Jul 15, 2021life
Akihabara exploration series: My own recommended style of exploring Akihabara

Today’s Akihabara is a town of subcultures and electricity.

The district is filled with stores selling anime, manga, various associated merchandise and video games, and maids can be seen in the streets, but that’s not all. If it’s machine parts you’re looking for, you can find that in Akihabara as well.

The reason for this is that a few decades ago, Akihabara was a district filled with parts shops selling radios, wireless machinery components, vacuum tubes and more.

Jun 16, 2021culture
Finding a Pastime in Japan: Choosing a Japanese Martial Art

There are a number of reasons why you might want to take up a martial art in Japan. The regular physical practice can help you keep fit, build confidence, and let off steam. A martial art can also be a gateway into Japanese culture.

Apr 2, 2021culture
Japan’s National Holidays

Japan has a generous number of annual public holidays. There are 16 annual shukujitsu (祝日, national holidays) peppered throughout the year during which schools, public institutions, and many businesses are closed. By law, if a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be a holiday.

Mar 22, 2021culture
Japan’s Special Seasonal Holiday Foods

Japan has a rich array of annual events and festivities that are celebrated through the seasons, each with their own special traditions, and each with their own special foods. In this article we are going to look at some of Japan’s most important seasonal foods, and examine their significance.

Mar 18, 2021culture
Primer on Katakana
Last time, we talked about hiragana for a while. This time, we'll be taking a closer look at katakana, the second of the three scripts in Japanese — before you...
Feb 28, 2021culture
Hinamatsuri – Japan’s Colorful Festival of Dolls

Hinamatsuri (雛祭り) is a special festival which is held in Japan every year on March 3rd. This festival, which is known either as "Girl’s Day" or "Doll’s Day" in English, is a family celebration for young girls and is dedicated to their health and happiness.

Feb 25, 2021culture
A Primer on Hiragana

As you probably know, Japanese has three alphabets: Hiragana, katakana, and kanji. You're going to need all three of those; something I'm specifying mostly because I've met people who insist that just one will do, and you should pick kanji because then you know Chinese too (no, it's not the same, and 'I've been to Korea' just makes things worse).

Jan 19, 2021culture
All About Setsubun: The Bean-Throwing Festival

Setsubun is an annual festival celebrated widely both in private homes and public areas that at first glance seems to consist of equal parts charm and eccentricity. Can you imagine wearing a plastic devil-mask while the rest of your family gleefully pelts you with dried beans? This is a key part of the Setsubun celebration!

Jan 14, 2021culture
Japanese Traditional Garden Design Elements

Japanese gardens take many forms. There are large, meandering stroll gardens, hilly landscape gardens that can best be enjoyed from a single vantage point, smaller gardens attached to teahouses, tiny interior courtyard gardens, and stony dry landscapes.