Recent Posts

November 25, 2016

Urban Exploration in Japan: What is Haikyo?

Have you ever wanted to explore a ghost town? Perhaps crawl through forgotten wartime tunnels? Piece together puzzling secrets of the past? Welcome to the secret world of haikyo.

February 19, 2015

Toriaezu: The Undecided Decision

Here are 4 general uses of the word とりあえず that you are likely to encounter.

August 4, 2014

The Sound of Japanese Summer

One of the most recognizable sounds of summer in Japan is the screeching of the cicada. Where do these critters comes from and what are screeching about?

July 15, 2014

What’s That Neighborhood Music? The 5pm Chime

Ever wonder what that 5:00pm song is that is played in many Japanese cities?

June 23, 2014

But Wait, I’m Speaking Japanese!

Why do some Japanese people insist on speaking English when I am trying to speak Japanese?

June 6, 2014

5 Remarkably Cute Creations Only From Japan

Japan is crazy about kawaii. In the art of making things look cute Japan is a pioneer, if not perhaps the world leader.

June 3, 2014

What Would You Do? The ¥1000 That Is Causing A Stir

A short note left in a bicycle basket has caused quiet a stir online. What is it about this little note that is causing so much discussion.

May 22, 2014

5 Signs You Haven’t Been In Japan Very Long

Do you bow on the phone yet? After living in Japan for a while one can’t help but to start picking up a few cultural quirks.

April 24, 2014

What You Need To Know About Exchanging Business Cards in Japan

One of the perennial topics in Japanese business etiquette is the exchange of business cards. Getting this right is a key step in expanding your business connections in Japan.

March 27, 2014

Three Simple Words for Building Trust in a Japanese Office

Working as a foreigner in a Japanese company can be a daunting experience. Understanding these three simple words will help you build the trust you need to thrive in a Japanese office.

March 17, 2014

The Shoki and the Phallus

Every year between February and March, groups of local citizens head deep into the forests of Niigata for a festival that involves copious amounts of straw and a large phallus.

February 11, 2014

The Pitfalls of Addressing Foreigners in the Workplace

Honorifics are an interesting part of Japanese culture, and they can be more than a little confusing! For foreigners in Japan, using honorifics correctly can be difficult, and perhaps more troubling than correct usage is understanding the meanings when they are used in reference to yourself.

January 29, 2014

What You Need To Know Before Arguing With Japanese People

Before you start, it’s important to have an understanding of how Japanese people discuss delicate topics.