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How Many 'Kanji' Should You Learn?

Studying 'kanji,' Chinese characters used in Japanese, can be time-consuming and difficult for many learners. The sheer amount of characters is intimidating—combine that with multiple readings, and it's hard to know where to start! We're here to help.

5 Popular Japanese Foods (Besides Sushi)

Although sushi might be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Japanese food, it's actually an irregular part of the Japanese diet. The following five foods are consumed far more frequently. Have you tried them all?

What To Wear: Women Working in Japan

It can be hard for women to know exactly what is appropriate (or not) to wear in a Japanese office. Get the lowdown on the basic rules to follow to avoid faux pas without having to resort to a penguin suit.

Essential Japanese Words for Weather Warnings

Understanding what is happening in an emergency is very important, but the Japanese terms for natural disasters and dangerous weather can be confusing! This easy guide is a handy cheat sheet to help you stay safe and be able to make smart decisions.

Kairo: Japan's Top Secret to Warmth in Winter

Here's our quick guide to the different heating pads you can purchase in Japan to keep your whole body warm.

Ryokan 101

There's a lot to learn and consider when it comes to staying at 'ryokan,' traditional Japanese inns.

Use a Japanese 'Hottie' to Keep Warm in Winter

Survive the harsh Japanese winter by cuddling up in bed with this hot little number.

5 Reasons Tipping Isn't Done in Japan

Guidebooks love to say it’s because Japanese people think tipping is rude, but that’s not even close to the whole story!

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!

How 5 Tokyo Neighborhoods Were Named

Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Asakusa and Akihabara are incredibly popular areas, and at the top of many traveler's 'To See' lists! Learn how these famous Tokyo neighborhoods got their names.

Answers to Common Questions for First-Timers

Ever wondered about vending machines or all the cute characters on signage in Japan? What's up with capsule toys? Tokyo Girls' Update has some insight into simple aspects of Japanese life that can surprise first-time visitors.

12 Key Phrases for Getting By in Japan

Whether you're visiting for the first time or staying for a while, these simple phrases can help you get around in Japan without getting lost—or lost in translation!

Preparing to Drive Around Snowy Areas in Japan

When traveling around snowy regions in Japan by car, you'd better prepare your vehicle in advance to survive scary road conditions and frosty weather. Check out our to-do list before departing for snow-covered lands such as Hokkaido, Tohoku and Hokuriku.

How to Build a Full-Scale Japanese Igloo

Have you ever wanted to build an igloo? Yokote in Akita Prefecture is very famous for its igloo making festival, called 'kamakura.' We'll show you the traditional method of building snow huts just like they do in Yokote.

How to Bring Medicine into Japan

Traveling to Japan with prescription medication? Find out how to enter the country properly and hassle-free!

10 Ways to Save Money on Electricity in Winter

Electricity costs in winter can go through the roof because more energy is needed for heating and your time spent indoors increases. If you want to survive winter in Japan at the lowest possible cost, follow these helpful tips for saving on electricity.

Japanese Beach Basics: Rules, Tips & Etiquette

Looking to soak up a little sun on one of Japan's gorgeous beaches? Check out our helpful tips to make the most of your time by the seaside! Plus, get recommendations for beaches near Tokyo and Osaka.

2018 Autumn Foliage Forecast

It's that time of year again! As the weather turns from the heat of summer to the crisp air of autumn, the countryside is covered in a cascade of colorful leaves!

The 'Inns' & Outs of Japanese Accommodations

Japan has many types of unique accommodations, but it can be hard to keep them straight! Unsure of the difference between a 'ryokan' and a 'minshuku?' Have a look at our recommendations for conventional (and not-so-conventional!) places to stay!

How to Bathe in 'Sento' for Beginners

Have you ever bathed in a public bath in Japan? While it may seem cool for international travelers, some hesitate at the idea of stepping inside because the rules and manners of 'sento' are veiled, creating an air of mystery.

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