From How-to

Guides for getting stuff done

How I Travel

Hand Drawn Henro

Recently I was asked how I manage to capture my adventures without getting overwhelmed and missing out on the present moment. Having lived abroad for over eight years in a state of long-term/slow travel I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learnt which help make this possible. Read more

Japanese Quick Reference Guide

Nihongo Quick Reference

When I moved to Japan in 2013 I spent the first six months taking intensive Japanese classes at a language school in Tokyo. During that time I got frustrated with the quality of the teaching materials and in particular the explanation of grammar rules which I found over-complicated things for the average student who just wanted to get a hang of the basics. Read more

Fast Track Permanent Residency in Japan

It’s a long-known fact that Japan is facing acute population decline which could devastate the country’s economy. A report commissioned by the government in 2012 stated that, without policy change, by 2110 the number of Japanese could fall to 42m, i.e. just a third of its current population. Read more

Applying for a Chinese Visa From Tokyo

Update: as of September 2013, tourists and foreign residents in Japan can now apply directly for a visa at the Chinese embassy so you no longer have to use a travel agency.


If you’re a foreigner living in Japan (not a tourist) you can no longer apply for a Chinese tourist visa (type L) direct from the Chinese embassy in Tokyo (although type F business visas are still available). Despite conflicting information on their website you will be given the number of a travel agency who charge more than double the going rate than the embassy (10,000 ¥ vs 4,000 ¥). Read more

Buying a Bicycle in Japan

Dahon Route 20 Bicycle

Despite being the mega city to end all mega cities Tokyo is surprisingly accessible by bicycle and is the primary mode of transport for many people. This is mainly due to the high cost of car ownership, the lack of parking space and overcrowding on commuter trains. Read more

How To Move Abroad

Chinese Z Visa

Moving house is just about the most stressful project you can undertake, moving abroad doubly so. At the outset it can feel overwhelming, taking months of stressful planning and endless checklists to pull of smoothly. Read more

Lessons Learnt Designing For Mobile

iPhone App Paper Sketch

Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 the tech world has been solidly focused on mobile and for many publishers having a mobile presence has become a must (often irregardless of users actual needs). Of the thousands of apps available, the average user will probably only use half a dozen with any regularity, so cementing your app in this hallowed position is no easy task. Read more

Product Management Manifesto

When people ask me what I do for a living I often struggle to explain myself – being a ‘Product Manager’ can mean a lot of different things but whether you’re building something physical like a car, or virtual like an app, a Product Manager has to be able to operate on multiple fronts to juggle business, technical, and creative demands. Read more