Featured Articles

Tweet Your Way to a Stay at The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Sep 4th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Tokyo and Vicinity, Travel

Located in the tallest building in the city, The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo offers guests an understated and luxurious environment high above the hustle and bustle of Roppongi’s trendy Tokyo Midtown complex. I recently had the pleasure of a relaxing one night retreat from my daily life and thanks to the generosity of The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo you [...]



Double Your Money in Kamakura

Aug 19th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Temples & Shrines, Travel

Take a gamble on the strength of your faith the next time you visit Kamakura and you may leave richer in both spiritual and monetary terms. The Zeniarai Bentzaiten Ugafuku Jinja (shrine) is dedicated to Benzai, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, who is revered as the Goddess of knowledge, art and beauty, [...]



A Taste of Culture Through Tsukemono

Jul 30th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Food

Nothing goes to waste in the Japanese kitchen says Elizabeth Andoh.  It’s a statement that she goes on to prove as she conducts a recent workshop on how to make tsukemono, Japanese pickles.  A nub of ginger that is too small to grate without risking harm to your knuckles, a small piece of carrot or [...]



Aomori Nebuta Festival

Jul 16th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Festivals

In early August, Aomori Prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan hosts the Nebuta & Neputa Festivals, where giant illuminated floats featuring famous warriors and and kabuki actors are paraded through the streets. Accompanied but the thundering sound of beating drums, the music of bamboo flutes and shouts of “rasseera” by Haneto dancers this is [...]



Tanabata – Festival of Star Crossed Lovers

Jul 2nd, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Festivals

Separated by the milky way, two star crossed lovers are only able to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month based on the lunisolar calendar.  The legend of Hikoboshi (the star known as Alter) and Orihime (the star known as Vega) has roots in China but has been associated with [...]



Tokyo2016 A Bid for More Olympic History

Jun 15th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Museums, Tokyo and Vicinity

The decision on whether Tokyo will once again be honored as the host city of the Olympics is just a few months away.  On October 2nd, the Olympic bid committee will decide whether Tokyo will be chosen to host the Summer Olympics in 2016. The Summer Olympics were hosted by Tokyo in 1964 and is [...]



Summer Music Festivals in Japan

Jun 4th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Festivals, Osaka, Tokyo and Vicinity

Whether your taste in music tends towards traditional rock & roll, soul, alternative or contemporary Japanese you are sure to find one of your favorite artists or discover a new favorite when you attend a summer music festivals in Japan.   The line up of artists from the gamut at these three great music events. Fuji [...]



My Favorite Place in Japan – Different Perspectives

May 25th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles

My favorite place in Japan was the subject for this months Japan Blog Matsuri and the entries are as varied as the country itself.   From north to south, from some the places we’ve all heard about to those that will likely never be written about in a Japan Guidebook.  They are all beautiful, if only [...]



Getting Around in Japan

May 6th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Travel

From your own feet to two wheels, and from four wheels on pavement to the shinkansen (bullet train) that races on rails or domestic airline flights, your transportation options in Japan run the gamut. You’ve got your plane reservation and are on your way to Japan and now the question becomes how to get around [...]



Japan Travel Advisory – Influenza A (H1N1)

May 2nd, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Travel

Although there have been no reported cases of Influenza A(H1N1), formerly labeled swine flu, in Japan as of May 2nd, visitors arriving into Narita Airport (Tokyo) and Kansai International Airport (Osaka/Kobe) from the Unites States, Canada and South America can expect delays of two hours or longer when deplaning due to an onboard health screening. [...]