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Tourist Tip #7: DON'T! images

Tourist Tip #7: DON'T!

Nobody wants to do the wrong thing when visiting a foreign country, and with Japan regarded as one of the politest countries in the world, there are plenty of wrong things that one can unintentionally D'oh!I posted a "Tourist Tip #5: Five Don'ts to Do" list a while back, and thought I would exp…(495 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Oiran Parade : The screamingly bright colors! images

Oiran Parade : The screamingly bright colors!

Shinagawa Shukuba Festival is held on the last Saturday and Sunday of September every year. We just had one two weeks ago. One performance you should not miss is the parade of oiran (courtesans) wearing beautiful Kimono. If you are lucky, you will have an opportunity to watch one of those oiran par…(467 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Japan's Money Men and Women (Part 1 of 2) images

Japan's Money Men and Women (Part 1 of 2)

Have you ever wondered about the people who appear on Japanese paper money? Here's a quick two-part article to familiarize you with the famous faces that grace Japan's bank notes.Hideyo Noguchi (November 24, 1876 – May 21, 1928), also known as Seisaku Noguchi, was a distinguished Japanese bacteriol…(131 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Japanese companies, has a theme song. images

Japanese companies, has a theme song.

Respectable company of Japan has a theme song.Professional make, easy to sing, the feeling is good.By singing, you will love the company.Japanese likes to act together.Its roots, has started from the age of six.In Japanese schools, weekly, monthly,Students will sing the school of …(105 words)

asteka image

asteka

NHK TV Program "Professional" images

NHK TV Program "Professional"

I recommend the TV program called "Professional" broadcasting by NHK(National TV Channel #1) and it introduces Japanese professionals or experts or charismas in various industries or area such as entrepreneur, chief, engineer, artist, athlete, etc.etc. You may touch their philosophy or idea, and al…(83 words)

kurukurugurume image

kurukurugurume

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

Kyumeikan Dojo in Itabashi images

Kyumeikan Dojo in Itabashi

There is a Kendo dojo in Itabashi called the Kyumeikan dojo. They can teach Kendo to students as young as 3 years old and offer classes in English. The dojo is unique in that it sends students to other dojos to learn from other teachers and offers dinners so students and teachers can get to better …(69 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

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

Doraemon - Robot cat images

Doraemon - Robot cat

The other day, from the local evening TV news, I learned that our Doraemon is to make his debut on US television this year (2014)!Doraemon is one of the most popular cartoon characters. He is a robot cat from the future with a magic pocket in his tummy. When I was a child, I used to sit in fron…(284 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

What Japan is proud of - Craftsmanship! : Japanese Watches III images

What Japan is proud of - Craftsmanship! : Japanese Watches III

Founded in 1881 (2011 was its 130th Anniversary) by Kintaro Hattori - first, as clock repair shop, then start making its own clocks. Set up its manufacturing factory (Seikosha). Went on to the watches by establishing Daini (second) Seikosha.... "Seiko" means, again, "precision" or "precision man…(656 words)

KIH image

KIH

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)

OKAKI-sun image

OKAKI-sun

Go fishing in Yokohama area images

Go fishing in Yokohama area

I recommend to join Fishing Boat departing from the sea side in Yokohama area such as Yamashita area or Kanazawa area, etc. There are several boats from visiting just nearest Jetty, light house etc, Or going out offshore. Even if you are begineer, you are coached by the fishing guide or the captai…(53 words)

kurukurugurume image

kurukurugurume

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

NOUSAKU: Flexible ware? Great Japanese Craftmanship images

NOUSAKU: Flexible ware? Great Japanese Craftmanship

My parents' birthdays are coming up this month and I am considering to present them a special Japanese craftman art this year. Have you heard of NOUSAKU brand? I had a chance to do some research on this company at work and I would like to share about their wonderful work. It is becoming a huge hit …(395 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Toilet Ikebana images

Toilet Ikebana

One thing that the digital revolution in photography has allowed is for one to have a camera on your mobile 24/7 .... so you can take photos anywhere, anytime, any place. Near my home we have a large park with public toilets where I occasionally make use of the men's facilities. Have been doing so …(337 words)

