Craig-285 Japanese Food- All About Crab

Craig note- Soon, it will be prime crab eating time in Japan! (Enjoy!)

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin



You cannot go wrong with Japanese crab especially during the long, long, long cold winter season!

Crab Salad


Crab Sandwich


Crab Sushi


Crab Pasta


Crab Quiche


Crab And Eggs


Crab With Quail Eggs And Mountain Potato Sauce


Boiled Crab


Grilled Crab


Fresh Crab In The Fish Market


Crab Nabe (At Home)


Of course, Japanese crab can be expensive. So, there`s always…

Imitation Crab


Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“I’m a big fish eater. Salmon, I love salmon. My sister loves Chinese food and sushi and all that. I’m not as big of a fan, but she likes it so we eat it a lot. So I’m beginning to like it more. I don’t like the raw sushi. I liked the cooked crab and lobster and everything.”- Elle Fanning



Craig-284 Japanese Food- 7 Kinds of Nabe You Should Eat!

Craig note- The weather seems to be just cool enough to consider making Japanese nabe soon!  (Enjoy!)

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

Crab Nabe


You cannot go wrong with Japanese crab! We book a wonderful Japanese onsen vacation every winter just to eat it!

Chicken Meatball Nabe


Of course, crab can be expensive. Chicken meatballs are a cheaper alternative!

Blowfish Nabe


Blowfish has a reputation for being expensive. But, several local supermarkets sell blowfish packs! This was only 1000 yen (10USD).

Combination Nabe


Truly, nabe is a very, very, very flexible dish. Sometimes, we just clean out the fridge on a Sunday night during the winter season! And, presto! Dinner!

This Korean cabbage, chicken meatball, and sausage version was awesome!

Pork Nabe


Pork is a great, great, great addition to any nabe! This simple Chinese cabbage and pork combination hit the spot on a cold winter night!

Tomato-Cheese Nabe


The local supermarket has several fun varieties of nabe soup. This one was tomato-cheese! Truthfully, we worried it would not be very good. But, it is a keeper to be sure!

Cream Stew Nabe


This concoction was a big, big, big hit at a dinner party last year. The cream stew-based soup was a perfect complement to sausage and salmon.

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“Eating good food is my favourite thing in the whole world. Nothing is more blissful.”- Justine Larbalestier

Craig-283 1st Blog-versary Top 10 Posts

Craig note- Happy first blog-versary to us! We thank you for engaging our content in this past year. Here are the Top 10 most viewed posts! (Minus the promotional posts) (Enjoy!)


Craig-257 Expat- 3 Lies Other Foreigners Will Tell You


Craig-259 GGG Interview- 6 Questions With Actress Schalet Jackson


Craig- 203 Personal Branding- How To Build From Zero On Twitter For Peanuts


Craig-106- Japanese Lifestyle Feature- “Kawa No Ji”- How To Survive A Sexless International Marriage In Japan


Craig-144 The Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag (17) Why You Didn`t Get The English Teaching Job In Japan


Thanks Patrons for their support!correct

Craig-102 Assistant Language Teacher Super Feature (4)- A,B,C,(D)runk “The Dangers Of Drinking Alcohol As A Foreign English Teacher In Japan.”


Craig-080 “I am 40! Not MF-ing dead!”- Why do older foreigners struggle to find English teaching jobs in Japan?

Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't burry thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live.

Craig-045 Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin


Craig-073 The ALT Days (3) Private Eikaiwa Wars


Craig-086 ALT Super Feature-The Human Tape Recorder- “Why don`t Japanese English teachers use their ALTs more?”


Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“Anniversaries are like birthdays: occasions to celebrate and to think ahead, usually among friends with whom one shares not only the past but also the future.”- Zbigniew Brzezinski

Craig-282 Travel- See, Go, Ride, Eat, Drink, And Stay In Kansai

Craig note- A picture filled post! Stuff to do in Kansai! (Enjoy!)

