'Right to disconnect' presents challenges in work-driven Japan


Some pioneering companies in Japan are going against the grain by allowing employees to refuse work phone calls and emails on their days off, in an age when technology is blurring the boundaries between personal and professional lives. As others grapple with ways of implementing work-style reforms, these firms are… Read


Letters from Japan: 'Sex isn’t fun anymore'


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? Email it to with the subject "Ask Hilary." Dear Hilary, I’m an American woman. I’ve lived in… Read


JR East abolishes skirts, ribbons in women’s uniforms to eliminate gender difference


East Japan Railway Company is the primary rail operator in the most populous part of Japan, with dozens of lines in the Tokyo area alone as well as the Joetsu, Hokuriku, and Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains. As such, the company, also known as JR East, is one of Japan’s most visible corporations,… Read


Starting small: Tips for creating a sustainable life in Japan


On the heels of the global climate change strike that took place recently, and in the wake of Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg’s globally moving speech, it’s hard to not get involved in the eco-friendly conversation. Just last year in August of 2018, Greta initiated a solo strike from school for climate change… Read


Video shows what Tokyo and Mt Fuji were like over 100 years ago


Japan is filled with historic sites that still stand today with centuries of history behind them. And while pamphlets, guides, and even ages-old ukiyoe prints do their best to paint a picture of this history for visitors to the country, nothing tells the story quite like a moving image, especially… Read


What’s the best part of Tokyo to live in, and why? Survey gives the top six picks


Tokyo is a very, very big city, not just in terms of population, but in physical size as well. Being spread out over such a large space means one part of town can feel very different from another, so if you’re looking for a place to live in Tokyo, the first… Read


Pregnant woman takes teen boys to task for calling their friend 'lame' for offering her his seat


The seats in the corner sections of pretty much every train in Japan are supposed to be reserved for elderly, disabled, or pregnant passengers, but truly good manners dictate offering your seat to such people regardless of where you’re at in the train. So recently, when Japanese Twitter user @mrmehoso11 was on a… Read


Women's office fashion: 4 tips for 'wearing it right' at a Japanese workplace


Unlike the suit and tie, the one-look-fits-all world of menswear, for women deciding what to wear to the office in Japan can seem a bit tricky. But it doesn’t have to be complicated — just follow these simple guidelines, and you will be prepared for whatever your Japanese company throws at you.… Read


Papercraft artist who turns food packaging into art to have solo exhibition


Many of our readers may recall Harukiru (@02ESyRaez4VhR2l), a popular Japanese papercraft artist with over 370,000 followers on Twitter. Harukiru's astonishing creations fashioned entirely out of food cartons and packaging are so detailed and clever in their design that we have had reason to share them on grape Japan more… Read


Returning to family roots: Rumiko Obata on leading her family sake brewery


“Reputation before ratings”: fifth generation sake brewery owner Rumiko Obata talks about the importance of family businesses and using her smooth sake to promote Sado through titillating drinkers’ tastebuds. Rumiko grew up in the sake world, watching her parents manage the laborious process of creating sake from Niigata and Sado’s… Read

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