Joe Hammond has had a hectic travel schedule by anyone’s standard by logging some 17 flightsin 2005. Being a history major at the University of California- Irvine, he comes to history through an indirect route. He was a carnie in Japan, worked for a minor league baseball team, and ran a summer camp on a British Garrison in Germany. On comparing travel in Europe with Japan he notes. “In Europe you have all these amazing structures and buildings to check out. Tourists have been exploring Europe for centuries and tourists are usually treated with seasonal apathy. Thus, it’s harder for the traveler to experience the local culture. In Japan when you go there you have the totally opposites experience. With the exception of places like Kyoto, most cities “sights” can be explored in a single weekend. In Japan, the real beauty of the place is in your every day encounters with the culture. From climbing Mount Fuji with the locals to something as simple as going to a corner store and trying to figure out what exactly you’re buying. Even in Japan’s larger cities many will treat an encounter with a foreigner as a novelty worthy of a photo or a chance to brush up on English.” He has traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Japan and Morocco. When not traveling his passion is professional boxing and he currently serves as a senior writer for and it’s accompanying magazine.

Read Joe Hammond’s articles:
Tokyo: 5 Sights not in your guidebook