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

See The Golden Temple in Kyoto


Go to Kobe Harborland


Ride the local trains in Harima-cho


Eat Oysters In Sannomiya


Drink In Akashi


Stay in Osaka


Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realise how important it is to use the time I have.”- Viggo Mortensen


Craig-281 A Little Q And A With Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

Craig note- A little fun post! (Enjoy!)


Tell me the 3 best things about you.

Hmmm. I am very, very, very hard working. I am always early. And, I refuse to fail.


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Nothing. I`m awesome.

(A little more hair wouldn`t hurt though…)

What are your 3 favorite movies?

Rocky. Karate Kid. The Matrix.

If you could live in any TV home, what would it be?

I love the “Little House On The Praire” TV show. I always wanted to live in that house.

If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Pizza. Sushi. Beer.

(If I freeze beer is it considered a food?)

Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't burry thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live.

If you could be a cartoon character for a week, who would you be?

SpongeBob Squarepants. I love that show.

What`s the one choice you really regret?

Oddly. It`s coming to Japan. I got everything I wanted in life. But, it cost me everything I had (in my life).

(But, I made the right choice.)

Do you feel like a leader or a follower?

I am an A++++ personality. I don`t lead. I make the path, and I know people will choose to follow me.

(Really, I am the guy you want on your side.)

Who is the funniest person you know?

I am. I do not lack for humor. That`s for sure

What’s your pet peeve(s)?

People who are late. Too, people who are slow to respond to messages. And, people who make excuses for life failure(s).

(Dude, it`s why they make mirrors.)

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?

A meatball sub from Subway or the McRib from McDonald`s.

What’s your dream job?

Social media content creation and/or journalist.

(But, I am most thankful to have a steady job.)

Thanks Patrons for their support!correct

Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson.

Asahi Super Dry beer.

As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?


(That`s really true.)

Why are you on social media?

I thought it might be nice to reach for something more in my life. Social media seems to help people reach success in the 21st century.

Why not me too?

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.”- Amy Jo Martin

Craig-280 4 Popular Posts You Should Read (Again)

Craig note- We are coming up on the blog`s first anniversary. It is a great, great, great chance to push out some of our more popular content (again) to our peeps in the Twitter-verse.

We produced a lot of content on various topics this year. It is our hope to continue to build the blog`s readership in the next year! (Enjoy!)

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

“Kawa No Ji”- How To Survive A Sexless International Marriage In Japan


“Not tonight, Jim. Okay?”

“Fine, Mariko.”

“That was the start of years of “Not tonight, Jim. Okay?”

Welcome to the dirtiest of married life secrets in Japan, “kawa no ji.” It is Japanese for “having a kid gets in the way of $%$%ing your wife.” That, admittedly, is a loose (albeit accurate) English translation.

Read The full post here.

The Human Tape Recorder- “Why don`t Japanese English teachers use their ALTs more?”


Hey, ALT (Assistant Language Teacher), I don`t need you to come to class today.” The new Japanese English teacher said.

The first day she said it I was happy for the break. After the first week, she still said it, and I was perplexed. After the first month of hearing that same sentence, I wanted to quit the job. But, I couldn`t.

(There were bills to pay.)

The ALT-Japanese English teacher relationship can be a treacherous journey for the ALT. Sometimes, you know why you are being frozen out of the English class, even while you are (actually) in the classroom. Other times, you don`t. (I had no idea at the time.)

I eventually confronted the Japanese English teacher. We had a teacher party one night after a big school event. I waited about an hour into the party, and I sat down beside her at her table. The other Japanese teachers scattered like ants in a rainstorm.

(Everyone was aware we were not getting along at the time.)

I poured beer into the Japanese English teacher`s glass, and from the bottom of my heart I spit out, “What the %&$% is your problem with me?”

She leaned back in fake shock. And then, she drunkenly slurred “I`m in love with you. And, it hurts too much to look at you while I am teaching class.” Trust me. I am not that loveable.

(She was FOS.)

Read the full post here.

A,B,C,(D)runk “The Dangers Of Drinking Alcohol As A Foreign English Teacher In Japan.”


