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Licensed To Drive..Finally!! images

Licensed To Drive..Finally!!

This article was originally published on my blog site on January 2008. Please come and visit to see more about my experiences in living and working in Japan.About 6 years ago I attempted to get a Japanese drivers license, since I was still driving with an internati…(4721 words)

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Tokyo Train Trip Ticket Japan license driving car Police test
Visit the amazing Kururi-jo Castle and explore the history at Kururi-Joshi Museum! images

Visit the amazing Kururi-jo Castle and explore the history at Kururi-Joshi Museum!

Personally, I love the way visiting different castles in Japan brings centuries-old history to life. Recently I visited “Kururi-jo Castle”, located in Kimitsu City of Chiba Prefecture. If you're a fan of Japanese castles too, I'd certainly recommend taking a visit there, especially if you enjoy tri…(563 words)



Visit History Museum Japan City Walk view Chiba Mountain Samurai
[A Highly Recommended Glamping and Camping Site for the Family: "THE FARM"] images

[A Highly Recommended Glamping and Camping Site for the Family: "THE FARM"]

Recently, “glamping” (glamorous camping) and camping have become very popular among Japanese families and couples. If you wish to unwind from the hustle and bustle, and want to experience something the locals themselves enjoy doing, consider a staying a few nights at "THE FARM" in Chiba's Katori Ci…(692 words)



Camping Japan Visit Trip Hotel Japanese Spring Nature Chiba
Bed and Breakfast Japanese Style! images

Bed and Breakfast Japanese Style!

The prices of Japanese inns (ryokan) and bed and breakfasts (minshuku or pensions) vary depending on the place. Some of the famous ryokan in the atami or izu area will cost you 1000 dollars per night. These places will definitely have superb service including traditional meals using fresh local ing…(197 words)

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Japanese inn breakfast Tokyo Beaches Minshuku Atami Summer Visit
Kusatsu Onsen: Rated No.1 of Japan’s 100 Best Hot Springs for 12 consecutive years ! images

Kusatsu Onsen: Rated No.1 of Japan’s 100 Best Hot Springs for 12 consecutive years !

Kusatsu Onsen in Gumma Prefecture is known as one of Japan's three best hot springs. By the way, Arima in Hyogo Prefecture and Gero in Gifu Prefecture are the other two locations. These three were originally described by a priest in the classical poetry anthologies of Shokoku-ji Temple in Murom…(530 words)



Onsen Kusatsu Onsen Park Tera (Temple) Visit Spring Winter Autumn
Sushi With a Special Twist images

Sushi With a Special Twist

Sushi for all intents and purposes is synonymous with pretty Japanese cuisine, which specifically is fairly significant. Many people the world over basically enjoy this delicious really Japanese treat every day in all corners of the globe, which is quite significant. However very few may particular…(453 words)



Sushi Art Cuisine Visit City Japanese Nature Shop Eat festival
Recycling is good for our living enviornment images

Recycling is good for our living enviornment

The positive attitude towards recycling system will change our action completely. It will be really easy to seperate burnable and non-burnable once we get used to it. I was still seperating all the trash when I was visiting America since I can never mix everything again once I have done it all the …(144 words)

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Enjoy “Setsubun” (Bean throwing ceremony)! images

Enjoy “Setsubun” (Bean throwing ceremony)!

“Setsubun” is the day before the first day of spring, which falls on February 3rd. In the evening of this day, we throw roasted soy beans inside and outside our houses with a cry of "Fuku wa uchi, Oni wa soto!" meaning "Out with the devil! In with good fortune!" Sometimes, we pick someone to play a…(101 words)

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Setsubun Event Holidays Surgical mask Spring
Soba Noodles: More than Meets the Eye images

Soba Noodles: More than Meets the Eye

If asked “what is my favorite Japanese dish?” I always tell people it’s soba noodles. I’ve never given much thought to the process behind the making of the noodles themselves. What actually goes into the making of Japanese soba noodles? Preparing this traditional Japanese favorite, although a very …(411 words)



Soba noodles
Escape to Hotel Moon Beach in Okinawa images

Escape to Hotel Moon Beach in Okinawa

Beach resorts aren't usually the first thing tourists associate with Japan, but this country has many beautiful beaches with resorts to match. One such resort is Hotel Moon Beach, located on the west coast of Okinawa.This expansive resort seems to go on forever, with multiple shops, a swimming …(398 words)

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Hotel Okinawa view Restaurant Japan Food Sport Dinner Transportation style
Japan has most national holidays in number around the world! images

Japan has most national holidays in number around the world!

