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Smart Cities Week 2014
The 4th Smart Cities Week 2014 (SCW 2014) will be held in Yokohama this coming October 29-31 at the Pacifico Yokohama Hotel and Convention Center in the Minato Mirai area of the city and, with it, will come a dizzying array of programs, conferences and exhibits designed to show how the application …(1368 words)
Smart Cities, Expanded
In our last installment, we discussed the upcoming Smart Cities Week 2014 (SCW 2014) which will be held in Yokohama, Japan this coming October 29-31 at the Pacifico Yokohama Hotel and Convention Center. While the event itself is looking to attract in the area of 50,000 attendees, the concept is ex…(1500 words)
Here are the "buttons" you see in the relatively modern buildings - rest rooms for the public.What is the difference?On the left - you have to "press" the button to flush.On the right - you just have to put your hand "close" to the panel.Right hand side is more common in the newer bui…(155 words)
Typhoons - wind, rain and lot more!
It would be fair to call Japan at once a country blessed by natural beauty and cursed by natural disasters. Sitting on the famed “Ring of Fire”, the country hosts some spectacular and dangerous volcanoes, as well as the all-too-infamous and frequent earthquakes, some of which can wreak unimaginabl…(1210 words)
Tourist Tip #6: Know Your Animal Sounds!
OK...so you don't REALLY need to know your animal sounds to help you enjoy your time in Japan, but knowing a few will certainly help you ice break or seriously spice up a conversation while you're here! You'd be surprised by the amount of fun and laughs that can be had (and friends that you'll make…(212 words)
Former Deep Japan Writer
Helping the Children of Tohoku APRICOT News #2
The rainy season it seems has done nothing to dampen the spirits of APRICOT’s supporters. Thanks to the growing number of Team APRICOT Children volunteers,we have been very productive and positive for APRICOT, one that has seen us take a major step towards official NPO status (as a registered NPO …(434 words)
Want to be a Hit in Japan?
Ive been in the DJ business since the 70s and maybe because I was so active in Hawaii and Hawaii is one of Japan's favorite tourist destinations, I have ended up in this amazing and endlessly exciting metropolis, Tokyo. I DJ on several stations including InterFM, and I do podcasts about various…(394 words)
Journey on the Tokaido Goju San Tsugi (53-station Highway)
Recently, I took a casual walk to a very famous Tokyo locale known as “Nihonbashi”. It is to the North of JR Tokyo station. It was a nice 10-plus minute walk from the station and as I walked carefully with a sharp eye on my surroundings, I noticed the concentration of major businesses concentrated …(433 words)
If you're looking for a chance to meet interesting Tokyoites, I recommend you to head on down to PechaKucha Night.PechaKucha Nights are fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts or just about anything in the “PechaKucha 20x20 format.” Speakers show…(208 words)
APRICOT NPO Giving to the land that gives so much to guests from abroad.
APRICOT is now officially APRICOT NPO!Let’s start the October newsletter with some good news. As of October 21st, the APRICOT is an officially registered NPO. We now have to pay a final visit to Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s legal section to sign (or rather “hanko”) a document, which will the…(819 words)
Cultural experience walking tour in Nihonbashi, Tokyo
As depicted in some of Ukiyoe, former fish market of Tokyo had been situated in Nihonbashi. So in the area where the fish market had been, which is next to Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department (the flagship store), we can see some clues of the history. Some shops, called “Shinise” (long-established sho…(500 words)
Make Bento & Visit Bonsai garden - Unique & Amazing experience
Japan is a small island nation.Perhaps because of that, they have a gift for to make the original small world.Bento and Bonsai.This experience will be a good chance to know Japan.In the Bento making, You can learn tips of design Bento.Bonsai is a Japanese art form using miniature tree…(133 words)
How to become an APRICOT NPO Ambassador for the Children of Tohoku
"At Apricot we often get emails asking about how people can get involved beyond donating. There are many ways, as this reply (below) I recently sent to a potential volunteer show..."Hi Laura*,Thank you for your kind wishes ~ responses like yours are both a little rare just now as we are in …(1308 words)
Work in Japan…I could live in Japan, Part 2.
