mark's Advice List
How do I have fun taking purikura booth photos?
The word "purikura" is shorthand for "print club" (purinto kurabu)." It refers to photo stickers that can be purchased in a photo booth. People enter a purikura booth (akin to machines that take passport photos), pop in a coin, get their photo taken against decorative and playful backgrounds, and …(95 words)
markEtiquette Coin Photo booth
What can you tell me about the Yokosuka Line?
The Yokosuka Line is one of the most widely used train networks for traveling directly south of Tokyo -- it stops at both Yokohama and Kamakura, which are two popular destinations for foreign tourists and Japanese alike. For people living in Tokyo, the Yokosuka line is also very convenient, for it …(61 words)
markTokyo Train Yokohama Kamakura
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)
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)
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)
Where are ATMs that accept my foreign issued bank card in Tokyo?
Japanese post offices in most major Japanese cities accept foreign-issued bank cards and credit cards.(15 words)
markTokyo Bank Post office
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)