Koto no koto in Kyoto

Koto(箏or琴) is the national instrument of Japan, compared with the Swedish Nyckelharpa. The Koto is a stringed musical instrument that is usually about 180 centimeters in length and made from kiri wood. It has 13 strings and the thumb, index finger and the middle finger is used to pluck the strings. The ancestor of the Koto was the Chinese Zheng.

I was taught by the incredibly skilled and gentle Harumi-san who runs the studio in a house called Soushunan. She is offering lessons at her family’s old town house in central Kyoto.

The Japanese harp is one of a series of instruments that give Japanese music and culture is distinctive sound.

One of the most famous pieces of music is “Sakura sakura” and is often heard being played in a variety of circumstances. Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese, maybe you should try listening to it the next hanami!

I found this event at the great website called Lifull Travering, which is a company that arranges a ton of events for travelers in Japan. What I like about it is that you meet local professionals in Japan who can both speak English and excels at their craft.





Lifull Traveringのサービスを利用して行きました。日本を旅行する人にイベントを提供している会社です。特に良い点は、英語が話せる地元の職人と会えることです。



Mount Fuji

On an early Friday morning the 10th September, my friends Ashraf, Atreya, Daisy, Ryan, Tasneem and I set out to climb mount Fuji and visit the amusement park Fuji Q Highland the day after.

We set out from Doshisha University in Kyoto with a car from Times Car Rental. The deal was slightly better than expected because they upgraded us to a bigger car for free.

Arriving at Fuji-Yoshida (the north side), we started the climb about 8 p.m. It was wind-still and a quite comfortable temperature at the 5th station. While climbing up, we took a rest at all of the upcoming stations and decided on the spot to stay for two hours at the 8th station’s mountain hut. We went to sleep around 1 am and woke up at 3 am to climb the last bit up to the summit. It was freezing cold and the wind was very strong at the top, but we made it just in time to see the stunning sunrise.

After walking around the crater one lap, we started the descent around 6 a.m and it took about 3 hours to get down to the car again. It was very tough. In hindsight, climbing Fuji-san sleep deprived and jet lagged the day after coming back to  Japan from Sweden was not such a good idea. My body felt incredibly heavy and I definitely got mountain sick. However, we all did a good job on planning the trip and we had the right gear with us.

After resting, we went to an onsen facing fuji-san and stayed at a guesthouse for the night. The following day, we went up early to go to FujiQ Highland: an amusement park famous for having world-record roller coasters and one of the world´s scariest ghost house.

Take a look at my Gaijinpot post about FujiQ highland







The new semester at Doshisha Business School

I just made it through my first year as an MBA student at Doshisha Business School in one piece. The sultry Japanese summer has finally passed, and the leaves have just started to change colors (Momiji).

The fall semester at Doshisha University has just begun, and 44 new students from 24 different countries have joined the Global Business and Management Program at Doshisha Business School.

So what’s new this semester?

I am now a TA (Teaching Assistant) for the Business Economics class. I’ve also begun working as a contributing writer for Gaijinpot.

During the fall semester, I’m taking the following Global MBA courses:

  • Human Resource Management in Asia
  • Strategic Management for Innovation and Change
  • Investment in Asia
  • Marketing Research
  • Making Sense of the Global Economy
  • Master’s Thesis course 2

I’m also continuing the following Japanese Language courses:

  • Japanese Written Expression 5
  • Japanese Spoken Expression 6

Stay tuned for more updates!







  • アジアにおける人的資源管理
  • イノベーションと変化のための経営戦略
  • アジアでの投資
  • マーケティングについての研究
  • グローバル経営の理解
  • 修士論文コース2


  • 文章表現V
  • 口頭表現VI


Exploring Kyoto by bicycle

Did you know that Kyoto was built after the Chinese imperial capital Xian 1200 years ago? The city is laid out in a checker board fashion that makes the city it easy to navigate. It is also very flat which make it  wonderful bicycle friendly city.

Comparing it with Sweden, I’ve noticed that Japanese people doesn’t care about following the rules as much as we do in Stockholm. For example, in Kyoto it’s very common for taxis and cars to block the few existing bicycle lanes.

For more information, take a look at my Gaijinpot article:



京都は1200年前中国の帝国の首都西安後に建設されたことをご存知ですか? 市はそのために、簡単にナビゲーションする都市を作るチェッカーボード方式でレイアウトされています。それで京都は素晴らしくて自転車にやさしい街造り平坦です。






What is a Kräftskiva?

A Crayfish Party or Kräftskiva is a traditional eating and drinking celebration in Sweden. The party is held in August and is usually enjoyed outdoors. The party accessories are funny paper hats, table clothes and paper lanterns. Akvavit and many other kinds of strong liquor(snaps) are served together with beer. The crayfish themselves are boiled in salt water together with fresh dill. We then serve it cold and eat it with our hands.

This is how my Swedish family does it

When my family have kräftskiva there is a good atmosphere with noisy eating and many traditional drinking songs (snapsvisa). The alcohol consumption is high in regards to the food consumed. We like to suck the juice out of the crayfish before finishing it. We have the crayfish with bread, surströmming, västerbotten cheese, salads and other dishes.

This is what happened in IKEA Japan!

IKEA Japan in Kobe held the crayfish party unusually early in July and of course indoors in the customer restaurant with about 50 customers. I participated as a Swedish culture bearer to show how to manage the party. There were an awkward feeling in the beginning when we introduced the crayfish party and I demonstrated a drinking song solo called “helan går!”. As the time passed however and the alcohol intake increased, the Japanese customers softened up and became more cheerful.


ザリガニパーティーや Kräftskivaは、スウェーデンの伝統的な飲食行事です。そのパーティーは、通常8月に行われ、屋外で飲食を楽しみます。パーティーアクセサリーは色々あり、紙で作られた面白い帽子、テーブルクロス、ちょうちんなどです。アクアビットやその他、さまざまな強いお酒(Snaps)と、もちろんビールも一緒に飲みます。ザリガニは自体は新鮮なディルと一緒に塩水でゆでられています。そして冷やして冷たい状態のザリガニを手を使って食べます。





Sweden, Japan, Kyoto, Tokyo, Doshisha, MBA, IKEA