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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

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

In Home Hydrotherapy images

In Home Hydrotherapy

Japan boasts a myriad of pristine beaches, picturesque lakes and waterfalls, and serine onsens like none other. Spending time in these waters can be very therapeutic for your body and your mind alike, but the fast pace of life can often deprive you of time to be able to fully utilize and immerse yo…(327 words)

Alex image

Alex

How to easily find English speaking doctors & dentists in Japan images

How to easily find English speaking doctors & dentists in Japan

For those of us living or traveling in this country it is not uncommon to be in need of a qualified English-speaking doctor or dentist in Japan. It is also not uncommon to be lost about where to go.There is a really good service out there called HealthyTokyo.com. They have put together an impr…(314 words)

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Aron

Banking in Japan: Where to Go, What to Do images

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)

Japanista image

Japanista

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)

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HiraganaTimes

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

Japanese style wedding, what it is like? images

Japanese style wedding, what it is like?

According to national statistics in Japan, a bit more than 600,000 couples got married in 2017. Another private survey for such newly married couples showed that two-thirds of them had a wedding ceremony and that only 17% of them chose Japanese traditional style, Shinto wedding ceremony, while 65% …(453 words)

TomokoI image

TomokoI

Toshima-en fishing area images

Toshima-en fishing area

Located in Nerima, which can be accessed on the subway from Tokyo (either on the Fukutoshin line from Shibuya, or Oedo line from Shinjuku), has a very nice fishing area that caters to all levels.The fishing area is more geared however toward those who want to leisurely fish on the weekend, or w…(130 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

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)

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kurukurugurume

Roppongi images

Roppongi

There is a TV station, TV Asahi, right by the side of Roppongi Hills. You can probably meet Japanese celebrities at restaurants around the area.(25 words)

shinR image

shinR

A peaceful resting ground images

A peaceful resting ground

Japanese graveyards are in my experience much different in appearance than those of the U.S, where I'm from. There are some smaller neighborhood graveyards, and there are larger ones in reserved areas in town. One thing that is very different is the physical layout of the graveyards. Cremation is l…(136 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Do you need to Give Tips in Japan? images

Do you need to Give Tips in Japan?

In Japan, tipping is never practiced. In fact, people will often be surprised to receive a tip, not know what to do with it, and just decline your offer. Workers in Japan do not expect you to give them a tip. Also, since tips are not expected, workers are paid decently. On your visit to Japan, don'…(86 words)

GenS image

GenS

Experience the Roaring Excitement of a Japanese Baseball Game images

Experience the Roaring Excitement of a Japanese Baseball Game

The aspect of Japanese baseball I enjoy the most is the cheering. Unlike at a game in the States where the crowd only gets loud when a team is close to scoring or something exciting happens, a game in Japan consists of constant cheering. When one team is on the offence, the fans of the team in the …(196 words)

GenS image

GenS

Learn the Rich History of Yokohama, Japan at Family-Friendly Museum images

Learn the Rich History of Yokohama, Japan at Family-Friendly Museum

The Yokohama Kaiko Shiryokan (Yokohama Archives of History) is a museum in Yokohama, dedicated entirely to the opening of the port city of Yokohama to Western trade in 1859. This was an important event which led to the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868, marking the end of the Edo Period an…(91 words)

GenS image

GenS

Kyudo at the Tokyo Budokan images

Kyudo at the Tokyo Budokan

One of the nicest Kyudo ranges in the Tokyo area can be found at the Tokyo Budokan. The range is unique in that it offers both short range targets at 28 meters and long range targets at 60 meters. Unless you are possess a minimum of first level black belt rank from the Budokan or other Kyudo fe…(127 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Just say Iie or No images

Just say Iie or No

In Japanese, the direct expression for no is iie. However, most Japanese people know the English word no and are more likely to respect a direct refusal. In Japanese culture, refusal is often done out of courtesy and Japanese people will ask a few more times unless your refuse directly. If you …(76 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

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

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

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

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

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)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

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

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

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

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)

KurtisW image

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)

KurtisW image

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