Japanese Whisky and its Scottish Origins: Drinking in Japan

When talking about whisky (or “whiskey” for those in the USA), Scotland is sure to come up in the conversation– but did you know that there is such a thing as Japanese whisky as well?  If you’re craving a rich and complex glass of whisky reminiscent of the highlands, you no longer have to fly to the UK to get a sip of the exclusive drink. Not many people know about it, but there are actually whisky experts nurturing a…

Amazing Japanese Convenience Store Food – What to Expect at the Konbini

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Amazing Japanese Convenience Store Food – What to Expect at the Konbini

A cheerful bell rings and staff members call out a polite welcome as you step through sliding doors and are met with a wave of warm, heavenly smells… This may sound like the grand entrance you would expect at a luxury resort-– but it’s actually the standard experience of popping into a local Japanese convenience store! For first-timers, a visit to a konbini (“convenience store” in Japanese) might seem overwhelming. While you may recognize some of the foods and drinks…

Does Japan Celebrate Christmas? A Look at Christmas in Japan

In a land of geishas and sushi, temples and anime, it may seem like the largely Western holiday of Christmas doesn’t quite fit the picture. But while Japan is a country with rich culture and traditions of its own, it also has a long history of adopting things from other countries. In Japan, when traditions and ideas are borrowed from abroad, they are almost always adapted to better suit Japanese society. So does Japan celebrate Christmas? And if so, how…

Why Do Japanese (and Other Asian) People Wear Face Masks?

Why Do Japanese (and Other Asian) People Wear Face Masks?

With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks exploded in usage. People who had never worn a face mask in their lives suddenly had to rush to the store and obtain masks in order to keep up with current pandemic health restrictions. But while face masks are a strange novelty and byproduct of the pandemic to many parts of the world, wearing a face mask is nothing new in Japan. While other countries had to handle protests and even…

Chopstick Etiquette: What You Should Know Before Visiting Japan

Chopstick Etiquette: What You Should Know Before Visiting Japan

Despite their widespread usage in Asia, chopsticks haven’t taken off in popularity in the same way in Western countries. For those unfamiliar with these sticks used for eating, it may come as a surprise that these deceptively simple-looking tools have a protocol attached to them. While chopstick etiquette and Japanese dining manners as a whole share many similarities with Western table manners, there are unique cultural aspects of chopstick usage in Japan that are important to be aware of. Different…

Working in Japan: What Visa Do I Need?

Working in Japan: What Visa Do I Need?

Living and working in Japan is a dream shared by many adventurous souls hoping to start a new life. But in order to make that dream a reality, those hoping to move to Japan long-term will need to overcome the often nightmarish prospect of wrangling a visa.  No matter where in the world you go, navigating immigration laws and sorting out visas is a big process- and Japan has a love for paperwork and bureaucracy that makes it trickier than…

How to Teach English in Japan: Apply for English Teaching Jobs!

How to Teach English in Japan: Apply for English Teaching Jobs!

Japan is calling your name! But before you buy your flight, remember that there’s one big thing standing between you and your dream of becoming an English teacher- the application. In this second part of our How to Teach English in Japan series, you will gain a solid idea about how to apply for English teaching positions in Japan. From job hunting from within Japan to sending applications from overseas, this article will walk you through the key things you…

How to Teach English in Japan: Live in Japan as an English Teacher!

How to Teach English in Japan: Live in Japan as an English Teacher!

  Are you dreaming of moving to Japan? Have you ever thought of teaching English in Japan? There are many opportunities waiting in the Land of the Rising Sun, but in order to stay longer than a quick vacation, you will need a working plan. Becoming an English teacher in Japan is a great option and is usually the easiest way for a foreigner to land a job. You may have heard about or even know someone who has taught…

Do They Have English Signs in Japan? Enjoy Japanglish!

Do They Have English Signs in Japan? Enjoy Japanglish!

You’ve been dreaming of going to Japan for years- but perhaps that enthusiasm for the land of anime and sushi hasn’t quite carried over into your Japanese language studies. Oops! If your Japanese studies are still in the early stages or you don’t speak a word of Nihongo – you’ll need to rely on your English skills to help you navigate the Land of the Rising Sun. Before packing your bags and booking that flight, it’s a smart idea to…

Is it Okay to Slurp Noodles in Japan?

Is it Okay to Slurp Noodles in Japan?

Japanese hospitality, sometimes called omotenashi, is praised as being a step above the rest of the world. With this reputation for elegant respect and ceaseless courtesy, travelers fresh off the plane and hungry for their first authentic bowl of Japanese ramen may be in for a shock.  Lift the curtain and step into any ramen restaurant in Tokyo to be met with a loud symphony of slurping noises as customers happily squelch down their noodles. Your inner etiquette may scream…