Here are the list of national holidays in Japan - 2013 version. Wow - We have 16 holidays in total, which is the biggest in number around the world!January 1 - New Year's DayJanuary 14 - Coming‐of‐Age DayFebruary 11 - National Foundation DayMarch 20 - Vernal Equinox HolidayApril 29 …(145 words)

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Sport Holidays Labor Thanksgiving Day Culture Day Greenery Day Marine Day National Foundation Day Showa Day The Emperor's Birthday New year
Minshuku, the Best Way to Experience Japan images

Minshuku, the Best Way to Experience Japan

There are many different kinds of ryokan/minshuku in Japan and you can see definitions of them at I like minshukus best as they small and more personable. The owners run the minshuku and cook the meals. They take great pride preparing meal…(141 words)

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Jeff Aasgaard

Minshuku Tokyo Kyoto Osaka Japanese inn Trip
HANAMI (a MUST-DO) images


THE thing to do in Japan during the spring is hanami. Even as a Japanese who has lived and grown up in Japan, I am still astounded by the beauty of the cherry blossoms. It can be difficult to estimate when the cherry blossoms will fully bloom, because the condition changes depending on the temperat…(212 words)

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Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Park Drink Sake (Rice wine) Cherry blossom Beauty Cherry Grilled meat barbeque Apple Spring
Japanese Traditional Bed and Breakfasts: Minshuku images

Japanese Traditional Bed and Breakfasts: Minshuku

A minshuku is a traditional Japanese bed and breakfast. Minshuku can be found all over Japan but are common especially in tourist spots. Unlike larger ryokan, which are more like traditional Japanese hotels with hot springs and other facilities, minshuku are usually run by the family and are small.…(197 words)

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Minshuku Building Japanese inn Lodging Trip
Natsumatsuri and Suika Wari - like a local images

Natsumatsuri and Suika Wari - like a local

During the summer, other than going to the beach and pool, there are two things that I love to do:1) Go to natsumatsuri (summer festival). These are festivals held throughout the country to celebrate the summer season. Many Japanese women wear yukata (traditional Japanese summer clothing) (men …(208 words)

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Watermelon Game Okonomiyaki Yukata (Light kimono) Summer
Japanese public Holidays images

Japanese public Holidays

Who doesn't love Public Holidays, especially those Japanese salarymen who have to work so hard all the time. It's a nice break for family to have an outing and dining when they couldn't be together so often. The most important Japanese holiday are as follows. Normally people are avoiding travel to…(241 words)

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The must-do of Japan: get a "hair-spa" images

The must-do of Japan: get a "hair-spa"

Or when you want to relax, enjoy time for yourself, get a nice hair brushing, refresh, get rid of your jet lag, all you need to do is pick up one of the numerous hair salons and ask for a head-spa.It takes 2 hours of your time, but, it is totally worth it. The hairdressers in Japan are doing ma…(187 words)

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Hair Zone Beauty
Fujiya Hotel: A Resort Hotel in Hakone, a Hot Spring Resort Outside Tokyo. images

Fujiya Hotel: A Resort Hotel in Hakone, a Hot Spring Resort Outside Tokyo.

Have you ever seen that snowed in beautiful period piece hotel in the film "The Shining", where in the Winter months Jack Nicolson and his family are the lone caretakers of the hotel? Now can you imagine an hotel even more classic and beautiful, during the Spring and Summertime months, with no Nico…(517 words)

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Andrew Grimes

Tokyo Hotel Spring Summer Cherry blossom Winter Cherry Film Hakone
Home Yakiniku images

Home Yakiniku

One of the best ways to have a home party in a small space is having a home yakiniku party. It doesn't take much. All you need is a ¥4,000 hot plate and a table. chairs optional as you get the best experience from eating while sitting on the floor. You can cook yakiniku outdoors if your bal…(188 words)

The Landlord image

The Landlord

Tokyo area resorts images

Tokyo area resorts

There are a very wide variety of resorts around Tokyo. Of course, the accessibility varies greatly, when even getting across Tokyo itself by public transportation can take well over an hour.For the resort areas closest to Tokyo, most residents on the west side show a preference for Hakone, whi…(184 words)

