All About Japan

Learning to Make Japan's Most Durable Washi Paper

The Kaminosato Museum in Hitachiomiya has a gallery of products made with Nishinouchi Washi and offers workshops for visitors who want to try their hand at papermaking or learn more.

Be the Lord of the Domain with a Luxury Stay in a Japanese Castle!

Two unusual programs offer accommodations that are fit for nobility—or an Edo-period ruler of one of Japan’s feudal provinces.

Learning Japan's Ancient Horseback Archery

Yabusame is a traditional samurai martial, involving shooting an arrow at a target from the back of a horse galloping at full speed. I attempted to learn this in one day. And so can you.

Shimbun Nishiki-e: The Meiji-era Origins of Japan’s Lurid Tabloids

In the Meiji Era (1868--1912), some enterprising woodblock artists used their traditional skills to bring a mix of news and entertainment to the masses.

Takigyo: Japanese Waterfall Meditation

Takigyo, or waterfall meditation, is a rare practice that samurai and ascetic Japanese Buddhists and Shintoists engaged in for centuries. There are several places around Japan where visitors can join the breath-taking training.

Five Otaku Things to Do at Japan’s Nijigen no Mori Theme Park

There’s plenty to keep you busy at the eclectic Nijigen no Mori Theme Park on Awaji Island.

Meet One of Tokyo's Coolest Neighborhoods: Meguro

Coffee culture, antiques . . . even a Pig Cafe: Tokyo's Meguro is definitely worth a train stop.

Warrior Portfolio: From “An Illustrated Guide to Samurai History and Culture”

With the vividly illustrated pages of this new book, author Gavin Blair takes a deep dive into depictions of the legendary samurai warrior class.

Brit Amelia Hiorns is Working to Save Japan’s Bear Population

Amelia Hiorns has one of the most unusual jobs in Japan. As a member of the Picchio Wildlife Research Center’s Bear Team, she works with black bears, Karelian bear dogs, and humans, all in an effort to promote wildlife conservation.

Ketchup and Cabbages: In Search of Japan’s Most Unusual Monuments

Should there be a monument to cabbages? How about eyeglasses? Well they already exist in Japan, along with many other unusual tributes.

Travel Back to Feudal Japan at this Private House Complex

NEOLD Private House is exactly what it says on the label: It’s new, it’s old, and it’s private. It’s also quite a bit more, as I discovered when I was lucky enough to stay there.

Highway to the Gods: In the Footsteps of Oyama Pilgrims

Mt. Oyama, a peak to the southwest of Tokyo, has long been the goal of pilgrims eager to pay their respects to the gods. Today, visitors can follow in their footsteps on a short, fun trip out of the city.

7 Must-Visit Spots in and around Matsue

Experience Japan's rich culture and history without the crowds of major tourist destinations in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture.

Spend a Memorable Night at Nintendo's Former Headquarters

Nintendo's old headquarters, first built in 1930, has been renovated, revamped and turned into a hotel!

Bring Japan’s Springtime into Your Kitchen

In Japan, spring doesn’t just bring cherry blossoms and blue skies. It comes with a number of delicious, fresh ingredients that are unavailable at other times of the year. Let’s take a look at those ingredients and how to make the most of them!

The Perfect Weekend on the Yokohama Waterfront

Yokohama is often overlooked by the bigger, brighter lights of Tokyo and Osaka. Big mistake! Japan’ second largest city has developed a unique identity influenced by Western and Chinese culture. We’ve complied a guide for the perfect two day trip.

Five Women Warriors from Japanese History

Samurai, street fighters, and shamanesses--Japan has its share of fighting women over the centuries. Here are five of the country's most celebrated warriors.

The Perfect Weekend Tour of Fukuoka City

A long-time resident shares her knowledge of mouth-watering local food spots, great shopping and open green space in one of Japan's most fascinating regional capitals.

Five Young Japanese Women Making a Difference

A look at some young Japanese women making waves and inspiring others in their respective fields. Our “A list” includes an actress, an artist, an athlete, an author and an advocate for social change.

Why I Love Nihonga (and Want You to Love It Too)

Nihonga is a genre of modern Japanese painting that uses natural materials and draws inspiration from nature and traditional themes in Japanese culture. Find out more, including the best museums in Japan to experience the unique beauty of nihonga.

know-before-you-go