2013 Year in Review


HinoMaple LogoIt’s the last week of the year and it is time to recap what I have seen and done in the past year.  Reflection posts are always fun but not necessary.  I’m glad to say that all of my goals have been met.  It is now time to expand on those goals and to reach even higher.  It will be a very tough challenge as this past year has been amazing.  It started off with my ambitions to open my company, HinoMaple, as well as to get my book finished.  I’m very happy to say that I have achieved both!  HinoMaple was officially opened on November 1 and my book was launched on the same day.  I must thank DigitaLapin for all of their hard work to get my website and blog up and running as well as Dennis Lo Designs for doing a lot of the design work on both the website and the book.  I’m sure I’ll be relying on them for my future books and website updates.  I can’t recommend them enough for the quality work they did.  If you haven’t been to my website yet, why haven’t you?  It only takes a few minutes to see it.

HinoMaple: Dru’s Misadventures

Dru's Selfie

Dru’s Selfie

In terms of my writing, aside from my book, nothing new has really happened.  I have had a few inquiries into doing advertisements and things like that, but they don’t really pan out as well as I had hoped.  Traffic to this site has been declining over the last few months, and I would suspect it is all due to Google’s search algorithm.  I can’t tell for sure, but since September, my total hits have been decreasing.  August was my best month with 7,481 hits and the best day ever was 354.  I don’t think I’m getting any specific days where I have more visitors as it tends to change overall.  I have done everything I can to keep up with my writing and I would love to see a new post every day, but honestly I can’t do it myself.  I am open to guest posts from other bloggers who would like to share their experiences, but I have a high standard.  I am hopeful to get a few more posts from Beer Loves Co. whenever they get around to writing about their trip to Japan.  You can also see my posts over on their blog as well and if you love beer as much as I do, I can’t recommend their blog and site, especially if you want to get ideas on how to make beer.

Social Media

Canadian Embassy, Tokyo

Canadian Embassy, Tokyo

My social media status hasn’t changed too much, but I have switched my focus this year.  Last year, I focused more on Facebook, but this year I switched over to Google+ and Instagram.  Google+ offers a better community and it isn’t too difficult to use either.  It is actually easier to work on the G+ page rather than the FB page once you get used to using it.  On G+, you can get a lot of information that is too simple to put into this blog.  I also post extra photos at G+.  I also post extra photos on Facebook, but I put more links and news on G+.  I have also fully embraced Instagram and have been posting a LOT of photos there.  If you haven’t been following me on Instagram or Twitter, you should as you will get a lot of extra information there.  This blog is a wonderful resource but with Instagram, I can show you a lot more.  Instagram has become my photo blog of sorts and it shows you what I am up to each day.  Twitter is still going well but it is turning into an RSS feed to tell you about my new blog posts as well as showing you pictures from Instagram.


Finally, in another recap of the year, here are the top referrers, non-search site and RSS feeds, to this blog.

Top Referrers

  1. Japan Guide: A post about fashion in Harajuku earns the top spot at getting people to look at my old Harajuku post.  There are other links to Baseball that also pulls a lot of traffic.
  2. Virtual Tourist:  A travel website and forum.
  3. Urutora No Hi:  Lina wins again out of the private blogs.  Her fans visit this blog the most.
  4. Expat Blog:  A blog referral site.
  5. A Hundred Views of Edo:  A great bilingual blog talking about Tokyo.
  6. No Techno Stuff Allowed:  An interesting site similar to this one, but from a different perspective of course.
  7. Rurousha流浪者:  Lastly, but not least, Ru’s blog.  A very popular girl indeed with a leaning towards temples and nature where, as she puts it, I talk about everything else.

Note:  The last 3 are very close and without checking the other “clone” domains, I would say it is a 3 way tie for 5th.

Top Search Terms

  1. Sikhs in Japan & Sikh Temple in Japan
  2. Osaka Food Blog & Osaka Food
  3. Narita Sky Access Line & Narita Sky Access
  4. Coldest Place in Japan & Coldest City in Japan
  5. Kochi Ken Net Blog Entry 2013
  6. Kamata Knives & Kamata Knife Shop
  7. How to get to Batu Caves from KL/Kuala Lumpur
  8. Biggest J League Derby
  9. JR Sobu Line
  10. Tokyo Auto Salon Race Queens

Note:  If I am more diligent in collating the data, this list would be a little different, but it is pretty close.

Top Pages

This list shouldn’t be too big of a surprise if you looked at the search terms.

  1. Tokyo (Ueno – Corin Street, Tokyo Bike Town)
  2. Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
  3. Kamata (Kappabashi)
  4. Osaka (Food)
  5. Sikhs in Japan
  6. Tokyo (Harajuku) [Part II – More Shopping]
  7. Smart Cards (Suica VS Pasmo)
  8. Tokyo – Imperial Palace East Gardens
  9. Mobile Phone Carriers in Japan
  10. Outlet Malls of Tokyo

Social Media & Blog Feeds

  1. WordPress
  2. Facebook
  3. Blogger
  4. Twitter
  5. Google+

With that, I thank you all for coming and reading this blog.  It has been another great year and I love introducing Japan and all of the other places I have been to.  Don’t forget to leave comments, no matter how silly and fun they may be.  I love to get them and reply to each one.