In part 1 [http://www.deepjapan.org/a/3029], I set down some of the conditions that would be faced by those who are interested in working and living in Japan and also included information about obtaining a visa. In this section I discuss some common assumptions about working in Japan that may b…(1915 words)
“Do-tougeikan” Pottery School
Take up the challenge of creating an original piece of artCeramics have a feeling of warmth to the touch, perhaps because their main material is earth. Especially with something you have made yourself, you can feel a deep significance in the piece even if it is a little misshapen. The authentic…(978 words)
Much Ado About and Much Surprise From Japan's Jungle Crows (Karasu)
To me, the end of “Black Swan” with the maniacal red eyes and aggressive spins, did not remotely conjure an image of “swan”. After 29 years in Japan, that spinning, velvety spray of feather was nothing other than the huge black crows I see pondering my neighborhood garbage collection area each Satu…(1247 words)
INTERVIEW 2: How did you get to Japan?
For those of you who are considering coming to Japan and are looking for ideas or inspiration from the path others have taken to find work and live here, read on for a short interview with a good friend of mine; Russell, from Australia.JB: We've know each other a long long time Russell, from we…(1240 words)
Banking in Japan: Where to Go, What to Do
So you’ve just made the big move to Japan and now you’re working on acquiring the basic necessities needed to survive, which are—in no particular order—finding work, obtaining a phone plan, seeking a roof over your head and setting up a bank account.As you’ll soon find out, one crucial differen…(738 words)
Discover the Japanese Tea Ceremony at Chazen
The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is one of the best examples of "omotenashi," or Japanese hospitality. It's a beautiful demonstration of welcoming and a truly signature Japanese experience. At Ginza Chazen, visitors can learn all about the traditional tea ceremony and how matcha tea is prepare…(292 words)
Tama Sushi – What made the experience so much fun – despite the language barrier
When expressing himself, Shimizu-San talks with his entire body – with his hands and fingers, even with his eyes. That's why booking a Sushi class with Tama Sushi close to Tsukiji Fish Market will make you understand a lot about the history and art of sushi, even if your Japanese language skills ar…(458 words)
My Career Began in Ginza, but I’m Only Just Discovered this Historic Locale
I’m good at making faux pas! You might add it as a “forte” on my resume of life. I’m also particularly adept at weight gain, but we will save that story for another story.“Not Shinbashi!” he insisted, “Its Ginza, Ginza, Ginza!” Hiromasa Ezoe, my mentor since entering Recruit Company Limited in …(891 words)
A mind for the other
As Japan becomes more like any other country, it's not so easy to see clear evidence of "a mind for the other" in everyday life, but it does still influence the way people behave. This "mind for the other" stuff isn't sappy altruism; it's the legacy of a pragmatic approach to getting things done, s…(233 words)
Companies Cleaning Up, Corporations Getting Environmentally Involved
Two weeks ago, I posted the article, "Protecting the Beach and Environment in Enoshima" to promote the Fujisawa Beach Cleaning Project coming up in April. April 24, to be exact: http://www.deepjapan.org/a/4325In this article, which is actually a repost by the organization that I represent, the …(635 words)
Former Deep Japan Writer
Unleash Your Inner Artist at Artbar Tokyo
Trying something creative is a great way to help you unwind. Artbar Tokyo in Daikanyama offers classes all week long that give artists of all experience levels the chance to create an original painting while sipping on delicious wine in a relaxed and welcoming environment. This isn't your typical a…(257 words)
Easy and Affordable Ways to Beat Tsuyu (the Rainy Season)
Tsuyu, the rainy season, is arguably one of Japan's lesser liked features. From late May to the end of July, people across Japan are treated to all manner of wet, from occasional sprinkles to intensive downpours. Add in the heat and humidity, and you can imagine how uncomfortable tsuyu can be.T…(253 words)
Former Deep Japan Writer
Going "away" to college has always been the dominant image for students in my mind (I'm from the U.S). Even a university only a few hours away would more than likely require a student to move into a dormitory or apartment. In fact, this has become so standard and expected of students in the U.S, th…(167 words)
