By nikenpm

“An”, The 2015 Kanji of the Year

Do you know that every year the Japanese Proficiency Society chooses a kanji to be the “Kanji of the Year”? They choose 10 characters which represent the event of the current year best and then do a poll through a national ballot where the kanji with the most votes wins the award of kotoshi no…

Planning to Rent an Apartment in Japan? 7 Important Things to Prepare

It is one of the biggest challenges that many foreigners have to face when they plan on staying in Japan: looking for a place to live. For foreign residents, renting an apartment (アパート, apaato) in Japan could be exciting yet painful at the same time. It is a complicated process that requires a lot of…

Yutanpo, The Japanese Hot Water Bottle That Will Keep You Warm This Winter

How do you warm yourself up on a cold winter night? Over the course of many years, Japanese people have enjoyed slipping into bed on cold winter nights with a hot water bottle tucked between the bed and blanket. Japanese hot water bottle, yutanpo この投稿をInstagramで見る <マルカ×BEAMS JAPAN 別注 ゆたんぽ> 10月にはいり、肌寒くなってきた時期にピッタリな商品のご紹介です! ・ 湯たんぽの老舗メーカー「マルカ」のゆたんぽです。軽くて丈夫、暖かさが持続しやすいのが特徴です。キャップにロゴが入っているのが別注ポイントになっております! 一般的な湯たんぽよりも小さめに作られているため、様々な用途に合わせてお使いいただけます。 ・ ▼price:¥1,600+tax…

Janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors), Japan’s Most Popular Game

Rock-scissors-paper is a popular game among Japanese children and even adults. They use the game to decide who has to be eliminated out of the group, in much the same way other countries are playing it. However, Japanese people have their own style of playing the rock-scissors-paper game. The game is popular with the name…

Love Japanese Sweets? Try Sasa Dango, a Traditional Niigata Specialty!

If you are a fan of Japanese traditional sweets, especially sticky rice cakes (dango), then you might also love the sasa dango. Sasa dango rice cakes wrapped with bamboo leaves is a traditional sweet from the Nigata prefecture. Sasa dango used to be the traditional sweet for the boy’s festival (Tango no sekku) on May…

Experience the Beautiful Torii Gates Tunnel at Hie Shrine in Akasaka

If you have been wanting to see beautiful torii gates (鳥居) for a long time but have not had the chance to go to Kyoto yet, the Hie Shrine (日枝神社) is a good alternative. It is located strategically around Akasaka area, in central Tokyo, between Akasaka (business district) and Nagatacho (national government building residence). Hie…

Tejime: Japanese Ceremonial Hand Clapping Culture

Japan has a traditional custom of ceremonial hand clapping performed at the end of a special event to bring a cheerful and lively closing. The hand clapping custom is called tejime (手締め), and it is typically performed at the conclusion of events such as festivals, celebrations, business meetings, auctions, or even drinking parties. Tejime vs…

Travel Light: Get Your Luggage Delivered to and from the Airport in Japan!

Traveling is great, but luggage can be a burden if you have a lot of it. Whether you are the type of person who can travel light with just a backpack or you have to take three suitcases with you wherever you go, it’s no secret that baggage is an issue whenever you travel somewhere.…

Oshibori (Hot Towel) and Hospitality Culture in Japan

If you ever visited a middle to high class Japanese restaurant, you most likely would be handed a pack of white hot towels in a basket before they serve you any drink or appetizer. In most cases, people do not have any idea what to do with it and would look to others for some…

Follow Your Nose to the Sweet Autumn Fragrance of Kinmokusei Blossoms

When summer ends, the noisy bugs and sounds of summer disappear and the breeze becomes nice and cool. In Japan, apart from the sign of falling leaves, your nose may also be able to recognize that fall is just around the corner. It will begin to smell a sweet fragrance that may even stop you…