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May 26, 2020hightech
An Unmanned Station Ramen Shop Where Robots Do Everything from Sales to Cleaning

An Attention-grabbing Ramen Shop on a Shibuya Station Platform

The food company ACECOOK has opened a pop-up ramen shop called Mocchicchi Station on a JR Yamanote Line platform at Shibuya Station which has been featured in many news stories.

May 19, 2020hightech
Introduction to Monitoring with Zabbix #4

Last time, I discussed hosts and host groups, which are used to organize items. Now let’s take a look at how triggers can be used to distinguish between normal states and problem states based on Item values.

May 12, 2020hightech
The World’s First Automated Driverless Railway Opened in Kobe in 1981

When we think of automated driving, it is self-driving cars that first spring to mind. However, in Japan, where the railway network covers the whole country, automated driverless railways have recently become a hot topic.

May 7, 2020hightech
Teaching of a Samurai Engineer 9: Cookies and sessions, part 3 (Implementation: sessions)

Last time, we looked at implementation of cookies. This time, I’ll write about implementing sessions. As I wrote in my 7 th article, ‘Cookies and sessions, part 1 ’, sessions have various implementations such that just calling them sessions broadly is confusing, so for this text, ‘session’ will refer to the use of session functions offered by PHP.


May 21, 2020work
How to Prepare for a Japanese Job Interview: Typical Questions - Part 1

Taking a job interview in a second language is a challenging experience that you need to be prepared for. In this article we are going to look at some common interview questions that you are likely to be asked in a Japanese job interview.

Apr 30, 2020work
Getting Work Teaching English in Japan: A guide for the perplexed

Teaching English in Japan has long been a relatively easy gateway into living and working here. Essentially, anyone whose first language is English and has a college degree has a chance of finding a job with a company that will sponsor a visa, and usually even help find a place to live.

Apr 10, 2020work
Rirekisho: How to Fill In a Japanese Resume

Unlike many western countries I’m familiar with, the Japanese CV format is almost totally standardized. Naturally, some companies (particularly tech ones) may ask for additional or alternative forms more like the CV or resume you’re familiar with, but understanding the Japanese one is going to be essential for looking for work here.

Mar 12, 2020work
Mind Your Manners! The Correct Etiquette for Japanese Job Interviews

If you have been offered a mensetsu (面接, interview) with a Japanese company, it is important that you prepare yourself in advance for the Japanese interview style. Interview etiquette is strictly regulated in Japan, with a set pattern of things you should and should not do. In this article, we offer tips for each stage of the interview process.


May 4, 2020life
Striking out on your own in Japan: freelancing for the complete novice

The best way to begin freelancing in Japan is to just start doing whatever it is you do — as long as this is allowed under your visa.


Apr 17, 2020study
Quirks of Japanese: Further Abbreviations, and More

Last time, we started on our trip through the more obscure or unexpected twists and turns of learning Japanese (but not the harder parts; the list of kanji is that way if that’s what you want) with an overview of some abbreviations. This time, we’ll pick up where we left off with one particular example, but we’re also going to be taking a look at bits and pieces of all sorts of other things that wouldn’t fill a full article by themselves.

Mar 26, 2020study
Phrases for the Office
The road to effective Japanese fluency is a long one, and while there are no shortcuts to real mastery, a few targeted phrases can not only help you communicate more...
Mar 2, 2020study
Wasei-eigo: False Friends in Japanese

When you live in Japan, from time to time you will encounter words or expressions dropped here and there in casual conversation that might seem familiar, but which you don’t quite understand. These are wasei-eigo (和製英語 — literally "English made in Japan"): pseudo-English words and phrases used in the Japanese language that can actually be quite confusing for native English speakers.


May 22, 2020culture
A Myriad Leaves: The Timeless Poems of the Man’yōshū

On May 1 st 2019 Japan entered a new official era to mark the new emperor’s ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne. The name chosen for this era, Reiwa, uses two Chinese characters 令和 which were taken from an ancient Japanese poetry collection called the Man’yōshū.

Apr 28, 2020culture
Japanese Wedding Traditions vs. Current Practices

Traditionally the Japanese celebrate their wedding in a shrine while wearing gorgeous kimonos and following a procession led by the kannushi (Shinto priest). From the perspective of an outsider, the event looks very sober and yet imposing probably due to the humility and spirituality that emanates from it.

Apr 7, 2020culture
Kodomo no Hi: Children’s Day in Japan

Children’s Day, which is called Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日) in Japanese, is a national holiday in Japan held every year on May 5th to celebrate happy and healthy children and to express gratitude to their mothers.

Mar 17, 2020culture
The Story of Kotatsu: Keeping Warm and Cozy in a Japanese Winter

Prior to living in Japan, I had a rather hazy image of it as an exotic land with a sultry climate. Summer in Japan is indeed hot and humid, but unless you live on the southernmost subtropical islands of Okinawa, you will find that Japanese winters are very, very cold.


May 7, 2020travel
Stay at Home and Explore Japan
As we all shelter in place during the global Coronavirus pandemic, the desire to travel and experience the world likely grows stronger than ever. I know I want to get...
Apr 15, 2020travel
Ojiya: seasonal events and festivals

At some point, Ojiya decided that just the year-round attractions don’t make it interesting enough. This is very lucky for us, because that means it has a lot of seasonal events for us to go through as well.

Mar 26, 2020travel
The Top Ten Dreamy Japanese Ryokan – Part 1

Ryokan (旅館) are traditional Japanese inns which are often located in rural resort areas and set amidst beautiful natural scenery. Usually they feature such elements as tatami flooring and futon bedding in the guest rooms, and communal bathing areas.

Mar 4, 2020travel
The Ten Best Places to See Cherry Blossom in Kyoto
It is not long now before the hanami (花見, cherry blossom viewing) season is upon us. One of the most famous locations to view the sakura (桜, cherry blossom) is...