Scouting in Nagoya

Sep 28, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

When Lord Baden Powell published the first edition of 'Scouting for Boys', a guidebook of survival techniques he learned during the Second Boer War and adapted for Britain's youth he sparked a worldwide phenomenon. Although the Scouting movement has become very different to what he may have imagined it to be (I'm...[ Click to read more ]

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Making sense of the Consumption Tax rate hike

Sep 27, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

It’s officially happening after many delays and false starts, Japan’s consumption tax (消費税 shohizei) will go from 8% to 10% on October 1st, 2019. The tax is levied on almost every purchase, from food and drink to train fares and utility bills; even the fees incurred from using the ATM...[ Click to read more ]

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How to ease the impact of Japan’s impending consumption tax hike

By Jason Gatewood

In order to ease the overnight transition into a higher tax bracket, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has begun a program that will effectively refund the difference back to consumers. But there are a few catches of course; its only in effect for 9 months beginning 1 October...[ Click to read more ]

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Sushi: a Short History and Where to Get It in Hiroshima

By Hugh Cann

The earliest form of sushi, known today as narezushi, most likely originates in the paddy fields along the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. The prototype narezushi is made by lacto-fermenting fish with salt and rice to control putrefaction. It then spread southward. In Japan, the dish's introduction overlaps with the...[ Click to read more ]

The Red Capped Statues – The Patron Saint of Children.

By Hugh Cann

If you’ve visited Mitaki Temple on the city outskirts or perhaps Daishoin Temple on Miyajima (or many other places throughout Japan) you will surely have come across small stone statues of monks wearing red knitted caps and bibs across the chest. These are statues honoring the Jizo Bosatsu. Jizo is...[ Click to read more ]

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JAPANESE SAKE – Educating you about the good, clear stuff!

By Hugh Cann

To begin with, we all know the word sake (pronounced sa-keh not sa-ki). But in fact, that is the generic term in Japanese for alcohol. If you want to order it and not sound like a complete “blow-in” you would be better ordering it as Nihon-shu. Most Nihon-shu (from my...[ Click to read more ]

Great Places to Spot Wildlife in Kansai

Sep 24, 2019 By Justin Hanus

People often associate Japan with busy neon-lit modern cities, but there are plenty of beautiful open spaces across the country where you can enjoy nature and wildlife. The Kansai region has parks, rivers, and mountains where you can head along to and see if you can spot creatures roaming or...[ Click to read more ]

Night Clubbing in Kobe

By Justin Hanus

Kobe is not quite on the New York levels of “city that never sleeps” but there is plenty going on after pubs and restaurants close up for the night with something for everyone from ravers to jazz aficionados. The good news is that many decent late-night joints are within walking...[ Click to read more ]

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Let’s Tour: Kamakura

Aug 29, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

Despite being one of the most densely populated parts of the world along with the capital city and biggest urban area of Japan, Greater Tokyo is historically newer than many places in the country. It wasn't until the 1600s during the Edo Period that the area, then called Edo, became...[ Click to read more ]

Yokogawa: Where Old and New Meet in Hiroshima

Aug 26, 2019 By Hugh Cann

Historically, Yokogawa is the old Shitamachi and before the second world war was Hiroshima's commercial business district. The post-war reconstruction shifted most commercial and retail activity to Naka -ku (ward) area of central Hiroshima. Today, some of the businesses in Yokogawa remain much as they were after the immediate reconstruction....[ Click to read more ]