Why are some people in Japan paying big money for an old cassette tape?


Recently you might find a strange sight if you step inside a thrift store or resales shop inside Japan. You may spot cases of recordable cassette tapes, the ones frequently used from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, lined up on the shelves. Curiously, some of these cases are labeled… Read


Fewer desks, more coffee: Don't count the office out yet

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Employees returning to the office after the coronavirus pandemic ends might find fewer desks and more room to chat over coffee, real estate experts say, as companies look to "seduce" remote workers back by offering more space for interaction. Lockdowns that have taken hold since March last year have forced… Read


A letter from her former self: a Twitter user makes some surprising changes growing up

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Every child imagines what they will be when they grew up. Some of us are still wandering today. Of course, the common answers are often a celebrity, doctor, musician, baseball player, and so on. Twitter user Gushiko (@RHTY_5780) is no exception. Gushiko had no sooner turned 20 years old when… Read


The end of the pay phone? Japanese government considering getting rid of them


For those of us who are old enough to remember life before the dawn of the cell phone age, pay phones were life-savers, whether you rang your dad to come and pick you up from swimming or called your mom, pretending you were staying at a friend’s house when really you… Read


Commodore Perry’s black ships deliver a letter to Japan in July 1853

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It wasn’t a surprise. As early as 1852, a Dutch agent in Nagasaki had given a report to high-level Japanese officials describing an expedition led by Matthew Calbraith Perry, consisting of “two steamships and two other ships.” Japan’s bakufu — the shogunate government in power for the last seven centuries… Read


Japan’s legal age of adulthood dropping by two years, but do teens understand what that means?


Earlier this month, Japan celebrated Coming of Age Day, holding congratulatory ceremonies for people who recently or will soon be turning 20, the age of legal adulthood. However, that numerical turning point is going to be changing next year. In 2018, the Japanese government approved an amendment to the country’s civil… Read


2021 Valentine’s Day trends reveal preference for online shopping amid coronavirus-related fears


Valentine’s Day has become a barometer of Japanese shopping habits, consumer confidence and attitudes to the workplace. This year it is also functioning as a measure of how confident people feel about shopping on the high street. A survey has found that while most shoppers plan to buy their Valentine’s… Read


Letters from Japan: ‘He gave me money’


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 something you’d like to ask Hilary? Dear Hilary, My boyfriend and I have been together for six months. Due to the pandemic, he advised me… Read


Politician wants workers across country to have option for 3-day weekends every week


Overall, I think we’re all in agreement that the coronavirus pandemic has been a net negative. If you squint, though, you might be able to spot a silver lining around the gigantic corona-cloud, and part of that is Japan finally rethinking some of its work culture norms. We’ve already seen many… Read


Tokyo’s latest plan to boost birth rate: Pay people 100,000 yen per baby they give birth to


Japan’s birth rate has been in decline for a long time, and the coronavirus didn’t make the situation any better in 2020. It’s hard to decide to take your relationship to the “let’s get married and start a family together” level during a pandemic, and while couples cohabiting ostensibly had more time… Read

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