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14 Apr

By Todd Wojnowski

“Trust me.” -- It’s perhaps the least-trustworthy sentence in existence—even children know to put their guards up when they hear it. There’s something diabolical in it that we connect with Hollywood villains and used car salesmen. Directly asking people to trust you is a sure way to tip off that they probably have no reason to, probably shouldn’t.

19 Mar

By Bonson Lam

The Stone Garden in Kishiwada Castle brings together the present and the past in a symbolic way. It was designed by Mirei Shigemori; a famous architect and designer who also built the Kokuan tea house in Kyoto.

11 Feb

By Philip Patrick

As an agnostic, I have never really felt comfortable with the whole “customer is God” philosophy. I know I’m supposed to feel charmed, but I can’t help experiencing mild embarrassment as I am showered with “welcomes” and “thank yous” and “I’ll be waiting for your next visits” by shop staff in Japan, often when I have only dropped into their store to get out of the rain. Basically, I don’t think I’ve really earned it.

5 Feb

By Tomoko Kamishima

More than 800 stone statues sit close together at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Splendid autumn leaves put their arms around the statues and give them a comforting hug. The location of today’s Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (northwest outskirts of Kyoto) was once a location used for open-air burial.

4 Feb

By Bonson Lam

The best way to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka is to stay in a Wi-Fi enabled hostel or hotel. Surprisingly, you are more likely to get free Wi-Fi at the cheaper accommodation providers, like Hana Hostel or J Hoppers. A lot of business hotels, known for its compact, no-frills 3 star service levels, also provide free Wi-Fi. Hotels like Dormy Inn or Toyoko Inn are also known for its excellent connectivity in all its guest rooms as well as the public reception areas with no password requirements. . They also offer free internet computers at their reception or front desk areas. Higher up in the luxury stakes, Hotel Monterey and Fraser Residences also offer Wi-Fi in all their rooms, while Sheraton Osaka offers Wi-Fi in the reception area to registered guests.

4 Feb

By Dale A. Brown

The Sendai Pageant of Starlight is one of Japan's biggest winter illumination displays. Each year from December 6th through December 31st, 600,000 Christmas lights illuminate the zelkova trees along Jozenji-dori​ in downtown Sendai. At adjacent Kotodai Park (Kotodaikoen), accessed via the Kotodaikoen subway station on the Nanboku line, are several picture worthy light displays. Across from the park, a temporary ice rink is set up for anyone to enjoy.

30 Jan

By Joan Bailey

Melon-flavored ice cream from Hokkaido. Natamame (sword bean) tea from Hyogo. Mikan juice from Wakayama. Usually such unique regional items can only be savored by visiting the prefecture or city they are from.

30 Jan

By Jane Kitagawa

“The gentleman was here on a holiday in January 2013 with his family,” explains Bruce Gherbetti, deputy chairman of Kizuna Child-Parent Reunion, discussing the case of a Canadian man who had reached out to their organization after his Japanese wife abducted their son.

28 Jan

By Andrew Kehohe

Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate all bare deep scars from the 2011 disaster. Yuriage, the small coastal district of Natori city has taken steps to heal those wounds with the help of some friendly Canadians. Starting at 6:00AM every Sunday thousands of Japanese people head out to the coastal inlet of Yuriage to get fresh seafood and produce, breakfast, buy handmade crafts, see their friends, and even see some live music.

28 Jan

By Tomoko Kamishima

The autumn beauty at Shisen-do Villa is amazing, with a garden sparkling with bright red maples. This was once a residence of a retired samurai, Ishikawa Jozan (1583-1672).

28 Jan

By Andrew Kehohe

A 10 minute walk from Iwanuma station will put you at the eastern entrance to Takekoma Inari. Takekoma was founded in 842 A.D. by Ono no Takamura making it the second oldest Inari shrine in all of Japan.

4 Apr

Even if you have lived in Japan for many years, communication in the business world can often make you feel like you’re playing a constant guessing game. Messages can be hazy, details not specific enough, and questions sometimes seem to be forbidden. You are probably aware that the style of communication in Japan relies heavily on non-verbal cues. However, are you familiar with one of the driving forces behind this implicit style of communication?

2 Apr

According to Wikipedia: “the word technology refers to the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function”.

2 Apr

The force-fullness with which outdated “norms” are protected amazes even my pea brain.

23 Feb

Bruce is at it again, rubbing elbows at the spiffy-dressed gala event, promoting his ego and bragging about how great he, err, the company is.

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