“Hey, Mary, what are you doing out there?”

But, everyone already knew. It was a small foreigner party at a local Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)`s apartment on a Friday night. Everyone was drinking. And, they were having a great time. But, out on the dark balcony along with six months worth of empty plastic bottles was Mary.

She had a whisky flask in each hand. Mary dropped one of the flasks on the ground. And, she fumbled with the second. It dropped, and the remaining hard liquor spilled out all over the cold concrete.”

Read the full post here.

Moses, The Promised Land, And Building Social Media Influence


I received several messages asking for advice about Social Media growth. I have spent the last 12 years researching Social Media. When I came to Japan, Social Media was not popular. I had a blog, and it did well. There were very, very, very few foreigners here doing anything of consequence on Social Media.

That`s code for:  There was no competition.

Fast forward to 2017, you would be hard pressed to find ANY foreigner in Japan without a website, blog, YouTube channel, or podcast.

And, even those that do not have any of the above, well, they dream about fame and fortune via clever videos, posts, and content creation. And, literally, everyone else uses social media to some degree to stay connected to the real world.

So, you are asking, “What does Moses have to do with building Social Media influence?”

It turns out a lot.

Read the full post here.

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“There are 30,000 days in your life. When I was 24, I realized I’m almost 9,000 days down. There are no warm-ups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Your biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable. Every day, we’re writing a few more words of a story. I wanted my story to be an adventure and that’s made all the difference.”- Drew Houston



Craig-279 Seven Classic Movie Quotes For A Happier Life In Japan

Craig note-  Life in Japan can be picture-perfect if you just watch a lot of classic movies! (Enjoy!)

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

“I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” (“Ratso” Rizzo, “Midnight Cowboy“)


Yes, you are “walking here.” But, so is everybody else. People will jostle, nudge, or shove you in busy places in Japan. It`s a daily fact when life of commuting on the trains, especially in the big cities.

You can`t get angry every single time it happens. Trust us, that doesn`t end well for you.

Best advice, put on your blinders and go with the flow.

“My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.” (George M. Cohan, “Yankee Doodle Dandy“)


No doubt, you grew up being told to say,  “please” and “thank you” in your home country. That`s great. But, in Japan, thanking people is an art form.

There are endless rules for the levels of thank-yous that one gives for events from weddings all the way down to what to bring when visiting someone`s home.

(You should bring Mister Donut`s, btw…)

Secretly, many of the obligatory gifts and thank-yous also annoy Japanese people. But, everyone follows the rules/customs anyway. 

You should too.

“I want to be alone.” (Grusinskaya, “Grand Hotel“)


Funny, it tends to be the alone time here that gets most foreigners.

The hustle and bustle of daily life in Japan is overwhelming at times. But, then, you head back home.

The ominous clang of your apartment`s metal door can sound like a prison gate slamming shut upon your solitary soul. And, it can feel like there is no escape for you.

It`s important to get out and enjoy your life, even if it`s mostly solo.

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.” (Groucho Marx, “Animal Crackers“)


You live long enough in Japan, and bad things will happen to you. Sometimes, those events will defy all natural logic.

There`s a choice to be made.

You can drive yourself crazy rationalizing life in Japan. Or, you can just throw up your hands and laugh (and/or swear under your breath).

We prefer the latter to the prospect of spending the rest of our natural life locked in a little rubber-padded room.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” (Martin Brody, “Jaws“)


There is a concrete ceiling that most foreigners hit here. This is especially true for those who stay long-term. Things can get complicated (and expensive) in a heartbeat.

Life is sails along in Japan just fine until you add a wife and family into the expat equation. After that, most foreign folks find paying for that “bigger boat” a heckuva lot of work.

You better be up for the challenge in a big, big, big way.

“I`m king of the world!” (Jack Dawson, “Titanic“)


It`s easy to feel super, super, super special as a foreigner in Japan. This is especially true as a Western one. And, to be sure, there are tons of perks to being an expat.

