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 33 of Japan's 47 prefectures (14 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.
Surprise: Tokyo Cheaper than Most Major Cities

Surprise: Tokyo Cheaper than Most Major Cities

20 years of economic stagnation has had an incredible effect that few people have realized: thanks to inflation everywhere else, Tokyo is now actually cheaper than most major cities in the rest of the industrialized world!

Top 20 Power Spots in Japan

Top 20 Power Spots in Japan

Japan seems to be overflowing with so-called 'power spots.' Here are 20 of the best, many of them tied to mountain worship, ancient shrines, and the very origins of Japan.

All the Public Holidays in Japan

All the Public Holidays in Japan

While Japan may be famous for its grueling work ethic, the nation actually has a surprising number of national holidays—nearly one every month. Find out when you can get a day off to enjoy the rising sun!

Full List—Japan's Intangible Cultural Heritage

Full List—Japan's Intangible Cultural Heritage

Beyond its 20 spectacular World Cultural Heritage Sites, Japan has 21 traditions recognized by UNESCO as elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Real Health Benefits of Green Tea

The Real Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has long been believed to have health benefits, and nowadays people tout it for everything from weight loss to heart disease. But what does the research actually show?

Kanazawa Castle & Kenrokuen Garden

Kanazawa Castle & Kenrokuen Garden

Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Garden were emblematic of the power of the Maeda Clan, which dominated the Kanazawa region throughout the Edo Period.

The Secrets of 'Gokon'

The Secrets of 'Gokon'

What's the deal with mysterious Japanese group dates, or 'gokon'?

All About Love Hotels

All About Love Hotels

With Japanese apartments so small, where do couples go for private time?

Takachiho: Climb into the Land of the Gods

Takachiho: Climb into the Land of the Gods

Take a tour through Takachiho, home to the cave where the sun goddess once hid herself away, and possibly where her grandson descended to Earth to found Japan's imperial line.

How to Hang Out in a Hangar at Haneda

How to Hang Out in a Hangar at Haneda

Located just one stop away from the International Terminal at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, the JAL Sky Museum is a free, comprehensive, hands-on introduction to the entire commercial aviation industry.

4 Ways to J-Rock the Temple (Or Shrine)

4 Ways to J-Rock the Temple (Or Shrine)

It seems every Japanese hard-rock band trying to get traction abroad is reaching to shrine and temple iconography to establish their Japanese cred—and it's working!

4 Cool Things You Probably Missed on SnowJapan

4 Cool Things You Probably Missed on SnowJapan

As with any big site, there are many great parts of SnowJapan that get overlooked, even by frequent users. Here are four things you probably didn't know you could do!

Dean & DeLuca Bread, Ranked

Dean & DeLuca Bread, Ranked

Dean & DeLuca offers some great bread in Japan—but which buns are worth the funds, and which should stay at the back of the rack?

All About Japanese Bread

All About Japanese Bread

A history of Japanese bread and the key varieties you can expect to find in bread shops in Japan.

How to Make Lord of the Rings Origami

How to Make Lord of the Rings Origami

Check out these seven fantastic options for Lord of the Rings origami. We hope you've got One Ring to fold them all!

Japan's 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Japan's 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Every traveler to Japan should be sure to visit at least a few of the nation's stellar World Heritage Sites, ranging from 1,000-year-old temples and shrines to breathtaking natural biospheres.

Kamizumo: The Art of Paper Sumo

Kamizumo: The Art of Paper Sumo

The history of 'kamizumo,' or paper sumo, reaches back to the popularization of flesh-and-blood sumo as a sport during the Edo Period. It's still played by kids—and some surprisingly dedicated adults—to this day.

7 Outstanding Origami YouTube Channels

7 Outstanding Origami YouTube Channels

Looking to step beyond paper cranes, but not sure where to go? These seven origami channels offer a great selection that will take you to the next level and beyond!

Make These 11 Awesome Origami Dragons!

Make These 11 Awesome Origami Dragons!

Want to know how to make an origami dragon? These videos will walk you through the steps, from basic to advanced—and beyond!

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