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Kansai Kyoto ben (Kansai Kyoto dialect) images

Kansai Kyoto ben (Kansai Kyoto dialect)

I was born in Kyoto and raised up in Shiga (next to Kyoto). As I lived in Kansai area until I decided to move to Tokyo for job change when I was 30, people can tell I am from Kansai after talking with me for a while :-)As I was working as a sales back then, I tried not to sound too Kansai perso…(211 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

My seven-tiered Hina doll set images

My seven-tiered Hina doll set

The photo shows my seven-tiered Hina doll set. My grandpa bought the set for me when I was a baby. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (雛人形 hina-ningyō) representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the He…(274 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Omiyage wrapping images

Omiyage wrapping

Omiyage is the Japanese social obligation of gifting. It's expected for travelers/guests to bring omiyage when they go somewhere for hosts or when they return home for family, friends or coworkers. It's best when the gift is a specialty product of the region, from which that the traveler is coming.…(226 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Journey on the Tokaido Goju San Tsugi (53-station Highway) images

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)

AustinA image

AustinA

Interesting Japan: Washlets, things that make you go hmmm!? images

Interesting Japan: Washlets, things that make you go hmmm!?

I was inspired to write this quick post when I learned that the other day (November 19) was United Nations World Toilet Day.http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-34867488After looking at the pictures in the BBC article, I reflected on how fortunate we are in Japan because of our washlets. For…(272 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Majestic Japanese Garden and Tea House in the Middle of Tokyo images

Majestic Japanese Garden and Tea House in the Middle of Tokyo

Although you will not be able to participate in a formal Japanese tea ceremony at Hamarikyu garden, you will be able to relax in a Japanese style gazebo, in the middle of a historical garden where the Shogun used to indulge in his falconry hobby, with a freshly made cup of Japanese tea in your hand…(186 words)

GenS image

GenS

Japanese People Love Hand-Made Gifts in Japan images

Japanese People Love Hand-Made Gifts in Japan

I have always appreciated the simple gift-giving culture in Japan. Some of my friends describe it as cumbersome since upon receiving something there is always some pressure to reciprocate. Yes, I agree, but at the same time, the reciprocal gift can take various forms and hand-made items that serve …(358 words)

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The Saga of the 50cc license (2007) images

The Saga of the 50cc license (2007)

I've been struggling to get a 50cc motorbike license since May. You would think it would be easy but the thing is that I was determined to take the test in Japanese like all the other Japanese people in this country. After I went to day school for the certificate showing that I had taken a 50cc dri…(512 words)

Kenji image

Kenji

Learn Japanese Traditional Culture : Tea Ceremony images

Learn Japanese Traditional Culture : Tea Ceremony

By learning Japanese tea ceremony, you will derive much pleasure in various things by doing the followings. - Put yourself in a special environment of tea ceremony room away from busy daily life- Enjoy seasonal Japanese confectioneries over green tea- Encounter with various lovely tea utens…(150 words)

Hideki Tazawa image

Hideki Tazawa

Journey on the Tokaido (Shinagawa is Stop Number Two) images

Journey on the Tokaido (Shinagawa is Stop Number Two)

Now that we have left the first stop Nihonbashi (described in my previous article), we are approaching our next stop of Shinagawa. Imagine you are traveling from Edo (Present Tokyo) to Kyoto during early 1800’s. It is highly likely that Tokaido Road was used to make your journey. It runs north and …(630 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

Shopping Seasonal Japan - Limited Edition Products images

Shopping Seasonal Japan - Limited Edition Products

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.” ― Yoko OnoOne of the many things I love about Japan is its distinctive four seasons. You…(259 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Baseball Ouendan images

Baseball Ouendan

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)

HillaryB image

HillaryB

Learn how to arrange a beautiful, traditional Japanese bouquet images

Learn how to arrange a beautiful, traditional Japanese bouquet

Well, one of my favorite things about traveling around Tokyo is the Ekibana (Station flower arrangements) you can find at many of the local stations. I wrote about this in my book because it is such an amazing way to welcome people back after a long day at work as well as to send them off in the mo…(153 words)

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Doraemon, a Nostalgic Childhood Cartoon Character for All Japanese images

Doraemon, a Nostalgic Childhood Cartoon Character for All Japanese

I remember waking up early on a Saturday morning with my sister in Hawaii to watch our favorite Saturday morning cartoons. Of all, I liked Scooby Doo the best. Why? Because he was like me, he was creative, he was always scared but he always saved the day and he definitely liked and worked hard for …(433 words)

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Japanese Kōban – Police Boxes for Safety and Help 24/7 images

