Walk with the Animals, Talk with the Animals…

Jul 31, 2020 By Hugh Cann

Look I’m just going to say it. I’m not a fan of zoos and my first visit to Japan and see the zoo in the 1980s left me indignant and determined never to go again. HOWEVER. Japanese notions of animal care have evolved a lot and while it’s not Taronga...[ Click to read more ]

Japan’s Professional Sports Post-Coronavirus Summer Outlook

Jul 01, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

Like in the rest of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, anything that attracts large numbers of people together for hours on end has been postponed or canceled in Japan, including Major League sports. The situation remains fluid, however as some sports leagues are finding ways to deal with the...[ Click to read more ]

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Buying Summer Yukata in Tokyo

Jun 20, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

  If you have ever been to a summer fireworks festival around Tokyo you may have noticed many people wearing traditional Japanese dress and wondered what was going on. Well, summer festivals are a time when Japanese and foreigners alike can wear yukata, a summer, and informal variant of the famous kimono. What...[ Click to read more ]

Things to do in Tokyo during Rainy Season

Apr 26, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

We’ve braved yet another cold winter, sat out under the pink trees during hanami season, and seen it warm up steadily with our minds starting to look towards the barbecues, beach trips, and bon ordori festivals of summer. But we have to get through three or so weeks of dreary,...[ Click to read more ]

Takayama Spring Festival

Apr 01, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Located in Gifu Prefecture, and surrounded by some of Japan’s richest natural areas just below the famous Northern Alps, Takayama is somewhat isolated and distant.  This isolation allowed the city to develop its own distinct culture that combines that of nearby Edo (modern day Tokyo) and Kyoto’s into a new...[ Click to read more ]

Wisteria Festivals: Aichi’s Other ‘Hanami’

Mar 18, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

There can be absolutely no doubt that in Japan, the month of April is very much the month the cherry blossom tree. However, as quickly as it has come, the season has gone. Time has taken its toll on the delicate sakura, and the wind and rain of spring have...[ Click to read more ]

Join Amnesty International in Nagoya

Feb 26, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Nagoya is currently seeing a rise in activism. From environmental concerns to issues of social justice, all over the city groups of concerned locals and ex-pats are joining together to make the world a better place. One such group is the Amnesty International Nagoya Multicultural Group (Provisional). Japan Info Swap...[ Click to read more ]

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Spring Love Harukaze Music Festival in Tokyo 2020

By Jason Gatewood

We got you covered when it comes to checking out all the pink-tree goodness when it comes to cherry blossom viewing parties in Tokyo. But if you want to level-up your hanami experience this year, you can’t go wrong with the free Spring Love Harukaze concert on the weekend of...[ Click to read more ]

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Where to Enjoy Jazz in Kobe

By Justin Hanus

If you’re a jazz fan, Kobe is a place you must visit during your time in Japan. The city is arguably the origin of jazz in Japan as it was here in April 1923 that the first professional jazz band was formed. Plus, Louis Armstrong and his orchestra famously visited...[ Click to read more ]

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“Girls Day” Hinamatsuri Celebrations in Kansai

Feb 25, 2020 By Justin Hanus

If you're an expat living in Japan, it's highly likely that you will experience Hinamatsuri. This special day dedicated to girls and their families takes place every March 3rd across the country when you can expect to see ceramic doll displays, special foods and sometimes even songs. What is Hinamatsuri?...[ Click to read more ]