Start Here

Welcome to my blog. I’m Mara Waka (the name I choose to go by online).


This is a refuge for thoughts, experiences, feelings and life in Japan. If you have a love of travel, adventure, and the occasional thoughtful ramble, then you’re in the right place! I’m not lost. I’m just finding my way in our strange, beautiful world.


I am a foreigner who moved to Japan over eight years ago after I married the love of my life. Mr. W — as he’ll be called in this blog — is a hardworking salaryman who loves fast cars and driving around in them. I often joke that his cars are his “mistresses” because of how he dotes on them.

We share a love of traveling, photography, and sarcasm. Be warned about the sarcasm!

In this blog I often reflect on my journey to get here, the ups and down of teaching in English in Japan, the events of my childhood, and our fight to conquer infertility as we struggle to create a family.


I am in the process of drastically changing my blog into one of more concise and routine posts. Older posts are being merged together to reflect this, a feat that’ll take time. If you would like to follow my journey, then here is the weekly schedule for my blog that I’ll start follow on a more regular basis at the end of May.

Just click below.

Continue reading Start Here


Tuesday Reels: May, 2018

There is a first for everything. This is my first list of videos I highly-recommend to brighten your day.  Click the link below for laughs and cries!  Lots of fun stuff in this post.


Tuesday Reels

Continue reading Tuesday Reels: May, 2018

Finding Your Soulmate

“How did you know he was your soulmate?”

“My what?”

“You know, your true love? Your destiny.”

“Um… erm… I don’t believe in that kind of thing.”

“Oh… so you settled.”

“I didn’t settle. I just don’t believe that relationships work that way.”

“It’s okay. You can be honest. He’s not the One. Not every one is lucky like me and my husband. We complete each other. He always supports me.”

There is a reason I hate this kind of thinking…  Continue reading Finding Your Soulmate

Kamikochi: Hiking The Japanese Alps

Firstly, I am sorry this post went live before it was finished. Thank you everyone who liked it anyway. I had it scheduled, but forgot to finish it. I was surprised when it had 8 likes and it was only a few sentences. This version should be much more in-depth.

So you want to hike the Japanese Alps…


Tuesday Travel Tips

Continue reading Kamikochi: Hiking The Japanese Alps

“Don’t talk about it. Japanese guys don’t like that.”

It was my third meeting with the future Mr. W. We were on a train and my friend, Elle, was traveling with us. Mr. W and I had broken into a discussion about Roman History through my bad Japanese and his not-much-better English. Despite the struggle, we were both engaged when he received a text from his company. While he was distracted, Elle leaned close to my ear and said:

“Stop it.”

I looked over my shoulder at her in confusion. She was all smiles as she added, “Remember what we talked about? Japanese guys don’t like that. You’re flirting, not giving a history lesson. You’re boring him.”

And then I felt ashamed.

Continue reading “Don’t talk about it. Japanese guys don’t like that.”

Weekly Rewinds: Golden Week 2018


Weekly Rewind

This is a long post since I went on vacation for Golden Week in Japan. I also started the week with very good news.


Continue reading Weekly Rewinds: Golden Week 2018