May5月,皐月[ Satsuki ]

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road in Tokyo images

Follow the Yellow Brick Road in Tokyo

Have you seen a movie produced by Warner Brother’s call “The Wizard of Oz”? In one of the parts, munchkins tell Dorothy, the Coward Lion, the Tin Man and the scarecrow to follow the yellow brick road. Well, this is almost like it to help people navigate from point a to b.When I came back to Jap…(394 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

Komeda Coffee: the First Trend to Start in Nagoya images

Komeda Coffee: the First Trend to Start in Nagoya

Komeda Coffee is a chain cafe that originated in Nagoya, and has since spread across the country. I often joke with my friends that Nagoya is the last place to be informed of the latest fads, but this time around, Nagoya became the trendsetter. Of the more than 400 stores nation-wide, in Aichi …(320 words)

Misa image

Misa

Azalea: Tsutsuji - Spring Flowers in Japan images

Azalea: Tsutsuji - Spring Flowers in Japan

Sakura is famous in the spring, but after the cherry blossom time in Japan another flower takes over. In April azaleas colour Tokyo with their bright flowers.When I read Chiara's post "Local Secret: YaNeSen" here I realised that she was describing places that I had just visited. "The stroll fro…(195 words)

David image

David

“Benkyoukai” Helps People in Japan Get Ahead images

“Benkyoukai” Helps People in Japan Get Ahead

Allow me to introduce you to a term Benkyoukai. The term Benkyoukai is made up of three Kanji Characters and the first one is written as 勉, which means “exertion”. The second character is written as 強and it means “strong”. The third character is written as 会 and it means “meeting, association,…(278 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

Self-Pouring Beer Machines images

Self-Pouring Beer Machines

You may have noticed in your local ramen shop or corner eatery the little automated machine in the back that is pouring beer into mugs like soda gets filled into different cup sizes in a McDonalds. One stark difference in these custom machines is that these machines actually tilt back and forth as …(266 words)

Alex image

Alex

Izakaya: An Insider's Perspective images

Izakaya: An Insider's Perspective

It can be a little difficult to explain the concept of an “izakaya” in English. They are likened to pubs or bars, essentially being establishments focused on serving alcoholic drinks. However, that’s not all there is to an izakaya. As a former izakaya waitress, I'd like to debunk a few common misco…(591 words)

Sakura image

Sakura

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

Successfully Navigating Narita Airport images

Successfully Navigating Narita Airport

I travel fairly frequently to overseas destinations with my business but when I am on my way to Narita Airport using Narita express, I find myself asking which terminal I have to get off and would I go to the north or south gate to check with the airline I am about to embark. When I came back f…(282 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

Ribbit said the frog. RIBBIT!! said the GIANT frog. images

Ribbit said the frog. RIBBIT!! said the GIANT frog.

Kaeru in Japanese means to return. The same sounding word, kaeru, means frog.Many Japanese return to the Juban Inari Shrine time and again to offer a prayer or see these two frogs that sit just to the right of the steps leading up to the shrine. This shrine is also one of the stops during t…(262 words)

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

The Wildest Times in Japan Begin With a Cup of Sake, a Traditional Japanese Rice Wine images

The Wildest Times in Japan Begin With a Cup of Sake, a Traditional Japanese Rice Wine

I remember going to a nearby Western Bar in Aiea with my friend from High School and sharing a few “Shots” of alcohol where you pour some mixture of strong and sweet into a little “shot glass” and down it together in one fell gulp.Those were fun and crazy times and the little buzz from that alc…(615 words)

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How to Beat Japanese Summer Heat When Traveling in Japan? images

How to Beat Japanese Summer Heat When Traveling in Japan?

You know those times on the train platform where the crowds make you cringe? You are not cringing at the people per se, just the clammy ugginess of the possibility of contact with clammy, sweaty summer skin. Yes, we all share your feelings. Not even an elbow bump here or a happenstance brush up…(549 words)

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Hamamatsu Kite Festival images

Hamamatsu Kite Festival

May 3rd to the 5th the Kite battle begins at Nakatajima park Hamamatsu.These kites are not something you would find at Toys-r-us.It takes 10 to 15 people to lift one of these kites into the air!Each kite represents a cho or an area where you live.Any group member that had a new born child…(124 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

Japanese Perfection in Flower Gift Design images

Japanese Perfection in Flower Gift Design

Japanese Perfection in Flower Gift DesignPutting the “Wow” into flower design.Every time I wonder what to send someone for a birthday, office move or wedding, I think FLOWERs!! Okay, no one would say “No” to a flower gift right? How about a super cool, Japanese-style flower arrangement?…(432 words)

K-FLORIST design image

K-FLORIST design

Commuting during Rush Hour ! images

Commuting during Rush Hour !

