Traditions & History

2019.07.26
‘Becoming Like the Sky’: an Encounter with a Street Monk in Ginza
In Tokyo, Buddhist priests chanting sutras in the streets, with their traditional robes and straw hats, have become an exotic sight not only to foreig
2019.06.10
The Joys and Challenges of Japanese Traditional Painting: an Interview with Allan West
You may have seen his elegant kimono-clad figure on television, in newspapers, or in your Tokyo guidebook. After almost 40 years of career in Japan, A
2019.02.13
Interview with a Rickshaw Driver: from Guiding People to Changing People’s Lives
For a long time, I ignored that the rickshaw was actually a Japanese invention! This old profession still subsists today in a newer form in Japan: the
2019.01.28
How to Celebrate Setsubun on February 3rd
Setsubun is a day when Japanese people cast evil away from their homes. Read on to know how to do it like a local!
2018.12.27
3 Mountain Lodges for New Year’s Eve and the First Sunrise of 2019
Although I prefer to go on day trips, I do enjoy staying the night of December 31st in a mountain hut and taking part in the tradition of “hatsuhinode
2018.12.21
From Soba to Sunrises: 4 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Japan
Spending the New Year’s Holidays (January 1 to January 3) in Japan can be bittersweet. If you're visiting Japan for the first time, there are many exc
2018.11.08
A Short Introduction to Jizo, a Japanese Bodhisattva
When traveling in the Japan, you may see statues dressed with a red cloth. They are representations of Jizo, the Buddhist divinity most loved by Japan
2018.10.15
Tsuruga Castle, the Japanese castle that Resisted Attacks for a Whole Month
One thing I enjoy doing while traveling through Japan is to visit its dozens of castles. Although quite a few are modern replicas, they are beautiful
2018.09.03
The Samurai Museum: An Exclusive Shinjuku Experience Nearly 700 Years in the Making
What are the first things that come to mind when you think of Japan? Chances are that “samurai” was one of the first words that popped into your head.
2018.08.30
The Secrets of the Tatami and Making them for 6 Generations
Meet Mr. Tsunekawa, a tatami craftsman in a small, 160 years old workshop in Tokyo.
2018.08.18
4 Must-See Festivals in and around Shinjuku
In Japan, summer is synonymous with festivals, and Tokyo is no exception. From shrine celebrations to massive fireworks displays, not even scorching t
2018.08.06
The Shinjuku Eisa Festival: Experience the Spirit of Okinawa in Shinjuku
Every year, on the last Saturday of July, the streets of Shinjuku are transformed by the sights, sounds, and spirit of Okinawa. The Shinjuku Eisa Fest
2018.07.18
Meet Chie, the Wandering Singer and Mangaka of Arakicho, Shinjuku
Chie is a 'Nagashi' artist: she wanders the streets of Arakicho and plays her traditional instrument in the local bars to entertain the customers. She
2018.04.17
The Goshuincho: A Necessity for Japan Travel Enthusiasts
When it comes to things that I wish I had known before visiting (and eventually moving to) Japan, the goshuincho, a book used for collecting ink stamp
2018.03.03
The Amazing Experience of Being Dressed by a Kimono Professional
Kimono is probably one of the most famous Japanese words, an emblem of the traditional Japanese culture worldwide. Consequently, it is very understand