Archive for December 2008

Nihon on the Net – 12/14/08

Dec 14th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Nihon on the Net

The 2008 kanji character of the year in Japan is hen (pictured on the right) – ‘change’ in English.  The announcement was made my by Seihan Mori, chief monk at Kiyomizu temple in the ancient capital of Kyoto (via Yahoo! News).  Japan Probe presents a  video of the announcement (in Japanese) and shares the runner […]

Looking for Something To Do in Japan?

Dec 13th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events

Whether you live in Japan or are just visiting, festivals, or matsuri as they are known in Japan, are held almost every weekend and special exhibitions and events are almost as common.  If your have a few hours to spare or a hole in your itinerary that needs filling with something fun and interesting […]

No Smoking in Japan! What?

Dec 12th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Lifestyle

If you are a smoker and thought that Japan would be a haven from anti-smoking rules and regulations around the world then think again!  While the smoking rate in Japan is one of the highest in the industrialized world, with about 40% of the male population and 26% of total population lighting up, restrictions on […]

Experience Live Sumo in Japan

Dec 11th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events

The first Grand Sumo Tournament of 2009 will be held in in Tokyo from Sunday, January 11th through Sunday, January 25th and advance tickets for this event are now on sale.  If you haven’t seen sumo live and will be in Tokyo during this time frame this is definitely one event that you will want […]

How You Can Win Arcade Mania!

Dec 11th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Reading Room

Yesterday, I told you all about Arcade Mania!, a great new book about game centers and the history of arcade games in Japan.  If you have ever played Space Invaders, tried to pick a stuffed toy out of a UFO Catcher or spent any amount of time in an video arcade anywhere in the […]

Games, Games, Games – Win Arcade Mania!

Dec 10th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Reading Room

Arcade Mania! The Turbo Charged World of Japan’s Game Centers is a great book that is filled with facts, history and graphics from some of the most well known video games in the world and some that can only be found in Japan.  Written by Brian Ashcraft with Jean Snow, the book is as […]

Haniwa Clay Figures in Hibiya Park

Dec 9th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery

The two clay figures pictured below sit in Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Park and were a gift from Miyazaki Prefecture in 1965.  The gift was made in honor of a sister-park agreement between Miyazaki Prefectural Heiwadai Park and Tokyo Metropolitan Hibaya Park that was made the same year.

The story behind the picture:
“My husband had a short […]

Japan: A Closer Look at Chubu – Part 1

Dec 8th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Travel

The Chubu region of Japan lies in the center the country’s main island, Honshu, and has coasts on both the Pacific Ocean and the Japan Sea.  The region is home to more than 21 million people and is made up of nine prefectures.  Due to the size of the region, the Closer Look at the […]

Nihon on the Net – 12/7/08

Dec 7th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Nihon on the Net

If you are planning a trip to Tokyo for the holidays take note:  Tsukuji Fish Market will ban spectators at the morning auctions from December 15th to January 17th.
Oscar winning animator, Hayao Miyazaki, of “Ponyo On the Cliff by the Sea” fame, spoke at a rare press conference in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club […]

A Rare Opportunity to Enter Japan’s Imperial Palace

Dec 6th, 2008 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events

The Imperial Palace, home to Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, is only open to visitors on two days each year: the Emperor’s Birthday and January 2nd.  His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor Akihito, ascended to the throne upon his father’s death in 1989 and will turn 75 on December 23rd, a national holiday […]