HOW TO

Apartment hunting in Tokyo? Things to Be Careful About

Trying to find a decent yet affordable apartment to rent is a nightmarish struggle in almost every city. On top of that, when you try and rent an apartment in a foreign country where there’s a language barrier, the whole experience gets even more arduous. Tokyo has its own issues and different rental market rules,…

High Tech Customs Clearance at Japan Airports: Done in 10 seconds!

In recent years, the increasing number of foreigners in Japan has required the Japanese government to take some measures to address the overcrowding at bus stops, train stations, airports, etc., in order to maintain the stable circulation of all public transportation. One of the most widespread measures is the announcements in several languages among which are…

Halloween 2019 in Shibuya: New Rules After 2018 Incident

by Zoria Petkoska The spontaneous Halloween bash that has been going on annually for several days around October 31st in Shibuya might never be the same again. The street party is a Tokyo legend, being free in every sense of the word… until now. What happened in Shibuya Halloween 2018? In 2018, according to the…

Days After the Consumption Tax Increases – How is Japan Doing?

On October 1 2019, the 10% consumption tax officially went into effect in Japan. Before the tax increase, the whole country witnessed massive consumption waves, in which people rushed to buy goods for storage, especially luxury items. On the last day of the old tax rate (September 30), shops and malls saw long lines queued up at checkout counters to save that 2%. What…
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Simpler and Cheaper Commute: How to Buy a Japanese Commuter Pass

A commuter pass, or teiki ken 定期券, is a special ticket that can be purchased on a smart card like SUICA or PASMO. The fare from one station to another (including changes between overground and the metro lines) can be paid for in one payment. Commuter passes can be renewed either monthly, quarterly or every…
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How NHK Makes Television for the World: Behind the Scenes of imagine-nation

Camera operators adjust their equipment routinely in preparation for the filming of an episode of imagine-nation.   The tension in the air lifts as director Suzuki signals a cut with a quick “arigatou gozaimasu.” Hosts Chiaki Horan and Nicholas Pettas relax their careful stance while the soundscape fills with the rearrangement of studio cameras and…
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Comprehensive Guide: Where to buy original GameCube controllers in Japan

A boxed original GameCube controller found tucked onto a shelf above eye level in BEEP @ Akihabara. With the recent release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch, original GameCube controllers have become hot commodities. Production of new controllers has stalled, and among the Smash community some consider these new controllers slightly inferior…

Travel to Japan Even If It Seems Intimidating

I’ve been living and working in Tokyo, Japan, for two months now and the question I’ve gotten the most from family and friends is, “how have you managed it?”. By this, they mean how did I just pack my stuff up, start traveling around Japan and not be totally lost. I’ve had people mention to…