history

Simple Guide to the Japanese Kimono

Kimono, or literally “the thing to wear” refers to a Japanese traditional outfit. The standard plural of the word kimono in English is “kimonos”, but the unmarked Japanese plural kimono is also sometimes used. A kimono is a t-shaped wrapped garment with long and wide sleeves worn so that the hem falls near to the…

Take a Journey Through the History of Japanese Advertising

There is no shortage of museums in the Tokyo area. There is practically a museum for every interest. Being someone who studied journalism and strategic communications, I am really interested in advertising and its history. So, the Ad Museum Tokyo was exactly the museum I have been wanting to see. While it is not the…

Visit Historic Nagoya Castle!

When traveling through Japan, it’s a common method to take the Shinkansen train west of Tokyo and visit major cities like Kyoto and Hiroshima. One of the largest Japanese cities, Nagoya, lies between Kyoto and Tokyo. This historical city was once one of the most important cities in Japan, as it served as a waypoint…

This is How Often Earthquakes Occur in Japan

In America, an earthquake is an incredibly rare occurrence, but when one does happen it’s national news. In Japan, however, earthquakes are an expected and accounted for part of life. In fact, Japan experiences several earthquakes a day! Japan sits along at the intersection of 4 tectonic plates, so it’s no wonder the country has…

The Best 50 Things to Do in Marunouchi to Make You Fall in Love with Tokyo in 2019

Marunouchi is a modern-looking district found at the very heart of Tokyo, just a stone’s throw from Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. The name Marunouchi translates as “inside the circle” and originates from its location inside the palace walls of the Edo Castle hundreds of years ago. Originally inhabited by some of the country’s…

Where to Spend a Great Day in Kyoto: Arashiyama and Kinkakuji

Without a doubt, Kyoto has become one of tourist’s favorites in Japan because of its intact and well preserved cultural heritage sites. It is nestled with numerous shrines and temples as well as beautiful nature that turns into inflamed shades of red in autumn or colorful blooms in spring. There’s a lot of places to…

East Asian Mythology: SHISA 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. In the center of this volcanic island chain is where Okinawa, the biggest of the Ryukyu Islands, can be located. It…
Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi : Pure Land Buddhism and Tohoku Pride

“夏草や 兵どもが 夢の跡”(`Natsukusa ya tsuhamonodomo ga yume no ato`) – “Grasses in summer, the warriors’ dreams… all that is left”. This poem, written by Master haikuist Matsuo Bashō after he visited the ancient temple complex of Hiraizumi, is one of the most famous writings in Japan. Located in Iwate on the banks of the Kitakami-gawa, these simple…

The Reenactment of the Battle of Sekigahara

Before the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate(江戸幕府), a six-hour battle took place on October 21, 1600. This was called the ‘Battle of Sekigahara'(関ヶ原の戦い), a savage conflict which changed the course of Japanese history forever. A simulation of this war can be seen in the quiet farming village of Sekigahara. The momentous event is recreated in…

Explore These 3 Beautiful Viewpoints in Japan’s Kochi Prefecture

Kochi Prefecture (高知県) is located on the small island of Shikoku (四国). It is formerly known as Tosa (土佐), and is popular for Kochi Castle (高知城), which is one of the 12 remaining castles in Japan. Kochi’s major food item is katsuo no tataki (鰹のたたき), a slightly broiled sliced bonito over a straw fire. Other…