No doubt, you will get countless free meals and beers. Too, there`s a good chance that you will be popular with the local talent.

But, there are also times when it will be difficult to tell if people love for you or for your country of birth. A wise expat learns to tell the difference quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Make no mistake, international friendship; like wi-fi, isn`t always free.

“Hey! Yo Tommy, I didn’t hear no bell!” Rocky Balboa, “Rocky V“)


The biggest factor in our success in Japan is our resilience.

Japan is going to knock you down. Likely, it is going to knock you down over and over again. And, there will be times you will not want to get back up.

But, every single successful foreigner we have ever met here has done exactly that:

Get back up.

The great expats answer the bell every time, and so should you.

(Ding, ding!)

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one.”- Elvis Presley

Craig-278 Social Media- News And Notes

Craig note- Actually, we have/had a really, really, really great post ready to go today. But, we are waiting for a publisher to get back to us. It might get picked up. (Enjoy!)



JET Program Week

We spent time reaching out to the new folks on the JET Program. It was an opportunity to make new connections. Too, we felt it was a chance to help folks get off to a really, really, really great start in Japan.

Our efforts were successful as we picked up several 100s new engagers.

Social Media Week


Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin used the success of the JET Program Week to gain more reach in other areas. We had a very, very, very wonderful Social Media Week on Twitter and this blog. People took the time to engage our content and to connect with us.

That was most appreciated.


It has not been all roses and sunshine. Recently, there has been a run of spammers commenting on our blog once it is posted on Twitter. They have been harmless. But, it is danged annoying.

We are working with Twitter to address the problems.



Of course, the whole purpose of being on social media is to get a writing/social media job. Recently, we got the attention of a few websites and publishers. Unfortunately, we have little interest in one-off writing assignments.

It`s great to make 50, 75, or even 100 bucks for an article.

But, that money doesn`t really, really, really help our future. And, to be entirely honest, it doesn`t particulary help our present either.

That`s just more beer money.

The reality is we could simply keep posting right here on this blog and get seen by far, far, far more readers and other publishers. Again, we are not against writing articles for money. But…

A) We are going to write our way. (No fluff.)
B) We are going write about what we want to write about. (The truth.)
C) And, we are going to push for career social media, content creation, or writing opportunities. (New job.)

If we want to make peanuts, we will just go teach more English. THAT has been the whole problem for us for the last 12 plus years. It is just easier to slap on a tie and say, “Good morning, everyone.”

And, we do so nearly every day of the week.

But, of course, English is not the future in Japan, especially for Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin.

Oh, to be sure, there will be English teaching work for the foreseeable future. And, one will be able to (at least) eek out a living slinging flashcards here. But, in the end, selfishly, we want more out of life.

We believe if there is ANY chance of breaking out of our current employment situation that social media, content creation, and writing provides the best chance for us.

(At least, if we are to stay in Japan.)

It doesn`t hurt to try as we have nowhere else to go…(lol)

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.”- Joel Osteen

Craig-277 Expat- 5 More Twitter Accounts To Follow In Japan

Craig note- The end of Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin`s Social Media Week is upon us! We thought we would highlight more great people you should engage! (Enjoy!)

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

ESL Expat


Twitter Biography– ESL Expat is an online resource for expats living abroad teaching English. Visit our website to view ESL jobs, classroom activities, teacher stories and more!

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin– This website has a wonderful collection of ESL content. There are job postings as well as other useful resources. ESL Expat is a must follow if you are really, really, really serious about working abroad in the ESL field.

They also offer opportunities for bloggers to make a little money by writing about their ESL teaching experiences!

Darkside of the Sun


Twitter Biography– Cautionary tales, misadventures, and random thoughts about expat life in Japan. Told with a smile ’cause every darkside has its bright side.

Grey, Grizzled, And GaijinDarkside of the Sun features an elecktic assortment of content. It`s off-beat, witty, and a heckuva lot of fun! We love it!

Folks who like interesting content on Japan should come over to the; ahem, Darkside.

