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Lifestyles-Craft Kits

For some digital detox, look to the latest in craft kits

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Digital diversions may have us tethered to tech, but screen fatigue is real. Even my digitally-native, young-millennial kids prefer printed books these days. And a recent weekend together at home had us busting out some craft kits. There might have been Netflix in the background, but everybody’s hands were busy… Read

Lifestyle

Tourists making memories via pottery rebirth, manga stamp experiences

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From the art of giving broken ceramics a new life to creating traditional personalized seals carved with hit manga and pop culture characters, centuries-old crafts are giving tourists present-day experiences with a flavor of Japanese authenticity. Boyana Babanovski, who recently visited Japan for the first time, is among a growing… Read

Lifestyle

We went to Shibuya’s swanky Saunas to sweat away all of our troubles

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It’s not often that we find one in a lively place like Shibuya. In fact, the lack of decent saunas was one of the biggest drawbacks when our Shibuya-loving reporter Seiji Nakazawa moved into the area. But recently, he heard there was a new place that fit the bill: Shibuya Saunas.… Read

Lifestyle

What happens if you get a traffic ticket in Japan?

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Driving in Japan offers convenience and flexibility, but there are important aspects to consider, from getting a driver’s license without knowing Japanese to renting a car. While the basic rules of the road are similar to those in other countries, the process and consequences of a traffic ticket in Japan can be quite… Read

Lifestyle

'Ametora': How American style changed Japanese fashion forever

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Ametora should be considered one of the most prominent fashion subcultures as it has inspired Japanese designers, manufacturing practices and many generations. Ametora, short for “American Traditional”, is best defined as being Japan’s own take on the fashion worn by American Ivy League College students and the British elite in… Read

Lifestyle

What is the average cost of living in Japan?

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Japan once had a reputation for having a high cost of living. Previous surveys such as the one by global consulting firm Mercer, have shown that Tokyo has dropped ten spots. Currently, Tokyo holds 19th place, well behind Hong Kong (1), Singapore (2) and Shanghai (12) for the most expensive cities to… Read

Lifestyle

Lots of Japanese parents want their kids to work for Nintendo, but not just for the money, survey says

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Japan isn’t completely without rhetoric to the effect of “Video games are bad for kids and will rot their brains.” Kids are banned from many arcades after a certain time of night, and one prefecture actually has an official ordinance limiting how much time minors are legally allowed to spend playing video… Read

Lifestyle

If you’ve tried meditating but can’t sit still, here’s how — and why — to try again

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The first time Marcelle Hutchins sat down to meditate, she put on a guided session, relaxed her shoulders and tried to close her eyes. She lasted two minutes. “I had a deadline, and I thought, ’I don’t know if I can sit still this long,'” said Hutchins, who was working… Read

Lifestyle

The 10 'One Piece' statues in Kumamoto

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Kumamoto is the hometown of Eiichiro Oda, the beloved author of the hit manga and anime "One Piece." To celebrate this connection, Kumamoto Prefecture proudly showcases a collection of "One Piece" statues dedicated to the iconic main characters of the series Each of the One Piece statues has ties to the area’s cultural, historical and social… Read

Lifestyle

Japan now has a convenience store that can be towed by a car

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Above all else, a convenience store has to be convenient, and a key part of convenience is location. But what if there’s a potential customer base that’d like to have a convenience store nearby, but there’s no available spot to build one? That was the problem that Japan’s FamilyMart was pondering, and they came… Read

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