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.
The Goddess of the Toilet Will Make You Cry

The Goddess of the Toilet Will Make You Cry

No, it's not an ad for domestic cleanser: "Toire no Kamisama" is a 10-minute acoustic elegy for Kana Uemura's grandmother, and quite possibly the sweetest thing you'll ever hear in a Kansai accent.

Useful Japanese Toilet Expressions

Useful Japanese Toilet Expressions

It's best to know enough of the local language to navigate to the nearest lavatory!

The Ninja Guide to Japanese-Style Toilets

The Ninja Guide to Japanese-Style Toilets

The secret to ninja stealth may lie in the daily need to squat.

Shimajiro Teaches Potty Protocol

Shimajiro Teaches Potty Protocol

This remarkably frank anime clip walks perschoolers through the different signs of potty time.

12 Reasons Why Japanese Bathrooms Are the Best

12 Reasons Why Japanese Bathrooms Are the Best

Adorable Aiko from "Life Where I'm From" outlines her very scientific reasons why Japanese bathrooms are second to none. She has us convinced!

Funassyi's Toilet Cleaning Time

Funassyi's Toilet Cleaning Time

Funassyi spends more time playing than cleaning, which is all the better for our amusement anyway.

A Grumpy Tour of Mount Takao

A Grumpy Tour of Mount Takao

It's less than an hour from Shinjuku to Takaosanguchi Station, where a very steep chairlift awaits.

Serene Autumn Leaves in Oirase Gorge

Serene Autumn Leaves in Oirase Gorge

Travel down one of Aomori's most beautiful spots at the best time of year.

AMA: The Stars of Funimation's Dragon Ball Z

AMA: The Stars of Funimation's Dragon Ball Z

The two leads from Funimation's dubs of Dragon Ball Z wax on the series' development and the challenges of screaming for ten minutes at a time.

Shironuri Makeup Tutorial

Shironuri Makeup Tutorial

Shironuri—literally, "painted in white"—is a Harajuku fashion style that's been almost singlehandedly revived by a young makeup artist who goes only by the name of Minori.

Tokyo Aims for the World's Cleanest Halloween

Tokyo Aims for the World's Cleanest Halloween

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu comes out in support of the "Let's Gomi Zero" campaign.

How to Create Halloween in Elementary School

How to Create Halloween in Elementary School

With a little (okay, a lot of) preparation, an enthusiastic teacher can make Halloween real in a way no explanation could ever hope to match.

The Bento Album

The Bento Album

The first female hip-hop artists to enter the Oricon top ten, Halcali celebrate their greatest hits with a bento.

Michael Jackson via Shakuhachi

Michael Jackson via Shakuhachi

Joined by a pair of brilliant koto players, professional shakuhachi player Yoshimi Tsujimoto puts an incredible Japanese-style twist on a Smooth Criminal.

Mao Asada Goes Kung-fu Against the Common Cold

Mao Asada Goes Kung-fu Against the Common Cold

Japan's darling figure skating champion faces herself in a Matrix-style rumble for cold medicine.

How to Handle Your Tattoos in the Onsen

How to Handle Your Tattoos in the Onsen

Many onsen ban tattoos, and even among Japanese young people, a little over 60 percent still don't favor allowing them in the bath. But there's no need to fear: We've compiled some solid tips on how to enjoy the water.

A Guide to Onsen Water Types

A Guide to Onsen Water Types

All water isn’t the same. Every natural spring passes through layers upon layers of rock that can give the water a unique chemical makeup said to have a variety of health effects depending on the mineral content of the water.

Adorable Capybara Hot Springs

Adorable Capybara Hot Springs

Snow monkeys aren’t the only ones getting in the water in the winter.

The Real Spirited Away Onsen

The Real Spirited Away Onsen

Remember the red bridge and layered, rising walls of Yubaba’s hot spring hotel in Spirited Away?

Japanese-style Onsen Around the World

Japanese-style Onsen Around the World

Sure, hot springs can be found all over the world—but onsen are unique to Japan. Or are they?

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