Home > Uncategorized > Sayonara, and thanks for all the Natto

Sayonara, and thanks for all the Natto

December 31, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

This may be the final posting here at Sushicam.  This should not come to a surprise to anyone since the pace of “recent” updates has been about once per year.

When I started this blog way back in the beginning of 2000, (has it really been that long? ) I was updating it about 2-3 times each week.  Updates were that frequent for a variety of reasons:

• I was new here and had just got my hands on a digital camera and was busy exploring Japan

• I was looking for something to keep my time occupied as I was in an unhappy marriage and needed a good reason to spend time away from home (exploring and taking pictures)

• I needed something to occupy my time when I was at home (writing about my exploits and posting my photos)

I decided to start a photo blog, but I could have just as easily taken up a different hobby.  But photography it was, and this quickly evolved into quite a serious pursuit, with Japan being the backdrop for my explorations.

This rapid pace of updates continued until the 2006 timeframe when the site got hacked and was completed deleted.  This kind of took the wind out of my sails, and I never quite recovered.
Another thing that happened at that time was that I got divorced and had better things to do with my time than photo blogging, namely jumping head first into the dating scene.  That was A LOT of fun while it was lasted, a very busy-crazy time.  To be a single male foreigner in Japan can be quite a whirlwind experience.  And to make a long story short, eventually I found a new girlfriend, and then that was what took up all of my time for the next 5-6 years.  Eventually that relationship fell by the wayside, for a variety of reasons.   When it ended I did dabble with dating again, finding a new interest in Osaka, which while extremely fun while it lasted, also turned out to not be right for me.

By that time I was tired of the dating scene, and feeling somewhat disheartened, so I kind of resigned myself to being a permanent bachelor, knowing that it is better to be in no relationship than being in the wrong one.

So, to find an outlet for my energies I decided to start doing more traveling.  However,  having covered Japan pretty extensively for more than a decade I decided to start doing more traveling throughout the Asia/Pacific region .

The first trip on my list was Palau, which was great.  Very different from anywhere else I had been, and just the kind of change of pace that  I needed.
But as great as my Palau trip was, for my next trip I decided to try something new. In order to get a more authentic experience in each place I went, I decided the best approach was to NOT buy a travel guidebook, feeling that I would feel pretty stupid to show up at my destination(s) only to find a bunch of other tourists with their travel guide books seeing and doing the same things as I was.   So I joined a dating website, not with the intention to find a new girlfriend, but rather for the purpose of finding tour guides for each of the destinations I was travelling to.

This approach worked out fabulously for my trip to Cebu .  I ate at some great traditional food restaurants, was introduced to the local nightlife scene, and had some great day trips, the best of which being a privately chartered catamaran that I spent a full day on (sunrise to sunset) shuttling around to various snorkeling spots.  It was the real highlight of the entire trip.
With that success under my belt, I then set my sites on mainland China.

But here is where the story took an interesting turn.

Because I had a profile posted on that dating website I would get a lot of messages from women, most of which were very short like, ”Hi”, or “You look nice”, etc… obvious shotgun approaches which I deleted, not responding.  But one day, shortly after I returned from Cebu I received a very nice message from a girl in Vietnam .   She had obviously read my profile in detail, and she also took the time to ask me some questions, as well as tell me a little about herself.  Since I had not yet travelled to Vietnam, AND because her message was so nice, AND her profile photos were drop dead gorgeous,  I replied to her.   And to make a long story short, I cancelled my plans for a trip to China , and three weeks later I travelled to Vietnam , meeting Phuong in Ho Chi Minh city where she lived.  While I was there we took a trip up to Halong Bay in northern Vietnam , and it was on an overnight boat cruise in Halong Bay (while I was crippled by food poisoning) that I proposed to her.  She said “Yes”, and three short months later were were married, happily ever after.  🙂

Jeff and Phuong

It may come as a surprise to some of you, to finally learn the original motivation behind this website.  But even though I initially started this blog as a way to kill time, it did quickly grow into a labor of love for me.  And the best part of all was the people I got to know through this site.  Some I knew for a brief time, quickly losing touch. Others periodically reached out to me to tell me about their own exploits of living in Japan after having been motivated by this blog to take the plunge and move here.  Still yet others have passed on to the great beyond (I still miss you Joe, AKA “Pachipro”), and then there is that handful of others which have become life long friends.  I treasure you all, for you all have played a part in my life, making a much richer experience.

If this blog has taught me one thing, it is that life is really all about the journey.  We have destinations in mind, plans for the future, and dreams we are trying to make come true.  And that is good.  We all should be reaching for something.  But don’t forget that before you get to the end, there is a whole lot of interesting people, places, and things to meet, see, and do along the way.  So keep your eyes and your heart open, never lose that sense of wonder, and the world will show you some wonderful things.

For those that are interested, you can also find me one facebook, flickr, and smugmug.