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Tokyo Train Transportation Hakone Lake Hiking Nikko Lake Yamanaka
Monthly/weekly mansions images

Monthly/weekly mansions

Many years ago I was in a situation where I needed a place to stay for a few months. Regular hotels would be too expensive so I looked around and discovered monthly weekly mansions. These are apartments that allow you two rent by the week or the month and only require identification unlike regular …(101 words)

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Kusatsu Onsen: Rated No.1 of Japan’s 100 Best Hot Springs for 12 consecutive years ! (2/3) images

Kusatsu Onsen: Rated No.1 of Japan’s 100 Best Hot Springs for 12 consecutive years ! (2/3)

There are three bathing styles unique to Kusatsu. They are jikan-yu , Agari-yu and Awase-yu. Guests are encouraged to enjoy these about 3 times per day and try to remain in the onsen for an extended to take a full advantage of the special curing properties.Jikan-yu: These are timed baths where…(466 words)



style Traditional Hotel Spring Onsen Japanese inn Kusatsu Onsen Foot bath Public Bath Visit
Onsen Tradition in Kusatsu images

Onsen Tradition in Kusatsu

One of the oldest and most reputed onsens in Japan, Kusatsu was a favourite of the 5th and 8th shoguns ( it’s said that they transported waters to their castle in Edo). The onsen, while being preferred by Japanese for more than 1000 years, is relegated to a paragraph at best in the leading English…(315 words)

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Onsen English History tradition Japan Spring Nature Japanese Traditional Mountain
Public bath ! images

Public bath !

In Japan, you still find many public baths. They usually look like ordinary houses, very humble and discreet but if you look for them you can see them.Public baths are different from onset, their hot spring cousin in the sense that they are using normal water and they are open to everyone w…(318 words)

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8 Hotel: A cute, convenient place to stay at in Fujisawa images

8 Hotel: A cute, convenient place to stay at in Fujisawa

If ever you need to stay in-or-around the Fujisawa area (think Enoshima, Kamakura, Odawara), then 8 Hotel could be just the place for you. 8 Hotel is a no-frills boutique budget hotel, perfect for a one-night stay for single travelers or couples who don't mind sharing close quarters.Located jus…(217 words)

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Hotel Stay Fujisawa English Walk Kamakura Cafe Enoshima Island Bicycle Restaurant
Conbini Trashcans images

Conbini Trashcans

If you are a resident of Japan, throwing away your household garbage at a convenience store is somewhat scorned. You may ask, "why use a convenience store?". Many wards and cities in Tokyo require that you purchase special garbage bags for your household trash, with a large bag running about 100 ye…(187 words)

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Tokyo Convenience store
Uji-kintoki is best in summer! images

Uji-kintoki is best in summer!

Japanese shaved ice is called kakigori. There are a variety of flavors, and a traditional kind is Uji-kintoki which is flavored with green tea syrup and anko (sweet azuki beans). Kakigori is available in a wide range of quality: ranging from average quality found at the local grocery, to high q…(90 words)

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Tea Green tea Milk Summer


Other than observing the leaves change color from green to brown, red and yellow, to me autumn means delicious food. My favorite thing to do in autumn is to wait for the yakiimo (cooked sweet potato) truck come around town, selling piping hot sweet potato. The smell of the sweet potato wafts to you…(102 words)

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Convenience store Autumn
The Beast and the Beauty! images

The Beast and the Beauty!

Japanese modern urban architecture is not always a success. Buildings of the 1980’s are not «just getting old». They are old, and crumpy and you can see that they are aching. And, yes, they are quite ugly. You can pick them out quite easily: very squared, monotone, and covered either with colored …(431 words)

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Roppongi Hotel Restaurant architecture
Hoeiso ryokan in Hakone images

Hoeiso ryokan in Hakone

Hoeiso is a ryokan, a Japanese traditional style inn, situated in the beautiful green mountains of Hakone, right by a river. Hoesio is a family owned Ryokan, opened in 1956, with around 20 rooms that are big enough to fit a family. Enjoy indoor and outdoor onsen, and feast on traditional Japanese d…(170 words)

Emelie Fågelstedt image

Emelie Fågelstedt

Hakone Japanese inn Bus English Mount Fuji Onsen Outdoor recreation Park River
We call this paradise images

