Like many of us at InsideJapan Tours, getting into anime and manga was the next step of her Japanese journey before going off to study East Asian Studies and Japanese Language at university. After a month in Tokyo and a year at a homestay in Osaka, Brittany left Ohio for Japan full-time.
For five years her home was in Kagoshima, a city at the south of Japan's southernmost island Kyushu where she lived in the shadow of Sakurajima volcano. While the views from the town were incredible, she often found herself under volcanic ash rain!
On arrival, Brittany wholeheartedly threw herself into Japanese culture. After becoming a keen fan of Kabuki theatre, she took up some of Japan's most famous performing arts including nihonbuyo (Japanese dance), the shamisen (a stringed instrument, often played by geisha) and ikebana (the delicate art of Japanese flower arranging). She also set aside time in her diary every year to dance in the Ohara festival, an annual event that sees Kagoshima City's main street closed and cars swapped for a sea of dancers in colourful costumes.
While Brittany's favourite food is Kurobuta tonkatsu washed down with a glug of sweet potato shochu (she still gets misty-eyed about the Kurokatsutei restaurant in Kagoshima), she also has a slightly unusual sweet tooth. If you thought the popular Japanese matcha ice-cream was unusual, imagine tucking into soba and tofu, tomato/soy milk swirl, or the shirasu (dried sardines) flavour on a hot day. She insists they're delicious, but we think we'll just take her word for it.
Featured trips & expertise
Japan is famous for its Spring cherry blossoms and its changing colors in Autumn, but there are beautiful places to see in every season. Japan stretches from subtropical southern extremes to the northern reaches just across from Siberia, so with a little planning, you can find the right place to explore any time of year.