Watch Some Sumo Wrestling at the 2019 Grand Tournament in Osaka

Feb 15, 2019 By Justin Hanus

Sumo wrestling is a sport uniquely associated with Japan. Although not all professional sumo wrestlers are Japanese, the sport originated in Japan, and it remains the only country where it is practiced professionally. When people across the world think of sumo, they will undoubtedly conjure up images of two heavyweight...[ Click to read more ]

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Top 5 Hanami Sites Near Kobe

By Justin Hanus

Spring is just around the corner, which for many Japanese residents means Hanami time is here again. Hanami means “flower viewing” in Japanese (from the Japanese for flower - “hana”) and, up and down the country, people gather together to spend time with each other and appreciate the beauty of...[ Click to read more ]

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How to switch to the Japanese “Bargain Mobile” MVNOs

Jan 29, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

It was bound to happen to me at some point, but the way it happened is a bit out of the ordinary. I switched mobile phone provider recently… Actually make that mobile data provider as this was for my iPad, but that distinction doesn’t matter anymore in 2019; data is...[ Click to read more ]

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The Shopping Underground: Depachika in Hiroshima

Jan 28, 2019 By Matt Mangham

One of the best reasons to visit a department store here is to ride the elevator down to the basement, where a food lover’s wonderland lies waiting. ‘Depachika’ combines the first two syllables of "department store" with the Japanese word for "basement." Though they’ve evolved over the decades, depachika have...[ Click to read more ]

Inuyama City: Historical Castle Town and Much More…

Jan 23, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

Just half an hour from Nagoya is Inuyama, an ancient town that was at one time one of the most important domains of the ruling Oda clan. It is especially reknowned for its stunning castle that overlooks the Kiso River, a popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms in spring and...[ Click to read more ]

Introduction to Mobile Service in Japan

By Jason Gatewood

In recent years, the number of companies offering mobile phone service in Japan has increased substantially, along with the variety of plans available. While not a comprehensive list by any means, the information listed below should serve as a good introduction. The Big Three Docomo, SoftBank, and au are the...[ Click to read more ]

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Tokyo’s Romantic Valentine Spots

Jan 20, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, you may be wanting to find that perfect place to cozy up to your loved one and not sure of quite what to do about it. But fear not, because there are actually quite a few romantic spots in this fair city of...[ Click to read more ]

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Cycling in Kobe

Jan 18, 2019 By Justin Hanus

Japan is a bike-friendly country and many of its roads accommodate for cyclists with bike lanes. Cycling is a nice way of getting around, whether that be travelling from A to B or simply seeing the sights. If you want to cycle in Kobe, there are plenty of outlets where...[ Click to read more ]

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Prevention and Thawing of Frozen Pipes in Japan

Jan 02, 2019 By Ray Proper

Many people arrive in Japan from places where it simply does not get cold and are unaware that they need to worry about things like frozen pipes. In most places in Japan, the temperature does not fall below freezing that often, and as a result, the pipes have not been...[ Click to read more ]

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Hot coffee on a Winter Day. Hiroshima’s Best Cafes.

Dec 28, 2018 By Matt Mangham

It’s January, and suddenly western Japan is a great deal colder than you thought it would be. You want to go out, but you don’t want to go out. What to do? This month I’ll suggest a few possibilities for three things that are always best indoors: a cup of...[ Click to read more ]