Lifestyle

Trick-or-What? Pandemic Halloween will be a mixed bag all around in U.S.

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Roving grown-ups tossing candy at kids waiting on lawns. Drive-thru Halloween haunts. Yard parties instead of block parties and parades. Wider paths through corn mazes. The family holiday so many look forward to each year is going to look different in the pandemic as parents and the people who provide… Read

Lifestyle

Is home life in Japan that different from your home country?

16 Comments

I can still remember stepping off the plane when I arrived in Japan some years ago. Homeless, friendless, and phone-less, I was incredibly nervous and daunted by loudspeakers barking in a language I hardly understood. As I looked for a bus to the city, I was overwhelmed by everyone's efficiency… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese survey ranks Hokkaido as most desirable prefecture to settle down in

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Though the bustling, metropolitan cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and more offer an attractively active lifestyle for young people trying to build a career, many Japanese people think differently when it comes to settling down. For the second year in a row, Japan’s northern region of Hokkaido was ranked as… Read

Lifestyle

Claustrophobic haunted toilet and caskets introduced in Japan for socially distanced scares

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Japan's many terrifyingly realistic haunted house experiences haven't exactly been an attractive outing due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), but haunted house production group Kowagarase-tai (Scaring Corps) has recently been answering the bell for socially distanced scares. Just recently, the horror event group opened up Japan's first drive-in haunted house as… Read

Lifestyle

Choosing a Japanese name, international name, or one from your home culture for your baby can be challenging

5 Comments

Choosing a baby name—in Japan or elsewhere—can be challenging regardless of your cultural context, and even more inside an international family. With potential unwelcome advice from your in-laws, criticism from your co-workers, and pregnancy-brain to blame for your own waffling name style allegiances, it’s no wonder that many parents are… Read

Lifestyle

Can you tell if a Japanese neighborhood is dangerous by looking at its convenience store?

27 Comments

By most measures, Japan is a country with very little crime. That said, some neighborhoods are still safer than others, and that’s a major criteria for many people when looking for an apartment. Unfortunately, it’s not always east to tell how safe a community is until you’ve already been living… Read

Lifestyle

Afro-textured hair in Japan: Decolonizing the Afro

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African hairstyling has a deep spiritual and cultural significance, and Emmy Najima has made it her mission to push creative diversity in Black hairstyles in Japan. The modern beauty as well as the beauty industry from the West has reached the shores of Japan decades ago with the appearance of… Read

Lifestyle

Bunraku puppets for children help Japanese master endure coronavirus shutdown

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Stuck at home for weeks while Japan was under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, renowned Japanese Bunraku puppet master Kanjuro Kiritake, all his performances cancelled for months, was stricken with deep anxiety. His art, a traditional, male-only Japanese puppet theatre, was born in Osaka in the late… Read

Lifestyle

Akihabara store praised for customer service

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It’s been a tough few months for businesses in Akihabara, with a number of longstanding stores shutting up shop during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a worrying time not just for business owners, but for customers as well, who now fear their favorite niche store might be the next to close at short notice. One… Read

Lifestyle

A chain of 'welding theme parks' is opening in Japan

8 Comments

When you’re looking for fun, there’s no better place to find it than at an amusement park. The thrilling rides! The cute costumed characters! The…welding? OK, so that last one isn’t what you’ll find at most theme parks. But if the joy of superheating and fusing slabs of metal is… Read

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