Telling the Tales Behind Historical Sites
World Heritage Site listings and the designation of Cultural Properties are primarily intended to protect sites. But Japan Heritage introduces the stories and historical context behind local Tangible and Intangible Cultural Properties.
Omotenashi of English-Speaking Geisha in Kyoto
The “flower town” district of Gion in Kyoto is where geiko and maiko in glamorous kimono enchant people with their talents, elegance and grace. One geiko in particular shines through her use of two languages; a unique dialect of Japanese, and English.
From France to Tokyo: Working in Japan
Frenchwoman Samantha Lassaux is a sales manager for Meiji Shrine’s event hall, known as the 'Meiji Kinenkan.' Lassaux talks about her work at the historic venue, which was built in the Meiji Period and originally served as a state guesthouse.
Connecting the City with Nature in Aizu
The Aizu Railway in Fukushima Prefecture is a vital means of transportation for residents, but it offers so much more than just a way to get around.
A Short, Sweet Ride through Wakayama
The Kishu Railway runs slowly through fields and a residential area along a national route in Gobo City in Wakayama Prefecture, traveling so close to the houses that it nearly grazes their eaves. Both locals and railway enthusiasts love this tiny line.
A Gourmet Train Journey to Sample Shinshu
Rokumon is a sightseeing train run by the Shinano Railway that puts you in touch with the Shinshu region’s culture and cuisine. Take a ride and spend a leisurely time enjoying stunning scenery and delicious dishes.
A Country Town Open to Diversity & Possibility
In the town of Kamiyama, tucked away in a valley of Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku, the population is about a quarter of what it was six decades ago. But Shinya Ominami wants to make the town a place where diverse groups can gather.
Mastering Winemaking in Nagano
Well-known essayist and painter Toyoo Tamamura and his wife live in Nagano Prefecture, where they run a winery and restaurant. He talks about his new life and work styles, the late life lessons he’s discovered and his plans for the future.
Onitsuka Tiger: Shoes Running Around the World
Onitsuka Tiger is an iconic shoe brand produced by sporting goods company ASICS. Despite once disappearing from the market, it has been revived as a fashionable sneaker brand with global popularity.
Japan's First Foreign Female Shogi Pro
A chat with Karolina Styczynska, Japan's first professional foreign-born female shogi player.
The Roots of Tonkatsu: A Delicious Fusion
Tonkatsu—the breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet so popular with the masses—was originally one of many Japanese twists on Western recipes imported to Japan. Learn the history of tonkatsu according to the first restaurant in Japan to put the dish on its menu.
Word Magic & Flights of the Imagination
Children’s author Eiko Kadono, who won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2018, discusses her creative environment and behind-the-scenes stories related to writing works such as her most famous book, "Kiki’s Delivery Service."
Yakushima: Island of Thousand-Year-Old Cedars
Registered as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1993, Yakushima’s Yakusugi have flourished for over ten centuries, and the islanders have revered these cedar giants as sacred since ancient times.
The Living Appeal of Bonsai Art
Bonsai, the art of planting and tending to miniature trees in pots, is a noteworthy offshoot of Japan’s vaunted gardening culture. Bonsai gained worldwide notice in the 1970s, and its popularity only continues to grow.
Snow, Craft Beer and a Western Take on Winter
Australian native Daniel Bacon manages several successful businesses in Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture, and a founding partner of Hakuba Brewing Company, a craft beer brewery based in the same area. What does it take to attract international tourists?
The Ephemeral Art of Japanese Bathhouses
The artists who specialize in painting Japanese bathhouses are few in number, but their enduring artistic spirit ensures the profession lives on.
The Origins of the Tough G-SHOCK Watch
Over a hundred million G-SHOCK wristwatches have been shipped for sale to customers around the world since the brand debuted in 1983. This shockproof line of timepieces is a prime example of Japan’s high-quality manufacturing.
Traverse the Natural Wonders of Kushiro Marsh
The Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko is a popular sightseeing train that chugs along at a leisurely pace through Hokkaido’s Kushiro Marsh from spring to early autumn.
Riding the Rails: The Sagano Scenic Railway
The Sagano Scenic Railway runs the popular sightseeing train known as the Sagano Romantic Train, which takes you on a seven-kilometer journey between Kyoto’s Arashiyama district—a tourist spot in the Sagano area famous for fall foliage—and Kameoka.
Daughters of Meiji: Women's Education in Japan
At the dawn of the Meiji Period, three young girls were sent to live in the United States to experience American education and society firsthand and bring their knowledge back to Japan.