The key is to be conscientious of others: don't eat on the train, don't talk on the phone, remove your back-pack, try to speak a bit quieter than normal, and don't cross your legs.(34 words)
In Japan, there is a wealth of dialects, and they tend to act upon specific aspects of the language. For the most part, nouns, adjectives, and verb roots will not have much variance between dialects, if any. Many changes however occur to sentence endings. Japanese in all dialects adds slight fl…(134 words)
Experiencing a Japanese-style New Year Season
New Year is a big event in Japan when people congratulate the peaceful ending of the previous year and the coming of the new year. Many families visit their relatives and eat "osechi", a special meal. You can make your own, or order it at various department stores. Sending out warm new year messag…(96 words)
The most important thing to remember when you use bathroom slippers: Don't forget to take them off when you finish using the restroom. it is sometimes very difficult to remember, because you were wearing room slippers before you went in. The faux pas is going to get caught pretty quickly - the ba…(99 words)
Komainu: A pair of lion-like creatures in front of various shrines
The lion or dog-like statues that are placed in a pair, in front of shrines are called "Komainu". The creature on the right hand side facing the shrine has its mouth open, and the one on the left has its mouth closed. They are placed to protect the shrine from evil spirits. Some shrines have statue…(80 words)
A "date-megane" will change your look
The latest trend among young people in Tokyo is to wear “date-megane” or glasses without lens. It is a small accessory that completely changes your look! Both men and women do this and these glasses are sold everywhere in Tokyo for reasonable prices!(43 words)
Asakusa Culture Tourism Center
If you need more information when you are in Asakusa, visit the Asakusa Culture Tourism Center which is a few minutes by walk from Asakusa Station. It is near the Kaminari-mon (a gate with a giant lantern), one of the attractions of Asakusa. The Center provides information about Asakusa and other a…(61 words)
left or right?
In Tokyo (the Kanto area, generally speaking), people stand on the left side of the escalator, however, in Oaska (the Kansai area), most tend to stand on the right side of the escalator.(33 words)
At baseball games in Japan, the outfield bleachers are used for the ouendan, which is the cheering section for each team (typically right field for the home team and left field for the visiting team). The ouendan will have trumpets, drums, giant flags, and thousands of fans chanting, singing, jumpi…(113 words)
It depends on what kind of industry you are in and what kind of job you do. If you belong to corporate staff working inside the office, business casual is a norm throughout the year. Shirts tend to be white and pants tend to be dark although more colorful combinations are seen nowadays. If your …(177 words)
What can you tell me about the various statues at temples and shrines?
Sculpture and funeral rites are the forte of Buddhist temples. Sacred incantations, talismans, christenings and weddings are the specialties of Shintō shrines. Shintō shrines have little to see in the way of statuary. If your goal is to see statuary, please visit Buddhist temples. Shrines have more…(142 words)
Tell me about Japanese graves and graveyards.
Japanese graveyards are almost always linked to a nearby Buddhist temple and feature stone statues of various Buddhist deities, most commonly Jizō Bosatsu, Nyoirin Kannon and Amida. These three Buddhist deities are perhaps the most popular saviors in modern Japan. Curiously, funerals and graveyards…(64 words)
What are popular activities around the new year season?
Hatsumode 初詣 is a major New Year event. Hatsumode literally means "to pay the first visit of the year to the shrine," where one expresses gratitude for divine protection during the past year and gains the blessings of the local shrine for ongoing protection in the coming year. Typically, the Shin…(89 words)
What can I do to learn more about the Kamakura period?
There are dozens of Buddhist temples and Shintō shrines in Kamakura. Kamakura was the thirteenth-century capital of Japan and is sometimes called Japan's "little Kyoto." Visiting its temples and shrines is a fun way to learn about the Kamakura period, which was a turning point in Japanese Buddhism,…(131 words)