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Five Rings images

Five Rings

If you are generally interested in Japanese samurai warriors, it is imperative to know about the most famous one: Musashi Miyamoto. Miyamoto was actually a masterless samurai, but in both legend and reality, is credited with the most victories in duels against other samurai.He wrote a book, whi…(110 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Have your umbrella on hand in June and July images

Have your umbrella on hand in June and July

The rainy season starts in June or July depending on the particular year. If you have plans, make sure you allow for extra time as trains and buses are often behind schedule during this time of year.There is also typhoon season which happens in the fall. So, rain gear of all types is worth havi…(62 words)

Kenji image

Kenji

Claps and bows in silence images

Claps and bows in silence

Every New Year's holiday, I go to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura. There, you first throw money, bow twice, clap your hands twice, pray and then bow once (you can follow this process at any shrine). It may sound like a complicated process, but all you have to do is follow the person before you (t…(160 words)

RieS image

RieS

How to Survive the Rainy Season in Japan images

How to Survive the Rainy Season in Japan

The rainy season in Japan is not very long. It is basically the month of June, beginning in early June and ending usually by July. The coming of the rainy season marks the end of Spring and its end marks the beginning of summer. In comparison to Spring, not only does it rain much more frequently du…(100 words)

GenS image

GenS

Aways Stand to Left in Japan on the Escalatr images

Aways Stand to Left in Japan on the Escalatr

One basic manner you have to know on your trip to Japan is to always stand on the left side of escalators. Only stand on the right side if you are walking up. This is a rule that everyone follows and you will naturally follow it when you see people doing it. In escalators, there aren’t any rules in…(158 words)

GenS image

GenS

Novelty in the modern day images

Novelty in the modern day

Japanese swords (nihonto) have been used by Japanese warriors since very far back into the first millennium. The modern day "katana" was actually a more well developed blade that came into popular usage around the 12th century. It was from then that the blade began to have a few changes to length a…(181 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Yakatabune images

Yakatabune

Yakatabune are, literally "night ships," which are floating party boats. The vast majority are rented out to groups. Some, however, are open for individuals, couples, and small groups. Traditionally, yakatabune serve tempura as the main course. In Tokyo, one of the highlights has been anago…(173 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Turn the slippers around! images

Turn the slippers around!

It is usually polite to use slippers instead of walk in bare feet or with socks on. When you take your slippers off, to enter a room, you should slip them off quietly and carefully and turn them around so that you (or someone else) can slip it on later with ease.(52 words)

RieS image

RieS

What's inside that bag? images

What's inside that bag?

On the first three days of January, many people in Japan go to the near by mall, outlets and department stores to get the "Fukubukuro" or Lucky Bags. The customers do not know the contents of the bag, but purchase it because it's cheap price relative to their actual values. It is fun to open the ba…(90 words)

RieS image

RieS

Check out Ryogoku images

Check out Ryogoku

If you go to Ryogoku, you can find a wide variety of sumo stables and see sumo wrestlers going about their daily business. Ryugoku has its own sumo stadium as well, called the Ryugoku Kokugikan. You can watch sumo wrestling matches there on occaision. I also recommend trying Chanko Nabe, which is a…(66 words)

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KurtisW

Go to Kamakura in Japan images

Go to Kamakura in Japan

If you are interested in learning about the Kamakura period, there is nothing more you can do than to actually go to Kamakura. From Tokyo, Kamakura is less than an hour away towards Yokohama on the Yokosuka line. Just one train ride to the former capital of Japan. When you arrive, you will definite…(268 words)

GenS image

GenS

An integral part of Japanese sports games images

An integral part of Japanese sports games

Ouendan is an important part of the sports culture in Japan. When you go to Japanese baseball, soccer and other sports games, the Ouendan lead the cheers so that the supporters can follow them. Although most of them are at the front of the stadium (near the sport players), there are several others …(144 words)

RieS image

RieS

Otoshidama - money gift to children images

Otoshidama - money gift to children

In Japan, adults are supposed to give money gift to their children or grandchildren including relatives'children or sometimes friend's children on New Year's Day. This custom is known as 'otoshidama.' Money is handed out in small,beautifully decorated envelopes called 'pochibukuro'. These can be b…(120 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Check out Shunkaen Bonsai Museum images

Check out Shunkaen Bonsai Museum

There is the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum in Edogawa, Tokyo if you're looking for something other than the Bonsai Art Museum in Omiya. They're open from 10am-5pm everyday except Monday. Address:1-29-16 NihoriEdogawa-Ku, TokyoPhone Number:+81 03-3670-8622(40 words)

