Letters from Japan: ‘Why hostess clubs?’


Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Send it to Hi Hilary, I am originally from America, I live in Japan and have a… Read


Karaoke rooms become live concert venues for 'otaku' and 'oshikatsu'


Reporter Ninoude Punico is a proud otaku who enjoys oshikatsu, which translates to “oshi activities," where “oshi” is one’s favorite character or performer. Punico’s oshikatsu currently revolves around Japanese idol boy band SixTONES, which is in the middle of a live tour at the moment. Unfortunately, Punico wasn’t able to attend any of… Read


8 deadly animals living in Japan


Japan is considered one of the safest countries globally and Tokyo one of the safest cities. But if you are brave enough to traverse into the wilds of the country, who knows what terrifying creatures you will meet—and I’m not talking about the ghosts and ghouls of legends.  Japan’s various climates bring beasts… Read


Miyagi restaurant refuses to accept customers’ money after tsunami warning evacuation


Bikkuri Donkey is a popular chain of family restaurants, eating establishments that lie somewhere between fast food and bar-and-grill type businesses. With a name that means “surprised donkey”, the buildings usually have a zany décor resembling a run-down shack and a generally lighthearted atmosphere. However, there is one thing that the chain… Read


Long wallet or bifold? What your wallet says about you in Japan


A few days ago, 29-year-old Austrian-Japanese model and former "Terrace House" presenter Reina Triendl made news in Japan for revealing her views on her ideal man during a TV appearance. Amongst possessing merits like great skin and good driving skills, Triendl said her ideal man would have to own…a bifold wallet. While her revelation was… Read


Tokyo condo frees up space by putting a shower in the kitchen


One of the most famous aspects of big-city living in Japan is that space is at a premium and some living quarters can be downright tiny. Now, with the pandemic keeping people at home more now than ever, a demand for places that optimize their limited space is high. Developer Mitsubishi Jisho Residence… Read


When meeting someone new, try skirting the small talk and digging a little deeper


Even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, there’s hope that life will return to some level of normalcy in 2022. This includes more opportunities to meet new people and build friendships, a process that’s critical for mental and physical well-being. This does not, however, mean that everyone will take advantage of… Read


What in the Wordle? Five-letter puzzle craze goes global


Five letters, six attempts, and just one puzzle to solve per day: the "Wordle" formula couldn't be simpler, but in a matter of weeks the online brain teaser has got millions guessing around the world. "It just grabs you," daily player Susan Drubin told AFP of the code-breaking word challenge… Read


10 nuanced Japanese expressions for advanced learners


When I see Japanese to English translations, I sometimes feel they are not as good as they should be. In Japanese, I’d use the adjective もどかしい (frustrated or impatient), to describe this feeling. This expression—and others like it—are a perfect example of nuanced Japanese, and I think that the only way to… Read


Japanese government now officially allowed to use question marks and exclamation points


The Japanese government has something called the koyobun sakusei no yoryo, or the “Guidelines for Official Writing Composition.” It’s basically a set of writing protocols for government documents and public notices, and it hasn’t been updated in a long time. The last overhaul happened all the way back in 1952, when documents… Read

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