Japanese Kōban – Police Boxes for Safety and Help 24/7

As you know, Japan is known as the safest country in the world and I believe Kōban (small neighborhood police stations) all over Japan play an important role in our safe society. Police officers stationed at kōban serve several roles:1) Crime and accident reports : When property crimes …(280 words)

yumin image

yumin

The Street Photographer’s Photowalk Kit images

The Street Photographer’s Photowalk Kit

Of all the genres of photography, the one that I enjoy the most is street photography. The freedom of being able to walk around (alone or in a group) the streets and capture what’s happening around me is a wonderful experience that not just feeds my passion for the art, but also calms my mind and w…(1406 words)

Ani image

Ani

How to become an APRICOT NPO Ambassador for the Children of Tohoku images

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)

Andrew Grimes image

Andrew Grimes

Japan's Strange Love for Strange and Unusual Snacks images

Japan's Strange Love for Strange and Unusual Snacks

The Japanese are well-known for their love of outrageous, sometimes excessive, and even downright silly, creativity. This creativity can produce both extraordinary and peculiar results.Japanese snacks are no exception. Article upon article has been written about them. Instagram and Facebook are…(415 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Discover the Japanese Tea Ceremony at Chazen images

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)

Petra image

Petra

The importance of "bihaku" images

The importance of "bihaku"

Unlike many of the Western countries, Japanese tend to not show much skin when going out. They favor "bihaku" meaning white, clear skin and therefore cover up as much as possible using clothing, hats and sun umbrellas. Even in the scorching summer, you will see many people wearing long pants, long …(100 words)

RieS image

RieS

Left hand side in Tokyo and Nagoya & Right hand side in Kyoto and Osaka when you are taking escalators. images

Left hand side in Tokyo and Nagoya & Right hand side in Kyoto and Osaka when you are taking escalators.

It's funny because people in Tokyo and Nagoya are stopping on the left hand side when they are walking up/going down in hurry while people in Kyoto and Osaka are stopping on the right hand side of the escalators. There is no regulation, but almost all people follow this kind of rule without notific…(55 words)

Shinji image

Shinji

Watch Hanabi while cruising the Sumidagawa river in Tokyo, Japan. Perfect for Summer Fireworks and amazing memories. images

Watch Hanabi while cruising the Sumidagawa river in Tokyo, Japan. Perfect for Summer Fireworks and amazing memories.

A Yakatabune is a narrow and flat but long, Japanese-style boat used to hold arties. Yakatabune are popular, especially to hold business related parties. A company would hire one yakatabune and then employees would hold a party on the boat. These boats cruise leisurely on rivers, like the Sumidagaw…(186 words)

GenS image

GenS

For Business: a Full Suit in Japan images

For Business: a Full Suit in Japan

Pretty much every businessman in Japan wears a full suit to work everyday. This is what allows the domestic suit company Aoyama to boast that it sells the most number of suits among all suit companies around the world. In Japanese business, not only are results considered important, but also attitu…(163 words)

GenS image

GenS

Kendo spirits images

Kendo spirits

I personally interested Kendo philosophy more that Kendo techniques.All  Japanese martial arts such as karate, kendo, and judo have same based philosophy. It is a personal development mentally, physically, and spiritually.There is a famous word "kenshin ichinyo"in Japanese among Kendo p…(74 words)

yukorose image

yukorose

Dolls Day - March 3rd images

Dolls Day - March 3rd

March 3rd, is Girls' Day in Japan. It's also called Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival).Those who have sets of Hina Dolls display them in their homes on a platform - in tiers- and the tiers are covered with a red cloth. The dolls are called hina-ningyoh. They represent the Emperor, the Empress, and …(515 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

Worth to learn "IKEBANA" once you are in Japan! images

Worth to learn "IKEBANA" once you are in Japan!

Have you ever tried IKEBANA?IKEBANA is the Japanese traditional flower arrangement, but you never imagine there is much difference from the regular floral designs prevailing in Western style. Learning IKEBANA provides you understanding a true-feel about Japan and you can find who you are thro…(145 words)

Ami image

Ami

Tourist Tip #5: Five Don'ts to Do images

Tourist Tip #5: Five Don'ts to Do

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." - or in Japanese, 「郷に入っては郷に従え」 (Gou ni itte wa, gou ni shitagae; "Entering the village, obey the village.")Nobody wants to do the wrong thing, especially when it means very possibly embarrassing yourself, and potentially others, in front of other…(299 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Getting Clean in Japan images

Getting Clean in Japan

When you want to get clean after a long, crowded, sweaty day on the subway, you may retreat to your bathroom and jump into a deep Japanese bathtub and let the stress of the day drift away. Many westerners love a good soak, but like many things that are wonderfully different here in Japan, there is …(290 words)