GMBPGM tEChOvision image

GMBPGM tEChOvision

Seeing Kusatsu’s Yumomi Ceremony Live images

Seeing Kusatsu’s Yumomi Ceremony Live

The hot spring water that flows throughout Kusatsu comes from deep within the earth and, as a result, is very, very hot. Between 51 and 94 degrees Celsius to be exact. You may be wondering how this water is cooled. Adding cold water?One of the ways the water is brought to a comfortable temperat…(345 words)

Petra image

Petra

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

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

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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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

Traditional TV Dramas Jidaigeki - Mito Koomon (Mito Mitsukuniko) images

Traditional TV Dramas Jidaigeki - Mito Koomon (Mito Mitsukuniko)

Jidaigeki and Traditional Japan Mito Koomon (AKA - Tokugawa Mitsukuni)This past weekend, I decided to take a trip to a place call Mito city located in Ibaraki prefecture, north – north - east of Tokyo and with a train, it takes a little over an hour with rapid express or bit more than 2 hours w…(469 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

Bunny Signs are the New Cute Traffic Cones in Japan images

Bunny Signs are the New Cute Traffic Cones in Japan

Sometimes I wonder how Japanese life stays so placid. Placid in a good sense, like the surface of a deep ocean on a calm day. There is a lot going on underneath but the surface is flat, peaceful and non-threatening. In Japanese we call it "Joushiki" which to me is best translated as "civility" or "…(355 words)

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Japanese Geta, Traditional Shoes in Japan, To Getya Going! images

Japanese Geta, Traditional Shoes in Japan, To Getya Going!

Are you from Hawaii? If you are...help me out here. At Pearl Ridge Elementary School (during the 70s) we went through a footwear boom called "Klonks". It was just around the time that coolots (the jeans type) and those feathered clip-on decorations you put in your hair, were popular. Now, do yo…(611 words)

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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

Umeshu and Umeboshi images

Umeshu and Umeboshi

When you are supermarkets, you must have seen a bunch of bottles and suger on sale these days. Yes, this time around the year is the time to make your own Umeshu and Umeboshi at home in Japan.Umeshu (梅酒) is a Japanese liqueur made from ume fruits (while still unripe and green) in alcohol and suga…(198 words)

EmiOnishi image

EmiOnishi

Getting your Motorcycle License images

Getting your Motorcycle License

There are a few ways to get a motorcycle license in Japan. If you have a license from your home country you can go through the process of having it transferred to a Japanese one. This process differs according the home country in question.If you don't have a license you can get one by taking th…(189 words)

Kenji image

Kenji

Japan Tax-free Shopping guide 日本免稅購物常見問題 images

Japan Tax-free Shopping guide 日本免稅購物常見問題

From October 1, 2014, additional products are added to the tax-exemption products at tax-free program participating stores. This includes food, medicines and cosmetics.* There are some restrictions and conditions depending on the type of products for tax-exemption purchase.(1) Consumables (food…(232 words)

Eddie image

Eddie

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

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

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

The Vague Expression “Bimyou” is “Yabai” images

The Vague Expression “Bimyou” is “Yabai”

The Agency for Cultural Affairs announced the results of an opinion poll on the Japanese language carried out between January and February, 2015.It became apparent that the meaning of some words had changed over these last ten years.The word “yabai,” originally used to denote impending danger…(246 words)

HiraganaTimes image

HiraganaTimes

Street performers in Yoyogi Park images

Street performers in Yoyogi Park

I visited Yoyogi Park in Tokyo near Harajuku station recently on a Sunday. As I walked through the park, there were numerous street performers. One of my favorites are the street rockers. They dress in black jeans and 50's style with Elvis style hair and ducktail haircuts. They dance to rockabi…(73 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

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

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

Slapstick all the way images

Slapstick all the way

Japanese comedy is very heavily dependent on slapstick humor. One perfect example of this is the special new year's program shown every year in a unique episode.It's called "gaki tsukai ara-hen de", and it basically plays on the Japanese typical game called "batsu-game" (batsu is just the vocaliz…(141 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

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

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

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

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