While I couldn’t have gotten here without the support of family, friends, and teachers, I feel I should credit the people who inspired me to come here in the first place.

(Please note that all of these sites are now defunct, but the archives hold a wealth of firsthand trivia, experiences, and anecdotes.)

Gaijin Smash
Both a source of humor and personal anecdotes, this blog showed Japan through the eyes of a California guy working as an ALT. The first blog about Japan I ever read. (The original page seems to be gone, but I managed to find a mirror of the original entries.)

Filled with a wealth of information scattered throughout witty articles, this blog was written by an English game developer. It gives a lot of insight on working in corporate Japan, as well as some tips for daily life. I still use some of the things I learned here today.

1000 Things About Japan
This blog is an impressive list of pros and cons about living in Japan, all from the perspective of an American woman during (and after) her twenty-year stay here. From the micro to the macro, I was much better prepared for my first visit to Japan after reading only a few dozen entries.