by SaP

7 Things to Do in Sawara, One of Japan’s Historically Important Districts

Sawara (佐原), an old and historical district in Katori City (香取市), Chiba Prefecture (千葉県), possesses many important cultural properties. One of which is Sawara no Machinami (佐原の町並み), the area itself. It’s one of the Traditional Architectures Preservation Districts in Japan. For over a thousand years, Sawara had prospered as an accessible merchant town near the…

Want a Cute Panda Cake for Your Birthday? Here Are 3 Places to Get Them in Japan!

Years ago, MILESTONE, the Western confectionery department within the long-established Japanese sweets brand, Fukuido (福井堂), began to sell 3D Panda Cakes. Basically, a panda cake is a shortcake shaped and decorated like a panda. Some TV shows picked up the cake as a trendy topic and it immediately caught many people’s attention. Back then, I…

Check Out These 2 Amazing Iris Festivals Accessible From Tokyo!

Soon, irises, or “ayame (あやめ)” in Japanese, are going to be in full bloom in Japan. As a matter of fact, two big iris festivals are about to take place in Katori City (香取市), Chiba Prefecture (千葉県) and Itako City (潮来市), Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県). These two cities face each other across the Hitachi-Tone River (常陸利根川).…

Japan Celebrates as Princess Mako of Akishino Gets Engaged!

On the 16th of May 2017, it was announced that Princess Mako (眞子さま), a 25-year-old Japanese Princess, had been engaged. Her marriage is expected in the next year. The Japanese people are happy and in a mood for celebration because of this good news. Princess Mako of Akishino (秋篠宮) is the first granddaughter of Emperor…

A Beginner’s Guide to the Japanese Martial Art of Kendo

Have you ever heard of kendo (剣道)? It’s a type of Japanese martial arts. A kendo player wears armor and fights with a bamboo stick called “shinai (竹刀).” By hitting your opponent in the right place with the shinai, you will gain a point. There are four parts of the body that you should aim…

How Many of These 5 Facts About Japanese Hot Springs Do You Know?

Have you ever experienced bathing in a hot spring or onsen (温泉) in Japan? In the summer of 2016, I took my European husband to an onsen ryokan (温泉旅館), a Japanese-style hotel with hot springs. Apparently, his expectations were hugely betrayed in many ways. He had heard about onsen many times before but imagined something…

Check Out These 2 Festivals in Kasama, Ibaraki During Golden Week 2017

Do you love Japanese pottery? Would you like to buy some beautiful and artistic souvenirs from Japan? How about flowers? Would you like to go flower viewing during the remaining springtime? If so, here are two events in Kasama City (笠間市), Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県) that you must not miss this Golden Week 2017! 1. Kasama…

Thinking of Studying Abroad in Japan? Here Are 4 Reasons You Should Do It!

Are you thinking about studying abroad in Japan? Well, there are many fabulous and unique things that you will experience in the country. I’m Japanese, but I have met and made friends with many international students in Japan. I also worked for a Japanese language school to support international students. I have studied abroad twice…

On a Budget? Try These 5 Affordable and Delicious Foods in Japan!

If someone mentions Japanese food, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Sushi (寿司) and ramen (ラーメン) have already gained substantial popularity in some countries. Right now, I live in a European city where I can eat them at many Japanese restaurants. But, sometimes, I do miss the taste of Japanese food available only…

3 Places in Kanto to see Flying Carp, the Symbol of Children’s Day in Japan

Koinobori (鯉のぼり) is a set of carp-shaped banners that float and flap in the air for the Children’s Day celebrations from April to May. There is something strangely fascinating about koinobori on a beautiful sunny day. Koinobori display various colors, designs, and sizes which stream freely and strongly in the wind, which always touches my…
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