All About Japan

Michael Kanert

Michael Kanert

All About Michael Kanert
In Japan since 2001, I'm a former ALT trainer who's lived in Shizuoka, Saitama and Tokyo, and visited 34 of Japan's 47 prefectures (13 to go!). When I can get out from behind the editorial desk, I take photos, do bits of theater and practice German longsword.
What I like about Japan
I'm a fan of anything old: castles, temples, art and traditions, you name it! Kyoto wins for density (spring and fall are unforgettable), but I also love everything outside the big cities—particularly Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, the Izu Peninsula and the dynamic southern reaches of Kyushu. You'll find the real heart of Japan in the countryside.
All About Pensions in Japan

All About Pensions in Japan

We answer important questions about Japanese pensions: who has to contribute, how much you have to pay, when you can receive benefits and how much you can get back?

How Inheritance Tax Hits Foreigners in Japan

How Inheritance Tax Hits Foreigners in Japan

If you’ve lived here for more than 10 years—even without a permanent visa—you may be on the hook for taxes on inheritance anywhere in the world.

How to Travel to Japan by Ship

How to Travel to Japan by Ship

A fear of flying or an inability to fly doesn't have to keep you from visiting Japan! Check out our list of ferries, cruises and freighters that can all get you there one way or another.

How to Get a Permanent Resident Visa in Japan

How to Get a Permanent Resident Visa in Japan

The Permanent Resident visa, or 'eijuken,' is the Holy Grail for many foreign workers in Japan. So how do you get one? Once you've met the time requirement, it's actually pretty easy!

The Big Tokyo Travel Guide

The Big Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo is a city of old and new, where modern skyscrapers rise up from the remains of centuries-old castle walls. The Big Tokyo Travel Guide will help you find whatever you're looking for in Japan's capital city.

12 Amazing Events in Japanese History

12 Amazing Events in Japanese History

Do you know which Japanese castle was toppled by a party? Or how kabuki was invented? Japan has over 1,500 years of recorded history, and some pretty amazing things have happened in that time!

11 Things to Know When Traveling to Japan

11 Things to Know When Traveling to Japan

What does a foreign traveler need to know when visiting Japan? Here we try to parse it down to 11 key things you definitely need to know—and a few more that could be helpful.

16 Authentic 'Japan' Experiences around Tokyo

16 Authentic 'Japan' Experiences around Tokyo

How do you get an 'authentic Japan' experience in the Tokyo area? It depends on what you mean by 'authentic,' and what you mean by 'Japan!' Here are 16 'real Japan' options around Tokyo, running the gamut from the very old to the very new!

Walk in the Footsteps of Queens & Presidents

Walk in the Footsteps of Queens & Presidents

The State Guest House, also known as the Akasaka Palace, is a neo-baroque palace just east of Shinanomachi Station in central Tokyo. It's hosted everyone from Gerald Ford and Queen Elizabeth to Donald Trump.

Stay in Shinagawa for Planes & Bullet Trains

Stay in Shinagawa for Planes & Bullet Trains

Shinagawa Prince Hotel is located just west of Shinagawa Station, making it a popular stopover hotel for people on their way into or out of Tokyo.

Tsukishima Monja Street

Tsukishima Monja Street

If you're looking for a Tokyo specialty food, 'monjayaki' is it. And if you're looking to get it, Tsukishima is the place to go!

The 21 Best Places to See Mount Fuji

The 21 Best Places to See Mount Fuji

We take a stab at answering the perennial question, 'Where can I get the best view of Mount Fuji?' Here are our 21 best answers.

Get Immersed in VR Park Tokyo

Get Immersed in VR Park Tokyo

VR Park Tokyo presents an entire floor of immersive VR games you can play at your leisure for 90 minutes at a time.

How to Get the Most out of Senso-ji Temple

How to Get the Most out of Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji is the oldest temple in Tokyo, and an essential part of any visit. But it's easy to feel a little underwhelmed—like you're just scratching the surface. Here's how to make sure you get the most out of this hot tourist spot!

Aoi-Marushin: Get Your Tempura Fix in Asakusa

Aoi-Marushin: Get Your Tempura Fix in Asakusa

Aoi-Marushin has been serving up authentic tempura near Senso-ji Temple since 1946.

Taiko-Lab: Learn to Drum in 60 Minutes

Taiko-Lab: Learn to Drum in 60 Minutes

Located just north of Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, Taiko-Lab offers a chance to learn the basics of 'taiko' drumming in about 60 minutes—an essential part of any Japan experience!

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

The Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum is less a museum than a Disney-like experience of ramen!

Miyakobashi Shotengai: Tiny, Old-School Bars

Miyakobashi Shotengai: Tiny, Old-School Bars

If you're up for an adventure, head to this old-school drinking area for a spot of local culture in Yokohama.

Noge: Yokohama's Hub for Cheap Drinks

Noge: Yokohama's Hub for Cheap Drinks

With some 500 drinking establishments just 10 minutes south of Minato Mirai, the Noge area is 'the' spot to hit for a cheap drink in Yokohama.

A Stay in Yokohama Landmark Tower

A Stay in Yokohama Landmark Tower

Standing at 296.3 meters, Yokohama Landmark Tower was the tallest building in Japan when it opened in 1993. While its lower half is full of shops, restaurants and offices, the 49th to 70th floors are occupied by a five-star luxury hotel!

know-before-you-go