Blake Snow

I write sentences for a living: writer-for-hire, bestselling author, content creator

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Tagged Japan

In a heartbeat: 6 countries I’m going back to after borders reopen

Me standing tall in Kyoto

Before pandemic closed international borders and decimated airline routes, I held the ridiculous job of getting paid to travel the world. I’d jetset to far-flung places (often with my family) and then write a review of what I liked most about the place, people, attractions, and/or food.

It was unreal.

Although I plan on taking up that job again, for now I can only dream. And when I look back on the dozens of places I’ve had the privilege of visiting, these are the ones I’ll return to in a heartbeat—one for every inhabited continent.

When daydreaming or adding places to your bucket list, few countries are more lovable than these:

Japan (Asia). Half of the food is amazing. The other half is gross. But the people are 100% adorable. And their contradictory culture is mesmerizing—everything from their language, customs, formality, architecture, tradition, and scenery. BONUS points for being one of the safest and cleanest countries on Earth—a place where kindergartners freely roam downtown late into the night, it’s so safe.

Continue reading…

Cultural contradictions: 10 things I learned after visiting Japan

Courtesy Blake Snow

After writing a story for USA Today (plus slideshow), I had a hard time shaking Japan from my memory. In fact, not since South Africa has a country changed my perspective as much.

In truth, Japan is the most foreign place I’ve ever visited. I mean that in a largely positive, often disorienting, and sometimes frustrating way. Looking back, here’s what I learned most:  Continue reading…

Blake Snow: The best things I published recently

Nachi Falls Pagoda courtesy Wakayama Tourism

Thanks for reading my work:

Rhythm Heaven is crazy fun on DS

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62XRwGKtlHc[/youtube]

If you have a DS, please head to your nearest Wii, game store, or DS kiosk to download a free demo of Rhythm Heaven. The above video does a better job explaining the game than I ever could, but in short, you tap, flick, hold, and slide the DS stilus in rhythm with the music to produce a desired effect… say building robots on an assembly line. It’s as crazy as it sounds, but also a lot of fun. I haven’t played a game that made me smile this much since World of Goo. The full version comes out April 6.

GamePro: Timeline of Japanese contributions to video games

As the Tokyo Game Show comes to a close, we pay homage to the major gaming contributions wrought in Japan with a nifty time line spanning more than a century.

1889 – Nintendo is formed in late September by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards which are used for several popular Japanese games. Over the years the company will transform into one of the most powerful and influential video game companies in the world.

1941 – Gunpei Yokoi is born. His ingenuity in creating a mechanical arm for his own enjoyment while on the job would later inspire Nintendo authoritarian president Hiroshi Yamauchi to extend Nintendo’s business beyond that of playing cards. Yokoi would go one to design Metroid and the Game Boy before dying in a car crash in 1997.

Continue reading at GamePro…