practice reading. I originally plucked it from my school library to practice reading faster and faster because at the moment my reading speed is atrocious. It is very similar to another picturebook I enjoyed – I have a complaint – I am just realising that it is by the same author when writing this post.

The boring book - ぀まんγͺい ぀まんγͺい by Shinsuke Yoshitake

Check it out if you are looking for simple books to read. Tweet me @Jamaipanese if you do or if you are more advanced and want to recommend simple picturebooks for me to read in one or two sittings.

Samus Aran + Dark Samus Amiibo

Ever since Nintendo teased Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch I have waited and waited for any official news about the game but it has been mostly silence other than the development reboot announcement. I got the squishy Metroid Amiibo I made a video about last year and I have had the Samus Aran and Dark Samus Amiibos sitting around hoping that Nintendo would bless us with news, it’s not to be, at least not at the time I am making this post.

Samus and Dark Samus are now out of their packaging and though they don’t threaten the squishy Metroid Amiibo as my favourite I do like them both. The Samus Aran Amiibo has her in her iconic pose while the Dark Samus is in the form she appeared in Smash brothers and pairs well with my 4th figure from the series I own, the evil leader of the bounty hunters – Ridley.

Metroid Prime 4 news

The waiting game for Metroid Prime 4 news continues and I am honestly not holding out much hope that we will see in this calendar year. I am thinking a March 2022 release at the earliest. Making this video made me think how would I rank my collection of Metroid franchise amiibos?

Samus Amiibo

Ranking my Metroid Amiibo Collection

I don’t have every Metroid amiibo ever released but from the ones I have, I would say that Dark Samus brings up the rear. It isn’t that interesting and might be the amiibo I regret buying the most. Next up we have the Ridley – I love Ridley as a character ever since he slapped me with his tail in the Super Metroid prologue but other than his pose the smash bros amiibo version is just meh.

Samus Amiibo

Samus Amiibo

My 2nd favourite figure is the Samus Aran – I love the colours, the pose and the quality and I think it will look great anywhere I put it in my house. Unsurprisingly, my favourite is the squishy but cute while still being terrifying Metroid – I’d love to see more amiibos with this level of creativity and uniqueness vs just plastic statues fixed to a stand.

metroid amiibo

Do you have any of these or any other amiibos? Which is your favourite? Let me know if you are also waiting on Metroid Prime 4 news and tell me when you think it will be released in a tweet @jamaipanese or comment below.

6 Tips for Living in Japan – be mindful of these things

I have lived in Japan for a few years now and I often get questions from persons looking to move to Japan or seeking advice on things they have heard. I thought I’d put together a post covering tips for living in Japan I find myself repeating or discussing based on my personal experiences, observations and those of my friends and acquaintances of different backgrounds, genders, ages, races etc. living all over Japan. My intention is not to be overly critical of Japan but to have a discussion. My opinion(s) can evolve and change over time but I thought it would be useful to those moving to, new to Japan or living here for a while and wondering how their experiences compare to others. Share your opinion by tweeting me @Jamaipanese on Twitter or send me an email. Thank you for reading – let’s start!

Japanese Yen

Talking about money

Money is a taboo subject in Japan and when it is talked about it is such a spicy topic that you have to be extra careful. Never overpay or underpay, never flaunt how much you have or complain if you don’t have enough. When repaying people, splitting the bill or contributing to something ensure you do so down to the exact yen. It doesn’t matter your comparable salary or standard of living or hierarchyΒ  – you can thank me afterwards. I also made a whole podcast episode about money manners in Japan.

Calling people nicknames

In the west having a nickname in nothing special – nicknames are common in Japan too – usually used among family members and close longtime friends. Sounds the same right? Not quite! in Japan, your name is a big deal and you never want to make negative modifications to it or assign people names. Jamaicans are legendary for the names we “affectionately” assign to each other – don’t do it to a Japanese friend you have gotten close to – use the name(s) you hear other calling them. Also, you can never go wrong with just adding san(さん) to their family name.

Tips for Living in Japan

Respecting time

The usual spin on time when it comes to Japan is that you always have to be on time! That is true but I think its more about respecting time itself and the time of others. Jamaica is synonymous with “island time” and Jamaicans are known for almost never respecting time – I’ll for as far as to say its a cultural thing as we selfishly go at our own pace. Time is finite and we don’t know how much of it we have so you have to not only be on time but take extra care to respect the time of others when navigating life in Japan.

Labelling (known for one thing)

In Japan, you are what you are and you will always be that way. It’s like you are a strict mould and there is almost nothing you can do to change how you are perceived. From simple things to if you like a particular food to big things like your job to massive things like if you did something bad, or made a mistake. There is a giant label slapped on to you and it is rare to rewrite it. It’s not unusual for Japanese people to move great distances to reinvent themselves or hide entire parts of their personality and/or interests to avoid being known for nothing more than that one thing.

β€œThe nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

Expectations of others and not standing out

Japanese people for the most part conform to society’s expectations and try to be mindful of others – at least in a public setting and when they are not drunk. Just existing within Japanese society can be difficult and not many people want to talk about why so many Japanese are socially challenged. Some break under the weight of it all becoming social recluses or having entire lives and positive experiences away from the gaze of the masses.

What it means to be Intelligent

It Japan intelligence is often measured by your ability to remember things, match patterns or to do something over and over and over again. Basically memory, pattern matching and repetition; you see it so clearly in their testing – no matter the subject. This matches up with the things Japan is good at and known for such as manufacturing, science, cuisine etc. However, the ability to think independently is not really encouraged. Divert from the script or fiddle with the pattern and many people literally short circuit before seeking advice from the mother-ship no matter how simple the fix would be.

Got any tips for living in Japan? Was this helpful?

I could list even more things to be mindful of when living in Japan. If you enjoyed this post or disagree let me know (@jamaipanese)! I might do a followup post in the future with more tips for living in Japan. Check out my post about the cost of living in Japan as some of my friends share their monthly utility and rent expenses.

Utilities and Rent – Cost of Living in Japan