Valentine’s Day in Hiroshima

Jan 31, 2020 By Hugh Cann

First, a brief introduction to the origin of Valentine's day. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in February as a month of romance. Its origin is a bit murky, but St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it, is a mix of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. One story suggests Valentine was...[ Click to read more ]

Grapes Over Grain – The Rising Popularity of Japanese Wine

Jan 30, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Everyone knows that Japan is sake country, and when we arrive, we are all desperate to indulge in the traditional tipple of the nation. Euphemistically translated as Japanese rice wine, sake (or 'nihonshu,' as the locals call it) has been the choice alcoholic drink here since time immemorial. However, this...[ Click to read more ]

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Chocs Away! Where to Buy Valentine’s Chocolate in Nagoya

By Mark Guthrie

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us, and in Japan, that means just one thing: chocolate. Now, everyone knows that here in Japan, we do things a little differently, namely that on February 14, women are the chocolate givers, whether it be a heartfelt indication of love for their chosen partner,...[ Click to read more ]

Tokyo Animal Cafes

By Jason Gatewood

One of the cutest and most unique recent trends in Japan is the cat cafe, where one can enjoy a cup of coffee while playing with cats that roam the shop in search of kibble, doled out by customers for an additional fee. Because space is at a premium in...[ Click to read more ]

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The Way of Tea – Japanese Tea Ceremony in Nagoya

By Mark Guthrie

Also referred to as the Way of  Tea, the Japanese tea ceremony elevates the preparation and presentation of 'macha,' or powdered green tea, to a ceremonial activity of great cultural significance. In the tea ceremony or chanoyu,  sadō, or chadō in Japanese, matcha is skillfully and elegantly prepared for guests...[ Click to read more ]

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Let’s tour: Odaiba

Jan 29, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

You may not know the Odaiba district by name before coming to Japan. Still, you have undoubtedly seen its various landmarks turn up in almost every form of media that showcases modern Tokyo. From landmarks like the triangular inverted pyramid of Tokyo Big Sight to the sprawling convention center, ginormous Ferris...[ Click to read more ]

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Try Sumo Wrestler Cuisine at a Chanko Nabe Hotpot Restaurant in Tokyo

Jan 28, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

Of course, you know about Japan’s national sport, sumo. If not, then here are a few ways to familiarize yourself with this original form of wrestling. You might ask yourself, how do those guys gain all that weight, but still maintain their stamina and flexibility? Despite what you might think, sumo...[ Click to read more ]

The Best Museums in Kobe

By Justin Hanus

Kobe may only be a small city, but it’s packed with fascinating museums. Many are well known, but there are some that few tourists discover. Kobe City Museum The building alone of the Kobe City Museum is worth seeing. Formerly the Kobe branch of the Yokohama Specie Bank, it was...[ Click to read more ]

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Valentine’s Traditions in Kansai

By Justin Hanus

We're into the new year and fast approaching that date in the calendar where love is in the air. It's Valentine's Day on the 14th of February, of course. This celebration of romance originated in Europe but has spread to many parts of the world. The concept was reportedly introduced...[ Click to read more ]

Escape From Tokyo: “Winter is Here” Edition

By Jason Gatewood

Sometimes you have to get away from all the hustle and bustle that comes with living in the city; double that sentiment if you’re an ex-pat living life in one of Japan’s megacities during the winter months. It’s cold, we’re done with the New Year holidays, and there aren’t many...[ Click to read more ]