About RWT

Rebel Without a Tan has been the online journal of Lucas Kelleher, chronicling my misadventures teaching English in the remote fishing village of Shakotan (積丹町), in Hokkaido, Japan. I was the first foreigner to ever take residence there and many of my struggles to converse in the native language and fully experience Japanese culture are documented here.

And now, the complete story of the quirks of living in rural Japan has been fully developed into book form!

Shakotan Blue front_cover

Enjoy all the tips, cultural insights, and funny stories from this blog (plus more!) from the convenience of your secluded cabin in the woods, tropical beach chair, local city bus, or really any place where books are commonly read. No power source required! Well, I mean, unless you go the ebook route–but let’s stay focused here.

Check out ShakotanBlue.com for more info.

And if you’d like to see some of the stuff that I’ve written lately, head on over to KelleherBros.com. There my brothers and I aim to provide thought-provoking commentary on matters of media and society–but mostly we just talk about old video games.

Thanks for reading!

Kelleher Bros logo

7 responses to “About RWT

  1. This is funny. Are you really the first foreigner to live in Shakotan?
    I live in Sapporo, and I would much rather live out in some inaka area. I recently made it out to Iwanai and drove back through Shakotan. I didn’t spend nearly enough time, we just saw Kamui Point, and then drove back home through town, but it seemed quaint and scenic, things I like.

    How is it living there? How long have you been here?

    • Well, technically other foreigners had stayed in Shakotan before me, but they were temporary volunteers for the local organic farms in the area. I was the first foreigner to apply for residency and live there for a substantial amount of time. I lived there for two years and I just returned to the States last month.
      Shakotan is an absolutely gorgeous area to be in, with some of the kindest, most generous people that I’ve ever met. The seafood (especially the uni) is unbelievably delicious, and well worth the trip. If you like fishing or scuba diving or really anything sea-related, it’s the place to be. And the Bikuni Jinja Matsuri, sometimes called the “Fire Festival”, is pretty spectacular. It’s held on July 5th and 6th.

  2. Bill

    Hey, I enjoyed your blog about your bro Mike visiting. I live in Ebetsu and was planning a drive to shakotan tomorrow with my family. Any suggestions for a cheap but good restaurant for lunch?

    • For lunch, I think my favorite place would be Jun no Mise (純の店). Their food is great and not very expensive. There is also Heihachi, a great izakaya, and Yamatomi, an izakaya/ramen shop, but I don’t know if they’re open during lunch hours. Shakotan also has a soba place on the main intersection in town that’s quite good and only open for lunch in the summertime. So that’s an option too. Have a good time!

  3. AgnesLapus

    Hi Lucas! I’m really happy to have read your blog about Shakotan. I will be deployed there as an ALT by Interac next month. I’m just quite scared since it’s the first time for me to live alone. I’m just curious. Do they usually have only one ALT in town? I just want to mentally and emotionally prepare myself before I go there. Thank you!

    • Well congratulations! You are in for a truly unique experience. Yes, smaller towns like Shakotan have only one ALT, while bigger cities have many. There are other ALTs in nearby towns though. For example, Furubira is quite close to Shakotan and they have their own ALT. In Yoichi, a city about 30 mins from Shakotan, I think there are multiple ALTs. If you get to know the people in your area, you should have some English speakers nearby to hangout with. Plus Interac has quarterly branch meetings, where all their ALTs in Hokkaido gather in Sapporo. At those branch meetings you will make A LOT of friends. I used to drive to Sapporo on weekends quite often to hangout with friends there.

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