UK writer

Kanpai! – 7 Tips and Rules When Drinking in Japan

It’s no secret that the Japanese love to drink. Most people have been to at least one “nomikai,” usually a business- or work-related event where a group goes to an izakaya (Japanese pub or bar) to drink and bond. Although cocktails, bottled alcoholic drinks, and beer are very popular in Japan, there is also the…

What Are The Differences Between Yukata and Kimono?

It is very easy to recognize the traditional Japanese clothing of the yukata and kimono when you see one, they are very distinct garments. However, many people will not be aware of the difference between the two. The origin of the Japanese kimono is from the Chinese traditional Han clothing, although an apron was still…

The Rainy Season’s Happy Guests: Creepy Insects

Japan’s rainy season can be very polarizing: some love the constant rainy days, while others hate not being able to recognize the rain from their sweat due to the high humidity. The rainy season starts during the second or third weeks of June and lasting roughly a month, though seasonal lags can sometimes see the…

How to Take a Bath in a Japanese Household: 5 Rules That May Surprise You

Visiting a Japanese home comes with a lot of rules. If you have ever had a homestay family or visited a friend, you may have already noticed that you need to take a small gift with you and make sure you wear slippers and different slippers for different parts of the house! Etiquette and social…

5 Things You Can Make in a Rice-Cooker Apart from Plain Rice!

A bread-maker makes bread, and ice-cream machine makes ice-cream, but a rice cooker… now tat is no one-trick-pony. When I bought my first rice cooker, I was concerned that I was using up a considerable chunk of my kitchen space on a contraption that basically only boils a bit of rice. But after several years…
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Check Out Japan`s 5 Great Sakura Trees to Visit This Spring!

Cherry blossom, or sakura (桜), is a national treasure in Japan. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Japanese people and tourists flock to cherry blossom viewing areas for hanami (花見) or flower viewing parties. This is not a new trend as flower viewing has been a pastime for many centuries. For a special treat, transport…

Studio Ghibli: The (Not So) Hidden Meaning of Spirited Away

Japan is one of the world’s leading countries in the production of animated works. Although Dreamworks and Disney will no doubt come to mind when someone mentions animation, the Japanese company Studio Ghibli is renowned internationally for its feature films and other animated works such as short films and commercials. With their stunning art style…

All about the SHISA Lions 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, but many people simply call them Okinawa because two thirds of them form the Okinawa prefecture of Japan. In the center…

Where to Take Great Photos of Mt Fuji

Mount Fuji is an iconic mountain and now an UNESCO World Heritage site. Mt Fuji has been central to the Japanese spirit for hundreds of years and has been a site of pilgrimage. The climbing season of Mt Fuji is short, just two months in July and August each year because the conditions on Mt…

Discover Japan`s Strange Vegetables – Slimy, Bitter, Unique, Tasty…

When I order a meal in Japan, I am often surprised by a type of vegetable that is unfamiliar to my Western palate. Sometimes it’s a horrible surprise, but sometimes it can be surprisingly tasty! So what are these strange vegetables – what do they look like and how do they taste? Here is my…