2018 Year in Review

Craft Beer Shinshu Kaikin 2018

2018 has been a whirlwind year for me that almost broke me.  I grew a lot in what I could do and learned a lot about myself in the process.  The stresses of running a business along with working full time to pay my bills started to get to me, but you can be sure that success is around the corner.  I am hoping that 2019 will see a revolutionary change in my life where I can finally focus all of my attention on my own projects, rather than things that make money for other corporations.


Kinshi Park (Sakura)

2018 Sakura Season

For the last few years HinoMaple has been taking a back seat to my dreams and ambitions with Taiheiyogan.  Like 2017, the site has been up mostly for nostalgic reasons and I still continue to be available to whoever needs help with logistics in Japan.  I really enjoy showing people the Japan I love but unfortunately the market is not ready for my prices.

Dru’s Misadventures

Okinawa 2018

Obviously you have all seen the slowdown in this blog over the last couple months.  I have been so busy with Taiheiyogan that I have had no time to properly write for this blog.  I still have a lot of posts about my trip to Okinawa, even though it was a pure business trip.  I have a lot to share about the shops that I have visited as well as the few new places that I went to.  The memories are still fresh, although the past year has been a blur.  Hopefully over the New Year holidays I can actually get around to finish catching up on my blog.  I am also excited for the 2019 edition of the Setouchi Triennale, so expect a lot more as that event comes up.


American Craft Beer Experience 2018

This was the year that Taiheiyogan became work for me.  I believe in the company and I believe in the website, but it has been a very long sprint to get things done.  I have continued to network within the beer community and still love the people in it.  They are all full of passion, even though the margins are really low.  They do things they love, and I’m sure they hate to love it at the same time.  It isn’t an industry where people try to get rich, but they can definitely live a comfortable life and be happy.  You can see it all over the faces of the people I met and grew to know.

2018 marked the 1 year anniversary for Taiheiyogan; September saw a website revamp due to size; and November saw the launch the Taiheiyogan Japanese site.  We continue to work hard to produce new content for the site and even if you are not a craft beer lover, there are a lot of great restaurants where you can get great food.  There is one thing you can be sure of, Japanese restaurants almost always have great food.

Social Media

If you didn’t notice, HinoMaple’s social media has basically become sporadic.  I don’t really post to Facebook, except automatic posts from this blog as well as posts from Instagram.  I am almost exclusively on Instagram, although my private Facebook does have my own private life for family and friends.  I still share a lot of my own travels on Instagram and you can continue to follow me there if you like.

Taiheiyogan has become a beast once we decided that we had to post in both English and Japanese.  It has made life tough as I have to make sure I get the Japanese right, and that is rare.  I often have to get help to make sure it is perfect, but if I can’t I just have to go with what I can.  Thankfully it is all bilingual so keep an eye on that.  Follow Taiheiyogan on Facebook as I believe we will be having a few events in the future as well.  It is almost all about beer, but you can see a lot about food too.  Don’t forget that I have a Taiheiyogan YouTube channel where you can see various interviews with people in the beer industry as well as the festivals in Japan.

Just a recap in case you are new and would like to know more:

  • Facebook:  Mostly a portal for my blog posts
  • Google+:  Same as Facebook
  • Twitter:  A good place to get information on when new blog posts are published as well as when I post Instagram photos.  Sometimes I do post on Twitter, but it is rare.
  • Instagram:  My main social media presence.  You can see everything I do here and feel free to follow me and chat with me.

If you want to also follow Taiheiyogan, you can follow it here:


This blog continues to make similar numbers for the past few years with the best results in the past 4 years.  I wasn’t expecting much, especially since content has been down significantly during 2018, but I am surprised that the numbers have grown.

Another year and nothing seems to change.  My Tokyo (Ueno – Corin Street, Tokyo Bike Town) post continues to be popular however it was the first time in a while that it wasn’t the top post.  Types of Driver’s Licenses in Japan took over the top spot by a long mile.  My Permanent Residency post came in at third place, meaning I should update it again soon.  There are a few little things that need to change but it has pretty much stayed the same.  Basically, any post that talks about daily life seems to be a hit, although there really isn’t too much more I can write about.


2013 Setouchi Triennale (Megijima)

January is looking to be a standard month, for what I can call January.  I will be working hard with Taiheiyogan until spring but I do have a few trips planned.  I am pretty sure I will be going to the Setouchi Triennale in May and I’m really looking forward to it.  I won’t be able to know until closer to that date but you can be sure you can follow me on Instagram where I’ll take you on my own experiences with it.  I also have a few other business trips planned but they haven’t been firmed up yet.  I will continue to be busy with Taiheiyogan but will do my best to make sure there is new content for HinoMaple at the same time.  Hopefully I don’t get overloaded with work again.