TRAVEL June 15, 2019

The Four Seasons in Japan

Ah, to be in Japan, now that spring is here… or fall… or winter… The fours seasons in Japan are fondly admired and quite distinct. Each is regarded in as a step in an endless cycle, each one bringing its own food, festivals and sights. From the hanami picnics of spring to the ski-and-onsen trips […]

ARTS&CULTURE May 24, 2019

Wa and the Japanese Reluctance to Say “No”

The simple word wa is perhaps the most important in the Japanese language. It is so important to the nature of Japanese social interaction that it was the original name of the country. Wa means “harmony,” and the maintenance of that harmony is absolutely paramount in all Japanese relations, because the essential nature of social […]

FOOD&DRINK May 13, 2019

14 Japanese Snacks You Need to Try

Photo by M’s photography via Flickr From sweet mochi to savory corn puffs, Japan is home to an impressive variety of snacks. Wander into any local convenience store and you’ll find yourself surrounded by unique candy, spicy rice crackers, and cartoon-shaped cookies. Given Japan’s proud food heritage and focus on innovation, it’s hardly surprising that […]

EXPERIENCE April 20, 2019

Irezumi, the Art of Japanese Tattooing

Photo by L’oeil étranger via Flickr   Of its many artistic traditions, perhaps the one the Japanese are most conflicted about is irezumi, or the art of tattooing. Dating back to the pre-historic Jomon period (roughly 5,000 BCE), the art of irezumi – which literally means “injecting ink (zumi)” – has a long and complicated […]

ARTS&CULTURE April 5, 2019

20 Facts On Japanese Culture You Probably Never Knew

Photo by Giuseppe Milo via Flickr Japan’s unique culture is a fascinating blend of old and new. With deeply-rooted customs and a continuously-evolving lifestyle, Japan is both proudly traditional and ultramodern. This is a nation that celebrates its strong cultural identity, from food and everyday etiquette to art and education. Whether you’re planning a trip […]

TRAVEL March 27, 2019

Chinmoku, Sontaku and the Uses of Silence

Photo by J3SSL33 via Flickr It is said that in music, the space between the notes can say as much as the notes themselves. This idea also applies to language, through which the pauses in speech, the unspoken words and the implications of the context can say as much as any overt comment. And that, […]

FOOD&DRINK March 18, 2019

Exploring the Traditional Japanese Diet

Rooted in simplicity and seasonality, the traditional Japanese diet is regarded as one of the healthiest in the world. From oily fish to protein-packed tofu, traditional meals are full of fresh, unprocessed ingredients. Vegetables, grains, rice, fish, and fermented foods are all eaten in moderate amounts. And the result is a well-balanced diet that’s low […]

FOOD&DRINK February 26, 2019

Farm to Hashi in Japan

Photo by sk via Flickr Anyone who has traveled around Japan has likely marveled at how many farm plots dot all but the most urban areas. A trip on any shinkansen will offer the passenger fleeting glimpses of rice paddies and gardens that lie, green and lush, amidst Japan’s office towers, houses and apartment blocks. […]

FOOD&DRINK February 17, 2019

Tokyo Food Guide: 8 Traditional Dishes You Must Try

Photo via Flickr CC Japanese cuisine is unlike any other and Tokyo is one of the best places to try it. Fizzing with relentless energy, Japan’s capital is a feast for the senses. In Tokyo, you can slurp from bowls of steaming hot ramen, delicately savor sashimi, or munch on traditional Japanese sweet treats, all […]

ARTS&CULTURE January 24, 2019

Japanese Traditions & Celebrations

Photo by Jeff Carpenter via Flickr Japan is home to numerous traditions and celebrations, honoring cultural heritage, family, friends and events throughout the year. From weddings and birth celebrations to numerous matsuri’s, seasonal changes and the ringing in of the new year, Japanese traditions and celebrations are a wonderful way to learn about the culture. […]