Thank you all.  I wish you health, happiness, and fulfillment in everything that you do.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Seba
    January 1, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Definitely still subscribed to the flickr stream. Post a photo or two now and then for those of us who wish we were blessed with such amazing glass, such an amazing wanderlust, and amazing, beautiful people in our lives. 🙂

  2. J.
    January 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm


    although we did not meet each other in recent years, I continued to follow your photos at flickr and kept my subscription to this blog. I witnessed your old blog (made some small contributions as well) and surely remember the contributions from Pachipro. Meeting you and him live for a dinner in Tokyo is an evening I still vividly remember. I did not know that he passed away until you mention that in this blog post. He will be missed.
    I am very glad to see and read that you found happiness again and wish you all the best in your marriage to Phuong.
    Greetings from Tokyo.


    • sre_phx@yahoo.com
      July 15, 2014 at 2:15 am

      J. Are you still in Tokyo?
      Pachipro and I were good friends and he spoke highly of you and Jeff.
      I am planning on coming to Japan this August (mid-to-late)… reply if either of you are monitoring this feed and want to meet up let me know.

      • J.
        July 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm

        Hello “Ottosan-no-Conan (aka StevenE)”

        yes, I am still monitoring this feed although lately it gets a lot of spam. And yes, I am still in Tokyo. Is the handle you are using here your email contact address? If so, then I rather prefer to contact you through email then via this comment string.


        • sre
          July 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

          Yes, please contact me there…

  3. bechner1@verizon.net
    January 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Best of Luck from Greg your old Environmental colleague

  4. Simen
    January 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you for all the entries over the years and the first row insight of your Japan. RIP Sushicam

  5. Dan
    January 6, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Very sad to see the end of Sushicam, but glad you are doing well.

  6. Seth
    January 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I’m happy to have followed you through these last… 13 years?

    Thank you for inspiring me to head to Japan, and pick up photography.

  7. January 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Oh, I pushed so hard for a blog post from you each year and now this… 😉

    I was hoping that you would find time and joy to write a bit about all the nice photo gear that each GAS impulse washes into your hands. I really enjoyed your thoughts and experiences with the cameras that you wrote in the past. But I guess we’ll just continue this at Flickr 🙂

    Thank you so much for the detailed update on what has happened in your life. Great to know that you are happy and very belated congrats on your marriage to your beautiful wife! 🙂

    Take care and see you at Flickr!

  8. JohnS
    January 17, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Best of luck to you, Jeff. I started reading your blog sometime back in…2001? I like to think I was somehow able to live vicariously through you and see a part of the world I might not otherwise have been able to. It was wonderful to be able to experience life in Japan, even in some small way. So for what it’s worth, thank you for keeping the blog up all these years!

  9. February 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Hey Jeff, You’re post doesn’t really come as a surprise. I think some of us have been expecting it to happen. It’s sad to see sushicam coming to an end officially,  but it does make perfect sense. As you said,  we are all on a journey and yours is now taking you away from the blog. I guess you could call it evolution, but on a more personal level.   I will always cherish the times we had on sushicam,  and I count myself lucky to be someone who had had the pleasure to meet you in real life. Since Japan is not too far from Shanghai,  I’m sure we’ll have another opportunity to meet.   I do like to express my gratitude for the pleasure and inspiration sushicam has given me over the many years. My photographic skills have been strongly influenced and inspired by your photos and stories. In fact, I might not have moved to Shanghai if it were not for sushicam!  I even remember giving you that infamous slogan “sushicam made me homesick to a country I had never visited before!”.   I don’t see this as an ending,  but more as a beginning, for a new chapter. Life if sushicam wil go on,  just not on this blog.   All the best Jeff,  and until we met again! 🙂

  10. David
    February 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I discovered your site after my first visit to Japan. It helped me learn a lot. I also appreciate the times we met in Kyoto and our excursions. I am coming back in May. I will be in touch with you. Okini!

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  25. sre_phx@yahoo.com
    July 15, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Hello Jeff,
    I am glad to hear you’ve found happiness.

    Thank you for the years of past memories.
    Sushicam got me through some interesting times and still provides inspiration in photography and the love of travel.

    I hope you reconsider keeping this blog current.

    Your photos and writings are the glue that binds many of together.

    Kind regards

    Ottosan-no-Conan (aka StevenE)

  26. jeff
    January 19, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Hey dude,

    Was a big a fan of yours way back during the early years. I still got one of your photos on my wall (the Buddhist priest one). We’ll move on to other things but please don’t stop doing something you love. Never give in because of 3rd parties. I’ve been in this situation before and if anything excelling at something you love drives you further in life.

    Anyway, hate to see it go but best of luck bro. Hope you find true happiness in your life.

  27. March 2, 2015 at 7:52 am


  28. August 10, 2016 at 8:08 am

    May the Fleas of a Thousand Camels infest one of your Erogenous Zones.

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