Alex image

Alex

Cultural experience walking tour in Nihonbashi, Tokyo images

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)

TomokoI image

TomokoI

INTERVIEW 1: Finding... Work in Japan images

INTERVIEW 1: Finding... Work in Japan

I'd like to start my interviews of people from outside of Japan whom have found work in Japan, with Michael Meyer, from Berlin, Germany.JB: Welcome Michael and thanks for agreeing to share your story.Michael we were in contact while you were in your native Germany, before you came to Japan, a…(2101 words)

GoodPeople image

GoodPeople

Tenkara Fishing – From Ancient Japan to A Popular Sport With 80 Outlets in the United States images

Tenkara Fishing – From Ancient Japan to A Popular Sport With 80 Outlets in the United States

On a summer hike with a family friend in Winter Park, Colorado, we meandered into a conversation about Japan, my home for 29 years. Wow, Japan! That is so great! Tenkara is one of my favorite fishing styles! I love it!” My Cousin’s best friend’s husband from Boulder Colorado lit up with excitement …(953 words)

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Tipping versus Service Charge images

Tipping versus Service Charge

Tipping - not normally done, don't think you have to, although if you want to, it's fine. Service Charge - Often restaurants will include this in the bill (by way of tip). Now, if for example, the restaurant's service was sub-standard, you are within your rights to ask for this to removed.(52 words)

Steve image

Steve

Tatami in the summer time images

Tatami in the summer time

Although not all houses have tatami flooring these days (many apartments and homes will just have one or two "tatami rooms", usually bedrooms), you generally do not have a bed with legs on the tatami floor. Having heavy furniture with edges will leave pressure dents in the tatami after time, so sim…(133 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Everything About the Edo Period At Edo Tokyo Museum in Japan images

Everything About the Edo Period At Edo Tokyo Museum in Japan

If you are interested in learning about the Edo period, the Edo Tokyo Museum is THE PLACE TO GO. It is a gigantic museum in Ryogoku (by the Sumo Arena) and is probably the most extensive museum on the Edo Period in the world. The best thing about this museum is that it has volunteer English speakin…(93 words)

GenS image

GenS

One of the best sword museums and sword artisans communities can be found in Okayama Prefecture images

One of the best sword museums and sword artisans communities can be found in Okayama Prefecture

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum and Craft Center is located in Setouchi city, Okayama Prefecture. Just a short train ride from Okayama station to Osafune station and a 10 minute taxi ride for 500yen to the museum. You can walk to the museum (it takes about 25 minutes) but if you are unfamiliar with gett…(218 words)

JudithMikami image

JudithMikami

Where can you buy a Kimono for a good price in Japan? images

Where can you buy a Kimono for a good price in Japan?

I love to wear Kimono to weddings and parties in Japan. It is also really fun to get dressed up early on a Saturday morning and spend the day at Midtown or Shinjuku Gyouen in Kimono. You would be very surprised at how easy it is to wear and how comfortable the little zori slippers are. You will fee…(190 words)

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Cleanliness in Key in Japanese Shops images

Cleanliness in Key in Japanese Shops

One thing I absolutely love about Japan is how clean everything is. Today I was at a soba shop and I noticed the little cup of toothpicks was knocked over and that about 20 toothpicks were strewn across the countertop. I noted this to the staff in the restaurant and he immediately said "So Sorry!" …(183 words)

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The Japanese Zodiac and How it Relates to Feminism in Japan images

The Japanese Zodiac and How it Relates to Feminism in Japan

2014 is the year of the Horse and actually for all of us ladies born between Jan. 1, 1966 and Feb. 1967, it really means a lot. The Chinese Zodiac is shared with Japan and Korea and every 60 years, a certain group of women come along known as the Hinoeuma or Fire Horse. The stigma against the Fire …(218 words)

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Etiquette on the train/ subway and public places... images

Etiquette on the train/ subway and public places...

As you may know, Japan is the country of courtesy and helping each other as well as trying not to bother others. Well, used to be, at least. These days, I find that it is becoming the "lost art", sadly. Nonetheless, I would like foreign tourists and visitors to know and understand Japanese way t…(537 words)

KIH image

KIH

~ Picasso and Henry Moore ~ Inside and Out ~ Outside In ~ images

~ Picasso and Henry Moore ~ Inside and Out ~ Outside In ~

Turn left when you get off the train and with a little walking you'll see the Ticket Office. Different priced tickets for the members of your family, depending on how many days and years you have been wandering around this planet where sometimes you can get a sense of normality. You're not going to…(561 words)

Andrew Grimes image

Andrew Grimes