Lifestyle

YouTuber Paolo documents a typical day of a Japanese office worker and other employees

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As we’ve noted before, Japanese people work hard ... although they may not exactly be working smart. According to OECD data, Japanese firms are surprisingly underproductive. Indeed, the country ranks lowest in labor productivity among G7 nations, placing it 21st among the 37 OECD nations. Nevertheless, there may be a silver lining to… Read

Lifestyle

Tokyo area received more new foreign residents than Japanese ones last year

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Though the population of Japan has been in decline for quite some time now, the population of Japan’s capital continues to grow. And it’s not just Tokyo, either, as the city and the three prefectures that border it, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba, saw an increase to their collective number of residents last year. According… Read

Lifestyle

No escape from the terror with Japan’s new haunted Ferris wheel

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Japan has a soft spot for Ferris wheels. Children, of course, enjoy the excitement of taking a ride into the sky, and young lovers also appreciate the quiet privacy and romantic views, especially since Japan’s most popular wheels revolve at a very leisurely pace. There’s nothing particularly kid-friendly or romantic,… Read

Lifestyle

9 tips for a more eco-responsible life in Japan

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Japan offers a fantastic and comfortable lifestyle, with 24-hour convenience stores, easy transit, and vending machines around just about every corner. But Japan also uses an outrageous number of plastics and products that are harmful to the environment. With a few small adjustments to your daily habits, you can live a… Read

Lifestyle

Sliding walls, hideable offices: How pandemic could change home design

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When Spain's coronavirus lockdown ended in late June, one thing was at the top of Teresa Silvi's priority list - to sell her apartment and find somewhere more suitable for her family to live now they were spending far more time at home. Three months of remote working with a… Read

Lifestyle

Japan's ninja arts hold key to survival, says first recipient of graduate degree

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The mystique of Japan's once-feared covert warriors, spread by films and fiction, is embodied today in the world's first recipient of a master's degree in ninja studies, who also grows his own crops, just as many of his predecessors did. The modern black-clad ninja is Genichi Mitsuhashi, 45, who says… Read

Lifestyle

Giving birth in Japan: A lengthy yet salubrious hospital stay

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Living as a foreigner in Japan has conveyed its own ups and downs but giving birth in Japan is probably one of the former that gaijin (foreigners) mothers can fully treasure. Though the procedure might differ now, following the Covid-19 ongoing pandemic, it is undeniable that the puerperal care and support provided through the… Read

Lifestyle

Here’s how to join a community garden in Tokyo

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Since moving to Tokyo last year, I have missed growing vegetables, a hobby I used to love. Living on the 3rd floor in a small apartment means I can have a couple of pots of herbs on my balcony, but no space for a proper vegetable garden. That all changed… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese amusement park offers mask stickers so guests can silently ‘scream’ on roller coasters

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Tokyo Disneyland and other Japanese amusement parks recently amused netizens worldwide by asking visitors to please refrain from screaming when riding the attractions. To stop the potential spread of coronavirus, visitors were asked to instead "scream inside their hearts" to keep any germs from flying out. But that begs the question; how are you… Read

Lifestyle

'Zashiki warashi' -- the mythical children who look after your house

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Perhaps you’ve heard of zashiki warashi? They’re pretty famous in Japanese folklore, and still crop up regularly in anime and manga. They’re ghostly children who act as guardians of family homes. There are lots of variations of zashiki warashi across Tohoku, the northeastern part of the Japanese mainland, with minor differences in appearance… Read

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