Lifestyle

Japan’s honor system unstaffed produce stands get a stylish upgrade

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When traveling through the Japanese countryside and in some smaller neighborhoods, it can often come as a surprise to some to encounter unmanned produce stands. Many of these staffless stations operate relying on the honor system as well as the hope that communities will opt to support each other with… Read

Lifestyle

Let the fashion policing begin on opening day of Tokyo Games

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Let the fashion policing begin. The Olympics in Tokyo open Friday, when the world's athletes will march behind their flag-bearers. And when they do, the peanut gallery on what they're wearing will be open, too. Olympic gear makes for lively social media fodder, starting with the hours-long Parade of Nations.… Read

JAPAN YESTERDAY

William Elliot Griffis resists temptation in feudal 1871 Japan

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In 1871, Japan was still being introduced to the United States as a country with an actual civilization. “The population of Japan,” wrote a Missouri Republican journalist in September 1871, “has been variously estimated from twenty-five to forty million. Hitherto we have had no reliable statistics upon which to base… Read

Lifestyle

The 10 best places for young, single people to live in and around Tokyo

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Tokyo is an absolutely massive city composed of 23 wards, 26 cities, 5 towns, and 8 villages, many of which can be broken down into smaller neighborhoods that each have their own local flavor and culture. Add to that the nice places just outside of Tokyo, like Yokohama, that afford… Read

Lifestyle

Swedish rakugo performer takes on judo

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Swedish rakugo performer Sanyutei Kouseinen's first-hand experience of budo, Japanese martial arts, in Tokyo. As a unique activity that is part of Japan's sporting culture, budo cultivates the character of practitioners by training both their mind and body. In this series, Kouseinen takes on the challenge of judo, a sport that is also an event… Read

Lifestyle

Niigata town will give you ¥2 million for having your 3rd child there in birth-boosting plan

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Japan’s birthrate has been slumping for decades, and while anyone packed into a crowded Tokyo commuter train might momentarily be fine with the concept of fewer people, long-term it presents problems for Japan’s pension, health insurance, and other social welfare and economic systems. Because of that, both the national and… Read

Lifestyle

Pick a beautiful blossom from Shinjuku Station’s flower vending machine

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Isn’t there something magical about flower shops? Personally, I get a spring put in my step whenever I pass by a florist tending to potted plants and succulents. It’s the kind of everyday delight that you’re likely to see in a Studio Ghibli work. But alas, shops have closing times, and so there are… Read

Lifestyle

AI Japanese bar Mama-san is ready to listen to your troubles at her virtual bar

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In Japan, the owners of small neighborhood bars are usually referred to as “Mama-san,” since they generally cultivate an image as a kind and comforting presence. A good Mama-san is always ready to open her heart and lend an ear to her customers, and many earn a loyal group of regulars who… Read

Lifestyle

Rindo Lake Family Ranch helps to spare rescued dogs from euthanasia

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From July 20, the Nasu Highland Rindo Lake Family Ranch (operated by Nasu Kogyo Co Ltd) in Tochigi Prefecture will start a new chapter in their "The Small life One can Save" campaign to spare rescued dogs from euthanasia. For the past four years, Towa Nasu Resort, Inc. has been… Read

Lifestyle

Want to live in an abandoned house in Japan? Here’s why it’s not really ‘free’

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You may have seen some viral headlines over the years about “free” or cheap abandoned properties available in Japan.  Everyone from CNBC to CNN has talked about it. While Japan’s government is trying to entice new residents with cheap or even free property, it’s not as simple as walking up to an abandoned home and claiming it… Read

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