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KurtisW

Check out the Ohara School of Ikebana images

Check out the Ohara School of Ikebana

The Ohara school of Ikebana in Tokyo is one of the more well known schools and is conveniently located in Miniami Aoyama. They offer classes in English at around 4000 yen but they are closed from July 18-September 5 for summer holidays. Address7-15-5 Minami AoyamaMinato-Ku, TokyoPhone N…(51 words)

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KurtisW

Try Learning About Japanese Language and Culture before Considering Lessons images

Try Learning About Japanese Language and Culture before Considering Lessons

Before taking haiku lessons, you're better off learning some Japanese first. Without any understanding of the language or culture, you will simply be learning about a poem format and have no cultural context to truly understand Haiku. When you're ready for lessons, you can look to a Japanese langua…(65 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Widely Available in Asakusa images

Widely Available in Asakusa

If you go to Asakusa, the stores lined up behind Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate, often carry imitation swords you can buy as souveniers for friends or yourself. If you are more interested in acquiring an actual Katana, you will need to look up Katana makers online and expect to pay a few thousand dol…(66 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

The Legendary Tengu images

The Legendary Tengu

One common statue at various Japanese temples is the Tengu. It is defined by its characteristically long nose, and round face often with a beard that gives it the appearance of an elderly man.The earliest Tengu however were origingally depicted with a beak, likening it to a bird of prey. In fac…(128 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Small Baseball images

Small Baseball

A key point that differentiates Japanese baseball from baseball in the States is the style called small baseball. In small baseball, teams tend to score points through consecutive hits rather than hitting large home-runs. Although home-runs are a more elaborate, and perhaps more exciting, way to sc…(319 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

If you would like to see traditional Sumo, then try to go Kokugikan! images

If you would like to see traditional Sumo, then try to go Kokugikan!

Sumo is really fun to watch. I never interested watching sumo before but when I went to the sumo match for the first time, I really enjoy it! You can see powerful sumo match at the Kokugikan. Kokugikan is a sumo hall (indoor sporting arena located in Ryogoku. The…(230 words)

yukorose image

yukorose

Worth a quick visit if you would like to robe yourself in Beauty. images

Worth a quick visit if you would like to robe yourself in Beauty.

My German friend gives me a great information about Kimono experiences and I would like to share with you.The place where tourists can try to wear a Kimono.It's called "Marunouchi Cafe" ( http://www.marunouchicafe.com/english/ ).She found this place by chance with a japanese friend, without…(289 words)

yukorose image

yukorose

Buddhism experience in Japan images

Buddhism experience in Japan

The way of the warrior may not be easy to experience, but Buddhism and traditional Japanese religion is an insight into the power and culture of the warrior spirit.I experienced a few hours of Zazen meditation practice and a traditional Buddhist vegan lunch in the Setoda-cho area of Onomichi, H…(158 words)

jjwalsh image

jjwalsh

Hiroshima, Peace, Reflection, Remembrance and Hope images

Hiroshima, Peace, Reflection, Remembrance and Hope

Hiroshima is one of the most visited cities in Japan because of its tragic history, but also because of its vibrant rebirth - a testament to the strength of the Japanese spirit to never give up. If you are interested in how Japanese people respect their lost loved ones and ancestors, a visit here i…(233 words)

jjwalsh image

jjwalsh

You can bake Osenbei yourself ! images

You can bake Osenbei yourself !

Japanese people love “mono-zukuri”. (making things by hand) There are a variety of Shoku-nins (craftsman) as well as craft centers or facilities where you can experience “mono-zukuri” yourself. If you join such an activity, you can sometime enjoy conversations with such craftsman directly and feel …(86 words)

Hideki Tazawa image

Hideki Tazawa

OH! Japan-derful (spell, not sure) images

OH! Japan-derful (spell, not sure)

Fuji TV, Mezamashi-Doyobi, 「OH!ジャパンダフル」 is a good program to know the very surprising and really Japan-like stuffs which are not well-known even for Japanese. Every Saturday, from about 7:10 a.m. on Fuji TV. Never shows up in any guide books, for sure.I really enjoy the show, a…(50 words)

Moo Moo image

Moo Moo

Great Tip to Avoid the Rush Hour in Japan images

Great Tip to Avoid the Rush Hour in Japan

On a longer (30 minute plus) train ride, I will often splurge on a Green car ticket. These temperate cars have a nice train attendant who comes by to sell snacks and drinks and when it is not rush hour you can get a window seat with a table to tap on your computer while enjoying the sites. During r…(279 words)

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Japan has the Cleanest Shops in the World images

Japan has the Cleanest Shops in the World

If you happen to be a bit jet lagged and feel like walking around some of Tokyo's downtown neighborhoods (Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shinbashi, etc.) early in the morning, you will see some interesting culture that has to do with how this city stays clean. In the Summer time, shop owners will often do som…(170 words)

