Day Trips – History, Heritage, and Natural Beauty in Toyokawa

Jan 31, 2024 By Bert Wishart

About 75 minutes east of Nagoya, in the Mikawa Bay region, lies Toyokawa, a small city with a lot of spirituality and individuality. Though it is generally overlooked by the tourism industry as little more than a once-industrial town, it is in fact an area known locally for its rich...[ Click to read more ]

Snow Festivals in 2024

Jan 30, 2024 By Michael Stigall

It been a warm winter so far, but it is finally beginning the drop into the single digits. With that said, the possibility of snow begins to come to mind. You see, because Japan is over 70% mountainous and located in the temperate latitudes of the western Pacific where the...[ Click to read more ]

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Get Your Game Face on – Spocha, Japan’s Family-Friendly Sports and Gaming Entertainmant

Jan 29, 2024 By Bert Wishart

Do you love sports but rarely have a chance to play? Perhaps you've never swung a bat or tossed a ball in anger and always wanted to try. It could be that you love video games and singing, and you can't choose which to do. Or just maybe you want...[ Click to read more ]

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Plum Viewing in Tokyo – The Top Umemi Spots in 2024

By Michael Stigall

While the cherry blossom is the flower that tends to dominate the imagination of Japanese botanic appreciation, it is perhaps the plum (ume) blossom that should be the more celebrated. Sporting reddish pink or white flowers, they are distinguishable from the sakura by their split ended petals and their strong,...[ Click to read more ]

Himakajima – Aichi’s Octopus Island

By Bert Wishart

Have you ever wondered what the planet would look like if it was taken over by octopuses? No? Ah, well that kind of messes up my introduction to this article. But let's imagine you had said yes, because I would now say 'Well, imagine no more, just head over to...[ Click to read more ]

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Hatsumode in Tokyo – Making Your First Shrine Visit of 2024

Dec 27, 2023 By Michael Stigall

New Years in Japan is laser-focused on firsts. You have your first sunrise of the year, which is very important, and other firsts like the Shinnenkai parties to bring in the New Year. Easily the most important of these New Year’s rituals is hatsumode. Hatsumode is the first visit of...[ Click to read more ]

Ice Skating Rinks in Kanto

By Michael Stigall

For most of us from colder climates, it is hard to imagine winter without ice skating. Luckily, many in the metropolis share that view, and there is a wide selection of ice rinks to choose from. We’ve looked high and low for the best places to hit the ice this...[ Click to read more ]

Cool Japan – How to Stay Warm in the Japanese Winter

By Bert Wishart

While winters in Japan’s more mountainous and northern regions get pretty chilly, here in Nagoya, temperatures rarely drop below zero. However, for some reason, I constantly feel frozen to my marrow, and I bet I'm not the only one. This is partly because few homes and office buildings are sufficiently...[ Click to read more ]

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Hiroshima Cinemas

Nov 30, 2023 By Matt Mangham

We’re fast approaching the peak cinema season as the weather chills, the nights draw in and this year’s big winter blockbusters hit our screens. Japan has a rich culture of film-making and its citizens love going to the movies as much as anyone else. The cinema experience in Japan is...[ Click to read more ]

Odaiba’s Misfit Museum: The Unko Museum

By Michael Stigall

Maybe I've been here too long but sometimes I forget that Japan has a reputation for being, well, a weird place. Occasionally, I come across something that surprises and delights me as much as it reminds me that there is a reason for the weird reputation. This brings us to...[ Click to read more ]

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