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40 pounds younger

Shirokuma Saburō

Yes, I am a foreigner. My real name is Szabolcs Varga and I am Hungarian. Now try to pronounce my name... and now try to imagine how the Japanese pronounce it. That's why I go by this name ('White Bear') in Japan. Really. My driving license says so. Also, to my best knowledge, I am the only second son in Japan with the name Saburō ("third son").


I travel a lot back and forth between Hungary and Japan. When in Japan, I live in Yokohama... but I spent nearly 3 years in Matsumoto, doing my master's at Shinshu University and used to bicycle up to Kamikōchi a few times. Even today, I come back to Nagano every time I can.


I am the owner a little group of little companies called Shirokuma (surprise), with two tiny subsidiaries, one in the States and one in Japan. We are responsible for most of the technical aspects of this site.


Hungary is a flatland, so I fell in love with the mountains at the first sight. I also love cycling and did quite a bit of kendō under Sensei Origuchi at Shinshu University.

Favorite Kamikōchi spot:

Many and still growing, but even today I cannot help gazing into the clear waters up there. After Hungary, with its huge, dirty rivers, the blue, transparent water of Azusagawa was an almost unnatural, eerie sight for me for the first time.