Imagine you have to board your 7:45am train by hook or by crook (so you can arrive in office on schedule). Let's add to this imagination, images of japan train rush and getting shoved by polite train conductors without any apology. So how do you board train now, especially during mad rush on weekda…(303 words)

Samir Bodhe image

Samir Bodhe

Shoes Fit for a King images

Shoes Fit for a King

I like shoes. Not enough to have 3000 pairs, like the wife of a former Asian dictator, but I think good shoes are a very important thing. A good pair of shoes keeps our feet on the ground, after all.Atsushi Inoue is a Shoe Creator. Not just any shoemaker. His shoes are, no doubt, a mixture …(294 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Watch out for misleading labels in Japan images

Watch out for misleading labels in Japan

There have been some convenient, but very misleading trends in consumerism in Japan leading non-Japanese reading visitors and residents to making annoying and sometimes dangerous mistakes.For example, above you can see a だし Dashi (soup stock) vending machine right next to a normal drink machi…(185 words)

jjwalsh image

jjwalsh

Amazing taste of Soymilk in Asakusa images

Amazing taste of Soymilk in Asakusa

Some of you may know the delicious taste of Tofu. But best of best is super delicious taste of soymilk. There are becoming decreasing of the number of such great Tofu shop. But you can easily taste it in Asakusa. Ichikawa Tofu, 3rd generation succeeding Tofu shop. Ichikawa Tofu5:00am-1:00p…(139 words)

Shige image

Shige

Fascinating 4 Akasaka izakaya's of A-un group with reasonable prices, valued quality, and vitality images

Fascinating 4 Akasaka izakaya's of A-un group with reasonable prices, valued quality, and vitality

One recommendable ‘izakaya’ type of operator in Akasaka area is ‘A-un group,’ which is actually operating four ‘izakaya’s under the name of ‘A-un-tei,’ ‘A-un,’ ‘Gonkichi,’ and ‘Kyushu Sakaba,’ respectively in the order of less casualness, providing, though, more or less, the same menu almost for th…(326 words)

Techan image

Techan

Not everything costs 100 yen images

Not everything costs 100 yen

Some items in the stores cost more than 100 yen so pay attention to the price tags. There are some items that go for up to 600 yen or so. With the tax hike, all goods are at least 108 yen at this time and may rise in the future with additional tax increases.(54 words)

Kenji image

Kenji

Have you ever experienced Japanese wine? Let's find your favorite one! images

Have you ever experienced Japanese wine? Let's find your favorite one!

Hope you all had a good holiday.I just came back from a Japanese wine cave in Katsunuma, Yamanashi - there are 180 kinds of certified local wine in the cave. Katsunuma is well-known for its grapes. 25% of Japanese grapes were grown there. And it is so close to the central Tokyo - just 90 mins b…(320 words)

Ayumi image

Ayumi

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise images

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is just south of Yokohama. This is a great place to spend the day for the whole family. Multiple aquariums with hundreds of varieties of sea life. Total number of sea life is well over 100,000. From sea turtles to penguins and numerous other attractions you may be surpri…(89 words)

Kevin image

Kevin

Tissue Paper Advertising in Japan images

Tissue Paper Advertising in Japan

I am sure that you have seen the people around the train stations and other locations throughout many cities passing out small packs of tissue papers to nearby travelers.When offered, I usually take one from them for I feel bad since most people ignore them and will not take one. Especially dur…(258 words)

AustinA image

AustinA

Small tips doing business in Japan images

Small tips doing business in Japan

Doing business in Japan will be quite different then how things are done in the Western culture.For instance you wish to get a contract signed between two companies.In the Western culture you might say I'll talk to the person in charge or talk directly with the president and will get the cont…(481 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

Smart Cities Week 2014 images

Smart Cities Week 2014

The 4th Smart Cities Week 2014 (SCW 2014) will be held in Yokohama this coming October 29-31 at the Pacifico Yokohama Hotel and Convention Center in the Minato Mirai area of the city and, with it, will come a dizzying array of programs, conferences and exhibits designed to show how the application …(1368 words)

jdlawrence image

jdlawrence

Business hotels - more than business images

Business hotels - more than business

As a frequent traveller, I need to minimize the fuss when booking business hotel.What I want is very simple; close to the train station or airport, clean room, free wifi, hot shower, decent AC, wide & comfortable bed, enough space to put my large size suitcases, little desk to get some work done,…(286 words)

ISoffice image

ISoffice

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