For anyone living in Korea, or anyone of Asian heritage, people can notice that many have a layered and complicated relationship to Japan. Because of what I learned growing up, I never found myself interested to go there, but by some random chance, I visited three years ago while working at Chungdahm. I met this Japanese person who ended up being my best friend, and I am lucky enough to have seen the things and the people that I have there through and with her. She does a lot of resistance work with both mainland Japanese and Okinawan artists and activists who demand fair rights, justice, and truth. There are so many incredible people creating communities of care and liberation, and I feel so thankful to see what is happening on the ground, giving me a more complex perception of the cultures around me.Read More
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
When you are teaching in Korea and have a 3 day weekend working for ChungDahm or April, it's always worth your while to take a mini vacation if you can afford it. Now that I am splitting my time between teaching ChungDahm and April Academy, I am getting more time off. Knowing that Lunar New Year would be coming up, my friend and I realized how expensive those tickets would be. So we decided to go on our trip the weekend before the major holiday. She had never been to Osaka or Kyoto so we decided to see if we could spend one day in Osaka and one day in Kyoto. My advice would be to not do it. A one day trip to either place is not nearly enough time to soak in what each city has to offer. There is so much to see and do in both places, you will not do either city its justice. Many teachers love to go to Osaka because it is only a 2 hour flight from Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Kansai International Airport (KIX). The last time I took this trip, we spent a full day at Universal Studios Japan (Osaka) and toured the following day. However, many teachers don't realize how close, how beautiful, and how historic Kyoto is. Here was my to-do list for traveling to Kyoto.Read More
As soon as I found out about the Lunar New Year holiday, I was excited to plan a trip to Tokyo with friends for our first ChungDahm vacation. The Lunar New Year holiday (Seollal) granted us a 4-day weekend to explore Tokyo. One of the perks of teaching in Korea is that Tokyo is a mere 2 hour flight from Seoul. Flying from Gimpo into Haneda was the best option for us, as Gimpo is a mere express stop from my place in Seoul, and Haneda is the closest airport to the center of Tokyo. We booked our flights online a month before the trip, through Orbitz. However, traveling anywhere during the Lunar New Year in Korea is expensive, and we ended up paying quite a bit for our tickets (around $500). If you are planning on traveling during holidays in Korea, I would recommend arranging transportation as far in advance as possible, and taking your time researching the cheapest route possible! It is possible to get a round trip to Tokyo from Seoul for as cheap as $150... obviously not during peak traveling periods. We flew ANA and had a good experience.Read More
Welcome to the second half of my trip to Tokyo, Japan. The first half was a great mix of cultural and historical sights. From ancient temples to traditional weddings, part 1 has a lot to offer. However, this second half of my trip is where things get good. From peaceful gardens to downright bizarre surprises, here is proof that Tokyo is an incredible city. And it's also easy to travel there from South Korea.