All-Time Famous Japanese Writers You Should Know

by Zoria Petkoska Japan’s literary tradition stretches centuries back to the “Tale of Genji” (Genji Monogatari), the first Japanese novel, published in the early 11th century. Written by Murasaki Shikibu, it also shows women writers have been the pioneers of literature in Japan, elevating the Japanese language in the process. In those times, classical Chinese…

Japan Has an Incredibly Low Number of Five-Star Luxury Hotels. Why is That?

Here is an interesting question, what’s something that countries like the United States, China, France, and Italy have in great numbers and that Japan lacks? The obvious answer, based on the article’s title at least, is five-star hotels. To put into perspective just how few five-star hotels Japan has when compared to other places, London…

Tokyo’s Best Natural Parks and Gardens

For a large and modern city, it might come as a surprise to find that Tokyo is actually blessed with some wonderfully natural parks. Of course, people often visit Ueno park with its zoo, museums and sakura trees, yet beyond this well-healed park, are some beautifully structured and calming gardens that can rival even those…

Japan Vs. Tourists: Bans and Limitations That Impact Tourism

There is a saying with a couple of variations that goes something like “tourists seem to leave their brains at home when they travel”. Many will read this and nod in agreement, as tourists everywhere are often seen disoriented, bumbling, fumbling, miming, breaking social rules and norms, and some even breaking laws! The bigger the…

Make Your Own Realistic Food Replica in the Fake Food Capital of Japan

Almost every city in Japan has a dish or specialty they can boast about. Gujo (郡上), however, is famous not for its cuisine, but for its food replicas. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, or merely passed one on the way, you will have seen the plastic foods displayed at the entrance. Very…

All about the SHISA Lions of Okinawa-the Stone Guardians of Japan

Off the shores of Kyushu (the third largest island of Japan), there are a number of volcanic islands flowing south-west towards Taiwan. These are named the Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands, but many people simply call them Okinawa because two thirds of them form the Okinawa prefecture of Japan. In the center…

3 Historic Things to see in Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima

Aizuwakamatsu is a city in the centre of Fukushima prefecture, in Tohoku Northern Japan. Once known only as Wakamatsu (meaning young pine), the name of the area changed to Aizuwakamatsu in 1955. Aizuwakamatsu has a rich and long history, being the site of the ancient Mutsu province. This region was said to have been settled…

Hatsumode: The First Shrine Visit of the New Year

Japanese New Year holidays usually start from December 29 and go until January 3, but depending on the year and one’s job it can start as early ad December 27th and go until January 8th. During this time, people are busy cleaning their houses in the osoji ritual before New Year, making or buying osechi…

How to Visit a Japanese Shrine – A Guide to Shrine Basics

Shrines and temples are beautiful touristy locations, but being sacred places of worship they are much more than a simple photo spot. Tourists are often scared not to offend the locals, so it’s best to learn the basic rules. Let’s take a look at some of the common items you will see upon your visit…