All About Japan All About Japan

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My First Time at a 'Ryokan'

The Japan Guy gives us his first impressions of a traditional Japanese inn in a refreshingly humorous way!

7 Japanese Gadgets You Can't Live Without!

During your stay you may come in contact with these seven gadgets that help make life in Japan a little bit easier. But as soon as you leave, you'll be wishing you had one at home, too!

A 13-Point Guide to Japanese Alcohol

Walk through 13 of the most fundamental types of alcohol in Japan. You know what's at the top of the list—but do you know the other 12?

Japan's First Hedgehog Café has Arrived!

You can now add hedgehogs to the list of cute animals to visit on your next trip to the Japanese capital.

Intro to the Japanese Writing System: Katakana

Let's take a look at perhaps the most puzzling type of Japanese text: 'katakana.'

How to Get the Most Out of Fireworks in Japan

One of the centerpieces of the Japanese summer is the fireworks festivals that run through July and August. Find out how to get the most out of the experience!

Survival Japanese for Concerts & Events

So you've decided to attend an event from your favorite idols or artists, but how ready are you really? Here are some often-used terms you should check out to navigate your way!

How & When to Apologize in Japan

Apology is a kind of social currency in Japan. But using it well isn't just about knowing what words to use—you also need to know when and how to use them!

The Custom of Communal Cleaning

While the spirit of cleaning is taught in Japanese schools, the principle very likely originated in Zen Buddhism, and continues on into adulthood.

10 Ways to Get Free Wi-Fi in Japan

While Japan may be behind other developed counties in terms of free Wi-Fi/internet access, things have gotten a lot better over the last few years. Here are some places you can go to get totally free Wi-Fi!

9 Ways to Talk About the Weather

Since it changes so often, the weather is actually a hot topic in Japan—no pun intended! Find out nine ways to get in on this easy conversation-starter!

The Secrets of the Lawson Copy Machine

More than making copies, these machines can also fax, scan, and print PDFs or photos from a memory device or the internet. And you don't need Japanese to make them work!

7 Great Train Passes to Save Money on Transit

There are a number of passes you can buy to get unlimited transit in popular tourist areas. Here are seven great picks, with a focus on the Tokyo and Kyoto areas!

How to Use Lawson Free Wi-Fi

How do you make a convenience store even more convenient? By providing free Wi-Fi to your patrons, that's how!

How to Replace the Paper on 'Shoji' Doors

'Shoji' sliding doors are emblematic of traditional Japanese houses. But it's frustratingly easy to put a hole in the paper. When you're tired of patching, how do you just replace the whole thing?

Visiting 5 Landmarks of Haruki Murakami

Explore five Hanshin-area locations that appear as settings in Haruki Murakami's novels, as well as the landmarks of his life.

5 Things to Expect from Japan’s Countryside

Countryside Japan is quite different from cosmopolitan areas like Tokyo or Osaka. We'll help you get out there, get off the Shinkansen and go exploring!

The 4 Faces of Lawson

Can you name Lawson's four different store types? And did you know you can get Lawson products automatically delivered to your door?

The Ins & Outs of 'Omotenashi'

'Omotenashi' is often defined as the spirit of hospitality, but it encompasses so much more.

Intro to the Japanese Writing System

Can you spot the differences between each of Japan's three different characters?

know-before-you-go