Swiss Priest Guides Visitors at Koyasan
Coming to Koysan 18 years ago, Swiss national Kurt Kubli Genso became a Buddhist priest, and now guides visitors around this three-star World Heritage Site in five different languages.
Conservation of an Icon
Mount Fuji is recognized as both a World Heritage Site and a three-star Michelin spot. But how do you protect a natural site from the erosive forces of its own popularity?
Japanese Festivals: Setsubun
Setsubun is the last day of winter in the traditional Chinese calendar, which is celebrated on February 3 each year in Japan. Find out how to celebrate with sushi!
This Region's Sushi is So Good it Has a Museum
Shizuoka Prefecture is the source of roughly half the tuna in Japan, making it only natural that the region is home to great sushi—and even a sushi museum!
Take a 2-Hour Lesson in Japanese Cuisine
Ayuko Akiyama’s Buddha Bellies cooking class offers hands-on courses in Japanese cuisine—including advanced courses in cutting sushi and sashimi.
Take an 8-Week Intensive Sushi Course in Tokyo
The Tokyo Sushi Academy claims to be Japan's foremost trade school for Edomae sushi, offering year-long chef courses and eight-week diploma classes.
Community Maintains Traditional Thatched Roofs
Once a flourishing post town, Ouchi-juku is home to many traditional thatched-roof residences, and residents adhere to an annual tradition of harvesting pampas grass every November to preserve their classical and eco-friendly roofs.
What Autumn Means to Japan
Robert Campbell, graduate school professor at the University of Tokyo, discusses how Japanese literature portrays the season, the unique ways people enjoy autumn in Japan, and more.
The Most Inspirational Japanese Teacher
One of the first JOCV volunteers was a Japanese language teacher who used her skills to teach Japanese to people in Laos and other developing countries beginning in the 1960s.
Brett Mayer, Kanji Master
Meet the American man who became the only non-Asian to pass the top level of the Japan Kanji Aptitude Test.
47 Reasons Why Japanese Makes No Sense
Canadian rakugo comedian Katsura Sunshine riffs on some of the more ridiculous points of the Japanese language—including, in particular, the 47 ways he knows how to say "Thank you."
Seiwa Denko's Bio-Toilet is 100% Water-Free
Providing toilet facilities is a major issue in mountainous and disaster-stricken regions where water and sewer services are not available. To address this need, Hokkaido's Seiwa Denko has developed the Bio-Lux, a bio-toilet that uses no water at all.
How Japan's Satellites Aid Disaster Response
The technical capabilities of Japan's DAICHI satellites enable a number of relief operations, in any kind of weather.
Breaking Olympic Records with Prosthetic Limbs
Ken Endo returned to Japan in 2012 after researching robotic prosthetics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He now aims to help a Paralympic sprinter shatter the Olympic speed record.
Ekiben Spotlight Local Cuisine
A Matsumoto bento maker teams up with students and the local agricultural co-op to create a castle town feast.
Japan Sports Agency Commissioner Daichi Suzuki
Highlighting Japan spoke with the commissioner of the newly-formed agency about the development of sports policy in Japan.
The Technology of Artificial Spider Silk
With more than 30,000 species of spider in the world—and a single spider using more than seven different kinds of silk—it became nearly impossible for Spiber researchers to define what constituted spider silk at all.
The October 2015 issue of Highlighting Japan examines the history and evolution of sports in Japan, running the gamut from Paralympians and FIFA soccer referees to sumo wrestlers and modern practitioners of ninjutsu.
Water & Washoku: Fountains of Youth?
Masaharu Maeda, a professor of rehabilitation studies, believes bathing culture is one of the secrets to Japanese longevity.
The American Who Inherited an Onsen
Tyler Lynch met his future wife on a trip to a hot spring inn. They were living in Seattle when fate intervened.