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    Domain name, check. Webhost, check. launched!

    By thomas | September 1, 2007

    So here I am: a foreigner in Japan. What do I do now?

    When I first came to Japan in 2002, I was overwhelmed with curiosity. Every little thing I saw here would raise a W-question. What does that sign say? Why are all the cars so small? Why do they have a $5 coin? What exactly is this that I’m eating? Where’s the nearest cool temple? Who is that little stone guy with the red clothes? (It’s Jizo!).

    After I settled in and the wonderment quieted a bit, my W-questions became more practical in nature. Will this detergent turn all my clothes white? When is trash day? Where can I get shoes that fit me? Where can I buy cheese? Some H-questions also began to make an appearance. How do I get stains out of tatami? How do I send money back home? How do I go about getting a replacement filter for my air conditioner? How do I use the squat toilet? How am I ever going to learn all these kanji?

    As a foreigner in Japan, the answers to these kinds of questions aren’t always obvious. Some answers can be found by asking other foreigners, or asking natives, but I had to learn a lot of them by trial and error. Lots and lots of error. I often wished that there was some site online that offered tips to make living in Japan easier for me. In the end, I decided to stop wishing and make that site myself.

    I’ve never had a serious blog before, so I spent much of the summer researching how to do it. I learned all about feeds, consistent posting, building traffic, SEO, marketing and monetization. Finally, I felt that I was ready. I had the idea and the fundamental knowledge. Now I just needed a number and location.

    I was originally going to call the blog “Tatami Room”. What a nice traditional image of life in Japan, I thought. Sadly, the domain name was taken. It wasn’t that descriptive anyway. “Hacks” seems to be a buzzword these days for lifesaving tips on how to save money and how to get things done. Sounds great! was taken, so I grabbed the next best thing.

    The final step was to find a home. I looked into some web hosting packages and finally decided on BlueHost. They were very cheap, well-recommended and loaded with features (python and PostgreSQL, yay). Thankfully the blog was very easy to setup. I spent about a week tweaking the layout and writing the first posts, and here we are!

    I started in order to share some of the life-saving tips I’ve picked up while living here. Whether you are a student, visitor, worker or lifer in Japan, NihonHacks will help you to save time and money. Welcome to Nihon Hacks! Feel free to subscribe to the full RSS feed so you don’t miss a tip!

    Like this post? Give me the Thumbs Up!

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    Topics: Japan Hacks | 4 Comments »Trackback

    4 Responses to “Domain name, check. Webhost, check. launched!”

    1. Matt Jones Says:
      September 1st, 2007 at 3:19 pm

      Hey Thanks for posting the link and the extra link to my SEO page! I’ll be posting all the links back to everyone once after a few more entries are made. :)

    2. thomas Says:
      September 2nd, 2007 at 11:31 am

      Matt, my pleasure! Thanks for having such a helpful blog! I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started out.

    3. Blogging Fingers Contest Winners | Blogging Fingers Says:
      September 18th, 2007 at 10:37 am

      […] Domain name, check. Webhost, check – By Thomas […]

    4. Daily J » Topic » How the NihonHacks idea was born - an exclusive interview Says:
      November 26th, 2007 at 4:39 am

      […] Later, one of my friends back home and I came up with an idea for a project – some web 2.0 thing that’s still hush hush – and we started coding it in our free time. When it looked like we might end up finishing it someday, I decided I’d better read up on internet marketing, traffic building, online communities, stuff like that. I wanted a fun way to get some hands-on experience and that’s where the idea of starting a blog came up. I wrote down a bunch of blog ideas and the “tips for living in Japan” idea was one of them. I was subscribed to some blogs like and and thought it would be cool to make a similar blog focused on Japan. Not long after, was launched. You can read a little bit more about the story on my first post, located here: […]