John Qjn


Twitter Biography– Creative and language consultant in Japan. I love good beer, good food, and good views

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin– If language study is your thing, John is here for you. He offers a variety of tips and tricks to help you quickly master Japanese or English. Recently, he has moved into the field of video with his new PuchiPeri languages video courses. 

They are not to be missed!

Louise Dendy


Twitter Biography– British Kobe City Govt PR Specialist & huge fan, promoting the city I love. Tweeting Kobe /. が大好きなイギリス人、神戸市広報専門官ルイーズ・デンディ。

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin– If you love all things Kobe, Louise is an absolutely must follow. She supports Kobe as a PR guru for Kobe! She highlights new and informative content on Kobe and the surrounding area on the city`s website.

Tons of great photos on her Twitter feed, too!

The Real Japan


Twitter Biography– Inspiration and resources for discovering and exploring Japan beyond the clichés – The Real Japan!

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin– The Real Japan features a variety of great, great, great content on their Twitter feed. They also share their insights and knowledge about Japan on their regularly updated blog.

Tons of travel and time-saving tips, too!

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin

Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“Praise the bridge that carried you over.”- George Colman

Craig-276 4 Great Posts For Expats

Craig note- We have written often on the ups and downs of life abroad. (Enjoy!)


Expat- Homebody


“There`s no place like home.”

You see me and Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) have a lot in common.

Years ago, I came to Japan. Things were new, exciting, and, of course, difficult. But, the hardest thing for me about Japan was the free time. It really, really, really was difficult to deal with my new found free time. It was a stark change from my life back in the States.

I worked like a dog back in America. My normal work week started at 80 hours and often went above 100 hours a week. There was a period of about three years when I worked seven days a week.

Can you imagine that?

Three years. 80-120 hours a week. Not…one…single…day off.

On second thought, it is best you do not imagine that.

(Trust me.)

But, I digress…

(Read the full post here.)

“Pillar Of Salt” Where have all the good foreigners gone?


I had the following exchange with a foreign coworker this week.

Coworker:  What you don`t want them or something? (laughing)

Me:  “No, I don`t need them.” (not laughing)

Coworker:  You`re joking, right?

Me:  No.

The question was “Do you need (expat) friends?” My coworker was shocked by my answer. But, he should not have been. As I told him:

“I`ve worked with you two years. And, you know NOTHING about me. I know little to nothing about you. And, I am perfectly fine with that.”

Now, you are thinking, “What an a$$hole!” You would not be the first one. And, you might even be right.

Trust me, so am I.

(Read the full post here.)

Expat- On Frivolous Competition Among Expats 



So, some of the local expats see life as some big competition, and if you are not playing that game you are losing. They are shocked that I don`t choose to enter into that drama.

I am sorry, but I just don`t compete in life with other people. I do all I can do, and it is either enough, or it isn`t. There is nothing much else to do. I guess, some folks need motivation, and I suppose there is nothing wrong with healthy competition.

But, when you are not living up to certain things that other people can do or have in life; well, sometimes you can be really, really, really depressed. So, you just stop trying. That will NEVER be me.

Recently, a rather gloomy expat commented, “Well, I just don`t have your life.”

And, that is true.

(Read the full post here.)

ExpatOn Entitlement, Winning In Japan, And Spoons


Two minutes ago this space was filled with nothing.

That is exactly what the universe, the world, your home country, and Japan owes you.


Of course, every person should be treated with respect no matter where they live. And, someone should not be made to feel inferior because of something as arbitrary as where they were born. That`s not right, and people should keep fighting to change those circumstances no matter where they exist in the world.

Recently, I have heard many, many, many expats complaining about the salary or living conditions here in Japan. There are several articles and forums dedicated to how possible/impossible it is to live on an English teacher`s salary here in Japan with/without a family.

(Company workers, too.)

I get it. I do. Everyone wants more money.

(Hey, me too!)

(Read the full post here.)

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to: @craighoffman11 on Twitter!

“The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.”
Italo Calvino