All About Japan

Full List—Japan's Intangible Cultural Heritage

Beyond its 20 spectacular World Cultural Heritage Sites, Japan has 22 traditions recognized by UNESCO as elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Secrets of 'Gokon'

What's the deal with mysterious Japanese group dates, or 'gokon'?

A Brief History of Japanese Timekeeping

Explore the tradition and beauty of Japanese timekeeping, from the water-based clocks of the seventh century to the app-enabled digital creations of the modern day.

Superb Night Views atop Gifu's Mount Kinka

The night view from the top of Mount Kinka in Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture is one of the most spectacular in all of Japan, on a par with some of the country's most popular night views!

A Japanese Home is a (Small) Sanctuary

A home in Japan is a comfortable place that will likely only be seen by a small, select group of people—and probably too cramped to host more than a handful of guests at a time! But this lies at the heart of the 'uchi' vs. 'soto' concept in Japan.

Small Island Burns for Japan's Early Days

Every year in January, the 800 residents of this small island pray for health and remember the nation's first emperor with a pillar of flame.

The Only New Year's Postcard You'll Ever Need

Japanese artist Feebee has created an 'ukiyo-e' woodblock print of an imaginary beast combining all 12 zodiac animals. Doesn't matter if it's the Year of the Rooster, Horse or Dragon, you can always send this print for the New Year!

7 Samurai Doing 7 Extreme Sports!

These samurai warriors from Japan are fearless not only in battle, but also on a BMX bike, skis, a pogo stick and on a surfboard.

Get Active & Get on the (Japanese) Beach!

In addition to Japanese cuisine culture, the nation's active lifestyle is credited with contributing to its famed longevity. So how do Japanese people stay active?

A 'Heart to Heart' Primer on Japanese Manners

Manners are a big part Japanese culture and society, but a first-time visitor or new resident will likely be surprised to learn many of these rules are unspoken, but understood. Therefore, we'd like to introduce a few to help you fit in while in Japan.

'Jikabuki': Local Kabuki in Gifu Prefecture

At Aioiza, a small museum and playhouse in Gifu, you can get right behind the scenes with 'jikabuki'—and even try on the makeup and costumes for yourself!

Can You Keep a Secret? 4 Hidden Hot Springs

There are a lot of incredible hot springs in Japan. These four hot springs are not well known, but they'll surprise you! They all have something special in common—can you guess what it is?

Origami Cranes at Shrines & Temples

Why can origami birds be found at many shrines and temples? Who makes them? Why do they make them? Learn the answers to these questions here!

Explore the Mysteries of Tohoku

If the heavy winter snow or rugged mountains didn’t keep you away, the stories of roaming bandits and forest monsters would! But nowadays people come to Tohoku to explore folklore, sacred rituals and natural wonders thousands of years in the making.

The Most Expensive Sushi Roll We've Ever Seen!

Invite good fortune into your mouth with sushi wrapped in edible gold.

The 5 Biggest Snow Festivals in Tohoku

Check out Tohoku's Five Great Snow Festivals and see how the region's long history of culture and tradition brings the frozen to life!

Love in Japan: Valentine's Day & White Day

Not content with just one day of affection, Japan follows up Valentine's Day with White Day exactly a month later.

Get 'Spirited Away' at this Nagasaki Festival

You'll feel as though you've slipped into a Ghibli film as you glide through the streets of Nagasaki in a sea of orange and red lanterns.

You Only Turn 20 Once, so Spice It Up!

For some young adults in Japan, Coming of Age Day is a somewhat solemn or drab affair. But in Kita-Kyushu, it's anything but! We have the lively pictures to prove it!

Aizuwakamatsu: Modern City, Samurai Spirit

Join our writer Nick as he travels to Aizuwakamatsu, in Fukushima Prefecture, to get a deeper look at the rich history and culture the city has to offer.

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