All About Japan

How to Enjoy Tea Ceremony Like a Local

Like many traditional Japanese events, tea ceremony is a treasured cultural activity where manners are key. Before you sit down, here's a quick primer on the rules you'll need to know to properly enjoy 'chado.'

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

East Japan Shines in 5 Videos of Wintry Wonder

If you can't make your way out to Fukushima, Tochigi or Ibaraki Prefectures, Diamond Route Japan is bringing their majesty to your screen in five breathtaking videos that will have you packing your bags immediately!

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!

'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!

Do You Know All the Different Types of Kimono?

Did you know that there are actually a dozen different kinds of kimono? Try to name more than two!

The Secrets of 'Gokon'

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

Full List—Japan's Intangible Cultural Heritage

Beyond its 20 spectacular World Cultural Heritage Sites, Japan has 21 traditions recognized by UNESCO as elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Most Expensive Sushi Roll We've Ever Seen!

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

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.

Tokyo Restaurant Serves Real School Lunches

Wonder what a Japanese school lunch tastes like, but don't teach in a Japanese school? Try this Tokyo restaurant, where you can get both the flavor and atmosphere of an elementary school classroom!

The Polite Way to Sip Green Tea with Company

When sipping tea with your host, the polite way to partake depends on the kind of cup and the type of tea provided. Are you sure you know the right way?

The Real Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has long been believed to have health benefits, and nowadays people tout it for everything from weight loss to heart disease. But what does the research actually show?

How to Wear a Yukata at a Ryokan

When staying at a Japanese-style inn, or 'ryokan,' you may wear a kind of light cotton robe called a 'yukata.' While much simpler to wear than a kimono, there are still a few things you should know!

know-before-you-go