Lifestyle

In pandemic era's isolation, meaning of 'self-care' evolves

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These days, with a pandemic raging, this is what life can look like: Staring at your face on Zoom for hours instead of occasionally glimpsing it in the mirror. Living out the days in loungewear. Wearing minimal makeup because no one sees much of you. Considering an investment in home… Read

JAPAN YESTERDAY

The story of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s trip to Shuri Castle in 1853

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At 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 24, 1852, 58-year-old Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, aboard the coal-powered steam warship Mississippi, began his journey to Japan. With Perry were 382 other men, most of whom were experienced sailors able to endure a roughly  12,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) trip starting in Norfolk, Virginia. Other men —… Read

Lifestyle

After thousands of years in homes, traditional Japanese flooring goes modern

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Tatami is the flooring used in traditional Japanese architecture as far back as the Heian period (794–1185). It’s made from rice straw, compressed wood or, more recently, even synthetic materials. It’s durable, practically fireproof and grants excellent insulation. It also feels pretty great on your feet.  Once considered an item… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese rental house comes with a full-size bus

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Ads for an apartment or home rentals in Japan make a point of quickly mentioning the property’s attractive amenities. “Shower and toilet located in separate rooms,” “pre-installed heater/air conditioning units,” and “auto-locking front door,” for example, are all pretty common things to proudly tell prospective renters about. But then there’s… Read

Lifestyle

The five least stressful jobs, as ranked by Japanese working people

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All jobs have some element of stress, and depending on your personality and your skills, some could be more stressful than others. But if you’re going to be spending your precious time at work, you’d want it to be as stress-free as possible, wouldn’t you? That’s why Japanese business consulting… Read

Lifestyle

Burger King opens a rental site to help fast food lovers find an apartment in Japan

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If you’ve ever looked for an apartment in Japan and one of your first thoughts was, “But how close is it to a Burger King?” your prayers have now been answered. That’s because the fast food giant has teamed up with Japanese real estate agency Able for a new collaboration called BK Town, which kicked… Read

Lifestyle

The lie of the land: How topography made Tokyo the city it is today

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You might not think so looking out over Tokyo from one of its giant skyscrapers, but the modern city owes its chaotic appearance to the layout of old Edo, which was in turn based on height differences in the natural landscape. Tokyo sprawls across the Musashino Plain and the lower… Read

Lifestyle

Tokyo best city in the world to live in, study says

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New York-based financial publication Global Finance publishes an annual list of the world’s best cities to live in. For 2020, Asia has had a strong showing, with three cities in the top 10 and the top spot going to none other than Tokyo. Tokyo was followed by London, Singapore, and New York in the… Read

Lifestyle

Tipping, white teeth, fast food, and other Americana Japanese people don’t understand

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Americans and other foreign residents living in Japan likely feel exasperated by cultural differences from time to time. Especially early in their stay, the seemingly endless litany of dos and don’ts can be confusing and downright frustrating. "Don't cross your legs," "don't blow your nose," "always clock in at least… Read

Lifestyle

English ad in Japan has some seeing a command to stay infected with coronavirus this Christmas

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It’s been a tough week for well-meaning department store ads in Japan. First there was Takashimaya’s attempt to promote Kyoto as a beacon of hope in these troubled times, which ended up sounding to many people like we all need to band together and stop the city’s diabolical plans. Now comes… Read

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