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ABC Cooking Studio images

ABC Cooking Studio

ABC Cooking Studio is a place where people come to cook a variety of foods in a casual manner. There are 124 studios currently operating in Japan, and as a member, you will be allowed to take classes at any studio of your choice. The classes are done in a small group, ensuring you maximum suppo…(121 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Here's a tip images

Here's a tip

Actually, here's not a tip. Japan is not a tipping society so you don't need to tip in restaurants, taxis, etc. In fact, my daughter actually had the waitress chasing them down the street once when she left a tip on the table. The waitress thought she had forgotten to take her money. Some highe…(219 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

The Doll's Festival images

The Doll's Festival

The Doll's Festival (March 3rd) is the day to celebrate the growth of girls. As bringers of good luck, we eat rhombus-shaped mochi and Hina-arare (sweetened rice-flour cakes for offering at the Dolls' Festival). Hina-arare have 4 colorful rice cakes (pink, green, yellow and white) representing four…(93 words)

Hideki Tazawa image

Hideki Tazawa

Washi This images

Washi This

Washi is handmade paper and is typically made from the fibers of one of three types of bushes; gampi, mitsumata, or paper mulberry.Washi is actually amazingly tough, even more so than paper made from normal wood pulp. It's used in a variety of items such as Japanese kites, lamp shades, woodbloc…(335 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

Suteki Jyoshi Kai, Tokyo's Women's Leaders Special Membership Club! images

Suteki Jyoshi Kai, Tokyo's Women's Leaders Special Membership Club!

You are warmly invited to join our 2nd Regular Meeting of Suteki Jyoshi Kai, Tokyo's Women's Leaders Special Membership Club!Saturday, February 22th, 201, from 13:00 pm~17:00pm at Yotsuya Club 東京ガス 四谷クラブ(6-1, Aizumi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)Fee 3,000yen(member)/ 4,000yen (non-m…(193 words)

Eriko image

Eriko

Spring is Coming in Japan, Where to Find the Prettiest Cherry Blossoms images

Spring is Coming in Japan, Where to Find the Prettiest Cherry Blossoms

As I snuggle under my comforter, wallow in the warm rush of O-furo and deftly avoid cold rain drops as I walk to the station, it is hard to believe Japan will soon be alight with warmth and a blanket of pink. If you are a nature love like me, you will notice a difference in the hard brown of the Wi…(313 words)

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Edo Tokyo Museum/Edo Tokyo Hakubutsukan images

Edo Tokyo Museum/Edo Tokyo Hakubutsukan

If you are really interested in Japan culture and the way things used to be and how people lived in Tokyo, then you must put this on your list of places to visit while in Tokyo. You will find original and replicated exhibits which are built to scale. You will see models painstakingly built to sca…(160 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Don’t be fooled by appearances! images

Don’t be fooled by appearances!

Fashion and appearances are of vital importance in Japan. So why do Japanese businessmen all look similar?To start with the conclusion, if I may, unfashion is a kind of fashion. Let me explain it with the Japanese angle. Like anywhere else, fashion in Japan is a statement of belonging to a com…(359 words)

Claire image

Claire

The Musical Toilets of Japan images

The Musical Toilets of Japan

I have a friend who always used the euphemism, “going to the Toto,” whenever he was headed for the men’s room. He called it that because Toto is one of the most famous toilet and urinal makers in Japan. (Toto is the abbreviation of Tōyō Tōki which means oriental ceramics.)First time visitors to…(631 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

Where does the cherry-viewing buzz come from? images

Where does the cherry-viewing buzz come from?

Cherry blossom period is starting in Japan. It is the time when Japanese people are enjoying watching flowers blooming everywhere:- trying to find out the first sakura bud of the year and take a picture of it, - having pique-nique under the trees (well, usually, drinking and karaoke-ing a lot…(339 words)

Claire image

Claire

How long does it take to be accepted in a Japanese community? images

How long does it take to be accepted in a Japanese community?

Have you had the experience where you felt like you where not completely connected with a Japanese friend.I live near a port and every July the locals take their fishing boats out to Kanzanji park to watch fireworks from the sea.It's an experience that normally you wouldn't have.Lots of l…(293 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

I did it! I have found the proof of the existance of incivility in Japan! images

I did it! I have found the proof of the existance of incivility in Japan!

Have you ever wondered how they do it to keep their cities and public space so spic and span clean? I do. Every day I walk the streets of the city, and I am amazed by its welcoming cleanliness. - There is no paper, not gums littering the streets. No nothing. They even do not have rubbish bins! …(387 words)

Claire image

Claire

Japan's intelligence comes from the 4 seasons? images

Japan's intelligence comes from the 4 seasons?

When you ask someone from abroad on what they think of JapanWhat answers would you get back?Some many say that Japanese people are polite.Have mannersGood at staying in line.Smart. Have respect for each other.There are many things people think about Japan.Today I would like to t…(572 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I