By Yuanxil

Convenience Stores in Japan: Keeping the Crowd Nourished Since 1970’s

Combini sparkle If you are a long time American TV couch potato, you would be forgiven to think that all convenience stores everywhere are tiny consumerist hell holes of Slurpees and filthy bathrooms and armed robberies, with an unreliable Apu-like character at helm. Perhaps you will be glad to hear about the comparatively shiny reputations…

Jinbocho, Tokyo: Bookworm heaven

Best neighbourhood for book lovers Tokyo is full of quirky small neighborhoods, and Jinbocho is one of those town areas that’s full of personality. Located in Chiyoda city, Jinbocho is known as a bookworm heaven, hosting streets of used bookstores and publishing houses. There are also several universities nearby that contribute to its bookish atmosphere,…

University Clubs/ Circles: College life in Japan

An essential part to the Japanese college experience is joining a school activity groups. Not surprisingly, university clubs are where young people form their closest social networks, some of which would extend into lifelong friendship. The intensity of relationships one can form in these activity groups makes it a great source of inspiration for many…

Share houses in Japan: new trend to accommodate youth needs

Not long ago, the only budget-friendly way to live in the bigger Japanese cities was to squeeze into individual shoebox apartments, living on cup ramen and convenience store food. However, over the last decade, alternative forms of accommodation such as share houses are quickly rising up in popularity. Share houses, as the name suggests, are…
Featured Graduation

University Graduation Ceremonies in Japan

The start of spring also signals the end of some things, and April graduation is one yearly event thousands of young people look forward to. University graduation ceremonies are often held on the last week of March in Japan. As one may expect, graduation ceremonies are fancy affairs, as young adults celebrate the completion of…

Onsens: a national pastime

Onsens are Japanese hot springs for bathing. Bathing in onsens in Japan apparently started as a Buddhist ritual performed by monks. Onsens still remain extremely popular in Japan, which is remarkable considering it is a culture started some 3000 years ago. Yet, its lasting popularity is easily understandable for anyone who has treated herself to…

“Japanese Job Hunting”, strange and unique.

Preparing for life after school is a common concern for college students, but perhaps even more of a struggle for Japanese students. This is in no small part due to the peculiar system of shukatsu, or job-hunting, in Japan. jp.fotolia.com/ Companies in Japan have a custom of hiring one class of fresh graduates every April.…

How to enjoy plums in Japanese culture

Japan is now famed for its beautiful sakura (cherry blossoms) but back in the Edo period, it was ume, or plum blossoms, were the quintessential sign of spring to come. Ume blossoms are not quite as flashy and bountiful as sakura blossoms, but certainly very pretty in a subtler, more elegant way. They were also…