We call this paradise

There are parts of Japan that are still a relic. Indications of the Bubble "Jidai" are easily accessible places on the map, by their very nature, many rail roads go to them.Some of these places are being rejuvenated by the new people that populate them.Places like Minakami. Places like Tenj…(66 words)

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Japan Nature new find
Experience the Unique Joy of a Traditional Japanese Hotel images

Experience the Unique Joy of a Traditional Japanese Hotel

If you stay at a ryokan (traditional japanese-style hotel), you will come across many unique services. The two I enjoy the most are the baths and the yukata. Any ryokan will have a large bath for all of the customers to share. The bigger ryokan will have an actual hotspring while others may just ha…(138 words)

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Yukata (Light kimono) Japanese inn Traditional Hotel Lodging Table tennis Japan
Go for some magic at Tokyo Disney Resort images

Go for some magic at Tokyo Disney Resort

The resort that I would like to go to the most would be the Disney Resort. This way, I can go to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea one after another as well as enjoy the services offered at the Disney Resort. There are three hotels with different themes - one in Disneyland, one that has an old-fashion…(108 words)

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Tokyo Tokyo Disneyland
Japanese Bed and Breakfast Manners images

Japanese Bed and Breakfast Manners

Japanese bed and breakfast facilities resemble their British bread and breakfast lodgings, but often with several differences. Many Japanese establishments offer both dinner and breakfast. Before arrival, make sure which meals are offered. More often than not, "breakfast" will beJapanese st…(177 words)

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Etiquette Hotel Miso Miso soup Shoes Yukata (Light kimono) Slippers Shizuoka Furo (Japanese bath)
Balian resorts images

Balian resorts

Balian resorts offer different type of room for couples or families. Some of the hotels have facilities such as karaoke, table tennis, snooker, darts etc. They are all free. Check their website to learn more. A lot of complimentaries that will surprise you. Excellent cost performance! Beautiful roo…(58 words)

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Tokyo Tennis Karaoke Table tennis Darts
Looking for a great location outside of Tokyo? Kichijoji is Great! images

Looking for a great location outside of Tokyo? Kichijoji is Great!

Staying for more than a few days in Central Tokyo can be a drain, both on the wallet and the mind. There are other cities that don't sleep, but there are few cities in the world that remain as bustling and wide awake 24-7-365 as Tokyo.While both the Imperial Palace grounds - Kokyo - and Yoyogi…(437 words)

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Art Bus City Music Park Shibuya Shinjuku Shopping Tokyo Train
New Years images

New Years

New Years is a family event so there are not many tours or much excitement surrounding the new year like there is in the US. My family makes mochi and then we head to Kiyoshikojin Temple ( for hatsumode (first temple visit of the year) early in the morning. Som…(103 words)

Jeff Aasgaard image

Jeff Aasgaard

New year Event Tera (Temple) Mochi (Rice cake) Hatsumode
Wi-Fi for travelers in Japan: Getting out and about (2 of 2) images

Wi-Fi for travelers in Japan: Getting out and about (2 of 2)

So, you logged on and were able to touch base with home. Great. Now, you’re ready to leave the airport. What do you do? Well, keep your device in airplane mode. Remember, you will still be hit for international roaming charges if you go over the Japanese networks. So, to answer the last que…(314 words)

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Wi-Fi Hotel Airport Internet Mobile Transportation Subway Shopping
Need a Calm, Safe and Sound Harbour in the middle of Roppongi? images

Need a Calm, Safe and Sound Harbour in the middle of Roppongi?

Roppongi at times can be particularly busy, unkempt and full speed ahead when it comes to business and leisure hour pursuits. It's on the go 24/7 and if you don't get your bearings right it can be a somewhat overwhelming place say the least! For first time tourists and businessmen alike one of …(602 words)

Andrew Grimes image

Andrew Grimes

Roppongi Tokyo Hotel Shibuya Fashion Beef Roppongi Hills English Businessman view
Izu Hokkawa Onsen Bousui: A Heavenly Onsen in Japan, images

Izu Hokkawa Onsen Bousui: A Heavenly Onsen in Japan,

My first experience at Bousui was just 5 years ago and then the second was last month. In 2006 I was a newbie exploring the Hokkawa Hot Spring district , in 2014 it was my second visit as a devoted fan of hot spring perfection wanting to share this haven with my life partner and best friend.htt…(1039 words)


Onsen Summer Visit Building Trip Spring Music Japan Travel Summer Japanese inn Tokyo