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Gary J. Wolff
(in Tokyo, Japan)

Welcome to, which since Sept. 2009 has been the new homepage and cyber parking spot for Gary Joe Wolff, a Tokyo-based university professor, corporate communications consultant, model/actor, and all-round nice guy. smiley This website started out as an attempt to start some sort of part-time online business, but I spent literally months searching for profitable keywords and trying in vain to figure out my niche. Not a clue.

So instead, I decided to just renovate my original 27-year-old website, Gary Joe Wolff (in Japan), (which I have borrowed some content from as I've populated this site), but this time doing it right, in a way which provides greater value to the visitor and catches the attention of search engine spiders.

My intent is to continue in the same vein as before, sharing my uniquely American perspective of Japan's absolutely fascinating and exciting culture in a way that I hope others might find humorous or even insightful, including seasonal photographic and video updates of Japan's stunningly beautiful scenery.

Why Japan?

As a resident in Tokyo now for a remarkable 3 decades, I'm often asked by my stateside family and friends, "Gary, when are you moving back home?" Or "Why do you like Japan so much?"

My answer to the latter is easy, and for several reasons. 

Here's my Top Ten List on why I like living in Japan:

1) The friendly Japanese people (who always laugh at my very corny old man's gag jokes) laughing icon

2) The beautiful Japanese mountains (70% of the country). Over the past 30 years I've had the pleasure of scaling all of the nation's 29 highest peaks and in 2012 published a book entitled The View from the Top of Japan chronicling my many mountain climbing expeditions to Japan's spectacular alpine country. And after Mt. Fuji was named a World Heritage Site in 2013, I wrote my 2nd mountain climbing book, Climbing Mt. Fuji: Tips, Q&A, and Climber Stories.

And I'd be remiss not to mention the absolutely stunning cherry blossoms and brilliant fall colors, neither of which we have much of in my home state of Texas.

3) A clean, safe, and efficient transport network 2nd to none (thus, no need to own a car). As a former professional traffic engineer, I never cease to be amazed and totally impressed with Tokyo's punctual train and subway system, safely transporting millions and millions of commuters across the metroplex every single day.

4) Excellent Japanese food. Ever heard of "negima yakitori" (grilled chicken & onion kebobs)? It's my favorite, and always reminds me of Dad's Texas BBQ, for which he was quite famous.

negima yakitori

If you're curious about how negima is cooked, this video is one of the most popular on my entire YouTube channel: My all-time favorite Japanese food -- negima yakitori (ねぎま焼鳥)

5) National health insurance. It doesn't come cheap, and Obamacare it is NOT, and the service is sometimes frustratingly slow and inadequate, but it is definitely nice to have, especially after you've crossed the half-century landmark. smiley

6) Relatively speaking, a very safe and honest country (almost zero guns). I can't count the number of times I've lost/left briefcases, shopping bags, coats, a wallet (even with cash & credit cards), and even a newly purchased business suit on the trains, and they've ALL been turned in to lost-and-found offices.

7) Over 2000 onsen (hot springs), YAY!

8) Many people speak at least a little English (well, in the big cities, anyways). There's English TV, radio, movies, newspapers, signs, train station announcements, etc. When I first came to Japan, students learned English from junior high school, but beginning in 2011 they started English lessons from 5th grade and from April 2020 they've been studying it from 3rd grade.

9) The karaoke culture (I LOVE singing.)

This wild man needs a WHOLE lot more practice!!
(If the video player above is not visible, you can view the video here.)

10) A convenient launching pad for visiting other exotic Pacific island travel destinations in Asia like Cebu, Philippines, Koh Samui, Thailand, Palau, Guam, Saipan, Langkawi, Malaysia, Phuket, Thailand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Boracay, Philippines, Ao Nang, Thailand, and Pattaya, Thailand.

Several years ago, we did an exciting class project on what Japanese university students think about 16 various countries around the world. Please have a look-see at these very interesting stories when you get a chance. I think my students did a wonderful job!

One final note. After the March 11, 2011 strongest ever Japan earthquake & tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis, because I was home at the time and never lost my internet connection, in order to keep my overseas friends & family informed about the latest developments (they were all literally freaking out at the time, urging me to get the heck outta Dodge), I started blogging immediately. Over the course of the next 101 days after the triple disaster, I had posted 467 news updates.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the website and I thank you for stopping by. If you'd care to leave a comment at the bottom of this page, it'd be great to hear from you. 

Please come back again soon as you find time to see what's new (my blog page) and to check up on how this site's coming along in the weeks and months ahead.

Take care and thanks again for visiting,
Gary J. Wolff

Samurai Gary 1

Samurai Gary 2
Click thumbnails above to view full-size images.

Site Navigation

The navigation bar in the upper left column will help you find the major Tier 2 pages on this site, the bottom navigation bar will help you drill down for even more pages, and for an even more comprehensive listing, please see the Site Map.

If all else fails, you can always search the site in the search bar at the top of every page. smiley

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Keep it up! 
I just love this page , it is really interesting! :D

Your "The View from the Top of Japan" book 
Hi Gary, Many thanks for sharing with everyone such a wealth of information about Japan's mountains. I'm thinking of ordering a paperback copy of …

How much do acting/modeling jobs on average pay out (in Japan of course)? 
Hello Gary. I am a half Japanese/White student who is about to finish college in California. I was just curious about how much do acting/modeling jobs …

Looking for acting & modeling work in Japan 
Hello Gary. My name is Dominick, Actor, Model, and Martial Artist from Philadelphia. I'm in the beautiful country of Japan and looking for work in what …

Click here to write your own.

Japan-Texas ebook cover thumbnail
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Pattaya ebook cover
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Summer 1974 hitchhiking trip ebook cover
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Gary J. Wolff
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GW's road trip ebook cover
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(¥114 at アマゾン日本)

new Climbing Mt. Fuji book
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(¥343 at アマゾン日本)

Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)