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…

Quick interview: A young Vietnamese who passed the special skills exam!

Special skilled residence status (特定技能, tokutei gino) is a great opportunity for all foreigners currently living inside and outside Japan, wishing to have a stable job, and to eventually settle down in this most developed country of Asia. This status of residence has only been put into effect since this April (2019), but it has made a…
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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…
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Surviving Japanese Summer: Tips and Lifesaving Products

  by Zoria Petkoska The unbearable heatwaves are globally getting worse and even before that, Japanese summers have been notorious since forever. Almost every iconic anime or film has a summer scene of people almost melting into the tatami like Dali’s clocks, while cicadas blare in the background. The scene might also have a hardworking…
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Reasons to Live and Work in the Japanese Countryside and Small Towns

by Zoria Petkoska Even the hardcore city-lovers have days when the urban jungle is suffocating, overwhelming, energy-draining enemy. It makes a lot of us think about ditching city life for more comfort, but ultimately we are scared of the unknown. And the city is our playground and we play well on most days. Photo by…