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.
A Day at the Sumo

A Day at the Sumo

Like visiting Kyoto, climbing Mount Fuji and catching a Japanese baseball game, watching a live sumo match is one of those things that 'must be done' while in Japan.

12 Historic Churches in Kumamoto & Nagasaki

12 Historic Churches in Kumamoto & Nagasaki

The northwest coast of Kyushu is dotted with unique and beautiful churches dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

8 Amazing Days on a JR Kyushu Rail Pass

8 Amazing Days on a JR Kyushu Rail Pass

Discover the beauty of four Kyushu prefectures by rail! Wander castle towns, stroll through samurai residences and visit historic shrines tied to the founding of Japan, all surrounded by delicious local cuisine!

8 Ways to Do Personal Hygiene at the ¥100 Shop

8 Ways to Do Personal Hygiene at the ¥100 Shop

You can do plenty of personal hygiene at the ¥100 shop. But while most cheapo products in Japan hold up pretty well, ¥100 hygiene tends to come with a few trade-offs.

Getting Set Up in Japan at the ¥100 Store

Getting Set Up in Japan at the ¥100 Store

Moving to Japan? Don't spend more than you have to! You can find many of the things you need right at the ¥100 store!

12 Things Every ALT Needs from the ¥100 Shop

12 Things Every ALT Needs from the ¥100 Shop

Being an ALT is a resource-intensive profession. The ¥100 shop has almost everything you need to be ready for the classroom!

8 Great Kinds of Theater in Japan

8 Great Kinds of Theater in Japan

Japan has a vast array of theatrical traditions, both ancient and modern. From kabuki to Broadway musicals, there's always something great to see!

Autumn is for the Arts in Japan

Autumn is for the Arts in Japan

As the heat and humidity drop and the leaves start to change color in Japan, there’s almost poetry in the air. Autumn is the season of the arts!

5 Great Things for Animal Fans to Do in Japan

5 Great Things for Animal Fans to Do in Japan

Want to sit in a café with your favorite furball? Watch monkeys play in hot springs? Feed semi-tame deer? All you need to know is where to go and Japan has your answer!

7 Bugs Lurking in the Japanese Countryside

7 Bugs Lurking in the Japanese Countryside

What would you do if you spotted one of these on your towel—after you'd used it?!

The Story of a Sweet Old Dog

The Story of a Sweet Old Dog

Hachi was an Akita dog famous for waiting for his master at Shibuya Station for nearly 10 years after he died. This is his story.

Japan's Top 12 Amusement Parks

Japan's Top 12 Amusement Parks

Looking for a thrill, but don't know where to start? Check out the 12 best amusement parks in Japan!

3 Wild 'Onsen' Theme Parks

3 Wild 'Onsen' Theme Parks

Want a little more than just a soak in hot water? Try an 'onsen' theme park, where a whole world of water-related adventure awaits!

8 Key Phrases for Navigating 'Izakaya'

8 Key Phrases for Navigating 'Izakaya'

Don't speak Japanese? Walk into a Japanese-style pub and order with ease using these eight key phrases!

6 Things You Need to Know About Izakaya

6 Things You Need to Know About Izakaya

Offering multiple rounds of small dishes, Japanese-style pubs, or 'izakaya,' are a little different from their Western equivalents. Here are six things you need to know to navigate them with ease!

The Oldest Paper Company in Japan

The Oldest Paper Company in Japan

Founded in 771, Genda Shigyo makes 'mizuhiki,' the multicolored cords used to decorate envelopes for weddings, funerals and other major life events.

¥100 Shop Stationery

¥100 Shop Stationery

From basic writing tools to adorable character goods, ¥100 shops are the choice for getting papered in style—without breaking the bank!

Toro Nagashi: Floating Lanterns for the Dead

Toro Nagashi: Floating Lanterns for the Dead

'Toro nagashi' is a ceremony in which paper lanterns are released into the water, typically floating down rivers to guide the spirits of the dead back to the other world.

3 Okayama Burgers Full of Local Flavor

3 Okayama Burgers Full of Local Flavor

Okayama is known for its blue jeans—and with such classic Americana on-hand, it's no wonder the prefecture is also home to some pretty classy burgers!

The Oldest Beech Trees in Asia

The Oldest Beech Trees in Asia

With bright blue ponds and an 8,000-year-old biosphere, we invite you to witness the unspoiled splendor of one of Japan's first UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Shirakami-Sanchi!

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