So You Want To Become A Geisha?

Mar 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Kyoto, Lifestyle

A Geisha is a woman trained in the traditional arts of Japan which include dance, song and the playing of musical instruments who must first serve as a Maiko or apprentice Geisha.  Maiko training involves a four to five year commitment and a passion for traditional Japanese arts and culture. So is the Geisha lifestyle […]

The Healing Properties of a Japanese Onsen

Mar 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Lifestyle

When visiting or living in Japan a visit to an onsen, or hot springs resort, is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.  The water of a Japanese onsen is rich in a variety of minerals and is naturally heated by the earth with water temperatures exceeding 25 degrees Celsius. A visit to a Japanese onsen […]

Saved by a Konbini Store Umbrella

Feb 26th, 2009 | By | Category: Lifestyle

Awakening on my second morning back in Japan I’m faced with a chilly day in Tokyo where snowflakes mingle with rain drops and umbrellas are out in force on the city streets. They’re everywhere, the konbini store kasa (convenience store umbrella) – they’re cheap, usually in the neighborhood of US$5, fairly reliable if not long […]

Making Geta – Traditional Shoes of Japan

Feb 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Lifestyle

Geta are traditional Japanese wooden clogs that are worn with Yukata and can be heard before they are seen.  As the wearer approaches on a quiet street the click-clack can be heard for blocks. On a recent trip to the Japanese Traditional Craft Center with Danielle of Narrative Disorder we enjoyed watching a Geta maker […]

Dining Under The Tracks

Feb 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Food, Lifestyle

Tokyo is not only densely populated with people, every square inch in the city seems to be put to use in one way or another.  In the older parts of Tokyo, some shops and restaurants are no bigger than a walk-in closet in a western style home. The Yurakucho area is an older part of […]

Get Your Way With Jan Ken Pon

Jan 24th, 2009 | By | Category: Lifestyle

Better know as “Rock Paper Scissors” in English speaking countries, Jan Ken Pon originated in China and first came to Japan in the 17th century.  Today, Jan Ken Pon is a popular game with all ages in Japan and it is not uncommon to see school children, teenagers or young adults playing to settle a […]

Events & Activities during Yokoso! Japan Weeks 2009

Jan 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Shopping, Travel

Whether you are visiting Tokyo or any other region of Japan from January 20th though February 28, 2009 you will not want to miss some of the events and discounts that are being offered as part of the Yokoso! Japan Weeks 2009 promotion This years theme is “Hands-on Sightseeing” and offers visitors an opportunity to […]

The Unusual Superstitions of the Japanese

Jan 3rd, 2009 | By | Category: Lifestyle

Old or young, we all have superstitions that we have grown up with.  The activities that we engage in are not usually dictated  by these superstitions but there some things that we do, or don’t do, out of habit without even thinking about the fact that they are based on superstition.  Some superstitions are unique […]

Takayama Storefront

Dec 30th, 2008 | By | Category: Photo Gallery, Shopping

A bright red paper umbrella graces the entrance to a lovely shop in Takayama, Japan.  Danielle Ruschena captured this image on a recent visit to the area and I am pleased to present it here with her permission. Thanks Danielle! Takayama is located in Gifu Prefecture, one of nine prefectures that make up the Chubu […]

Nihon on the Net – Top 10 Stories from 2008

Dec 28th, 2008 | By | Category: Nihon on the Net

In 2008 the news that cause a stir in Japan was mostly bad. The worldwide economic struggle hit Japan hard and the country dealt with food scandals, political resignations, earthquakes and murder in 2008.  The highlights of the year came with a good performance by the Japanese team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing […]