2015 November

Hotaru no Hikari: Japan’s Take on the Famous ’Auld Lange Syne’ Tune

Natives from Scotland, the US, and other English-speaking countries might be confused to hear the tune to “Auld Lange Syne” played over loudspeakers in stores in Japan minutes before closing. This phenomenon is all across Japan, in department stores, grocery stores, and even pachinko parlors. Why is this? If you ask a Japanese friend about…

Sagamiko Pleasure Forest’s Spectacular Illumination – Just An Hour From Tokyo

Visit Kanto’s biggest illumination at Sagamiko, which this year features Paddington Bear, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben in glorious LED form. Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest sagamiko-resort.jp/ Anything billed as a ‘pleasure forest’ immediately attracts attention and Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest really comes into its own during winter when millions of LED lights descend upon the…

Let Tokyo Station Light Up Your Christmas Vacation!

Tokyo Station is one of the most iconic stations there is in Tokyo and it is also the gateway to Japan’s capital. Centered by the red brick Marunouchi Building, this station has experienced a number of damage and parts of it got destroyed during the second World War but have been restored in 2012. yokosojapan.co.jp/…

6 Soothing Covers Sung by Japanese Electro-Pop Band, Q;indivi

Q;indivi (キュー・インディヴィ) is a Japanese electro-pop band consisting of three members who are Oikawa Rin who is the vocalist and lyric writer, Tanaka Yusuke who is the composer and sound producer, and Kevin Gilmour who is the organizer also in charge of the rhythm programming. The band also has other spin-off group names such as…

20 Songs to Take You Through Berryz Kobo’s J-Pop Journey

Berryz Kobo (Berryz工房), which carries the meaning of Berryz Workshop, was originally a kids’ band by Hello! Project. The original lineup consisted of 8 members who were Sugaya Risako, Natsuyaki Miyabi, Shimizu Saki, Tsugunaga Momoko, Sudo Maasa, Kumai Yurina, Tokunaga Chinami, and Ishimura Maiha. The lineup was pretty stable with only Ishimura Maiha leaving the…

5 Amazing Winter Snow Festivals to Experience in Northern Tokohu!

Whenever the topic of Japanese festivals (matsuri 祭り) is brought up, the season which usually comes to mind first would be summer when many gather in their yukatas and clogs to visit food stalls selling various delicacies and game stalls offering entertainment for people of all ages. The festivals usually end with fireworks illuminating the…

Interact with Nara’s Deer at Shikayose, a Winter Deer-Calling Event

Shikayose or deer calling is a winter event in Nara, the ancient capital of Japan. This event held every morning (except on Monday) during February to mid-March, starting from 1892 until now. Shikayose is also held for a few days during the summer. Author’s photo The Deer in Nara Author’s photo As we know, deer…

A Tokyo Ghost Story: The Angry Spirit of Taira no Masakado

Tokyo is one of the most densely populated areas in the world: more than 6000 people live in 1 square kilometer in this metropole. This also means that space is scarce, and especially in popular downtown districts every square meter is utilized to the maximum. This makes it all the more surprising to find a…

Try These Delicious Michelin-Worthy Takoyaki Balls at Aizuya!

While Michelin stars are commonly awarded to world-renowned fine dining restaurants and hotels, the recently released 2016 Michelin Guide contains several restaurants in Japan that feature B-Gourmet or B-class foods. sharkingforchipsanddrinks.com/ One of the many B-class restaurants featured by Michelin for their 2016 guide is Aizuya—a restaurant that specializes in takoyaki in the Kansai region.…

Narita Layover Tour: Perfect Way to Utilize Your Transit and Get a Taste of Japan!

Layovers can be such a huge burden for travelers. For one, no passenger is usually willing to wait for long hours for a transit flight at an airport. However, Narita International Airport in Japan is determined to turn this unwelcomed burden into a memorable part of the trip. The Narita Transit Program sharetraveler.com/ For tourists…
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