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IKEBANA – The Japanese art of flower

Art Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

Have you noticed that traditional Japanese culture is very extra? For example, there's culinary arts, and then there's Japanese cuisine. Another great example would be Japanese tea ceremonies (stay tuned for more on tea ceremonies!), which are a performance even though it's basically a tea party. … Read More

Sumo: Japan’s biggest national sport!

Tours & Activities Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

Sumo is a national sport of Japan; a form of wrestling that has over a thousand years of history! Image via Robb Report Even after all of these years, it’s much loved by the Japanese people, and it’s a mainstream sport that can be watched freely on television. Viewing sumo at a tournament is on… Read More

All About Cherry Blossoms

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

The gorgeous blush coloured Cherry Blossoms are one of Japan’s key icons, although in recent years, Japan’s abundant powder snow has attracted many from around the world in winter, the Cherry Blossom season remains to be one of its key attractions, and for a very good reason. Photo by JJ Ying on… Read More

Anti-Aging and Bihaku

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

In today’s day and age, having perfect skin continues to be a defining feature of beauty. In Japan, a defining feature of perfect skin is Bihaku - an ideal which women of all ages have endlessly pursued. So what exactly is Bihaku?  The term Bihaku can be defined as having a flawless complexio… Read More

UNIQUELY TOKYO

Tokyo Culture GJ Editor GJ Editor

Speaking to visitors on the ground about six of Tokyo's must-visit spots From shopping and fashion to delicious food and traditional culture‭, ‬the bustling capital of Japan has so much to offer‭, ‬while also being close to attractions like Mount Fuji‭, ‬Hakone and Nikko‭. ‬We asked visitors at si… Read More

Japan with kids: exploring the world of the samurai

Culture GJ Editor GJ Editor

When my son heard my husband and I discussing a possible trip to Japan, his eyes instantly sparkled, and he whispered 'can we go and see a samurai?' To ease ourselves into the world of the samurai in Tokyo, our first step was to visit the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku. The museum provides free … Read More

The fire that lit up snowy Nozawa Onsen

Nagano Culture GJ Editor GJ Editor

‘I went to Nozawa Onsen not sure what to expect,’ recounts Chris of his experience visiting this traditional hot spring village in winter. He was soon won over by the the friendliness of the locals, and the fantastic hospitality at the ryokan inn he stayed in. The show-stopper of Chris's visit w… Read More

TOGURA-KAMIYAMADA ONSEN

Nagano Culture G'Day Japan!

Welcoming hot spring town with retro charm Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen carved itself a place on Japan's hot spring destination map just over 120 years ago in 1893. Times were tough, and to revive the local economy, the head of the town implemented a plan to dig for hot springs. Since the waters began… Read More

NAGANO CITY Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Nagano Culture G'Day Japan!

NAGANO CITY -> Convenient winter holiday base 79 minutes from Tokyo -> Close to the Hakuba Valley, Nozawa Onsen and the snow monkeys -> Local attractions include Zenkō-ji temple, a National Treasure of Japan Nagano City is more than a famous gateway for pilgrims to Zenkō-ji, its icon… Read More

SHIBU ONSEN

Nagano Basics G'Day Japan!

The neighbouring town to the snow monkey park, full of charm and tradition Shibu Onsen is a quaint hot spring town in Nagano Prefecture that opens up behind a curtain of steam, revealing traditions and architecture of years passed, still standing tall and proud. The town's original spring-h… Read More

SIDETRACKED IN ISHIKAWA

Ishikawa Culture G'Day Japan!

The bullet train journey from Tokyo through the Japan Alps to Ishikawa Prefecture is like being fast-forwarded through a Japanese winter hall of fame; a snow resort from the Nagano Winter Olympics here, a hot spring retreat that inspired a Nobel Prize-winning novel there. The pot of gold at the end… Read More

TIMELESS KYOTO ICONS

Kyoto Culture G'Day Japan!

Maiko Maiko are the apprentice geisha of Kyoto, which remains a bastion of this antique entertainment culture in Japan today. Although they may come from any part of Japan to study the geisha arts, once they become maiko, all speak in the Kyoto dialect. Maiko live, study and work in the Gion… Read More

The ‘NŌ’ Girls & Boys

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

The Japanese food culture is one of the most healthiest in the world. The Japanese are also known to have long life expectancy and their obesity rate is among the lowest in the world. It's a clear fact that the Japanese people have a profound respect and love for their food and recently, this has t… Read More

Golden Week

Culture Alison Muir Alison Muir

Japanese people have a reputation for being some of the most conscientious workers in the world, but there's one period every year in Japan that is all about slacking off as much as possible. It's known as Golden Week - that's not a translation - and it is actually a collection of national holidays… Read More

Kimono Evolution – Part 2

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

aaPreviously in Kimono Evolution - Part 1, we discovered that the word kimono does not necessarily mean the Japanese traditional clothing but it describes clothing in general. We also discovered that over the long history of Japan, the 'kimono' has evolved from a simple potato sack style dress into… Read More

The Japanese Tradies

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

The word 'tradies' paints a very Australian picture; high-vis shirt, lace up workman boots, shorts, a small esky style lunch box, ute and beer stubbies. The hard working tradies of Australia have a certain look and certain mannerisms, and their work becomes a big part of their identities. Men who t… Read More

The Art of Deco

Art Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

Looking at the title of this piece you might be thinking, isn’t it ‘art deco’ or even ‘is it a typo for the art of decor?’ In fact, ‘deco’ is a shortened Japanese-English word for decoration. The word is used to describe any kind of object that has been ‘deco-ed’ as the Japanese would say. ‘Deco… Read More

Kimono Evolution – Part 1

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

kimono /kɪmóʊnə|-noʊ/ 1. clothes /kloʊz/ ; clothing /klóʊðɪŋ/ ; a garment Kimono is known across the world as the traditional, national costume of Japan, and there are many modern adaptations of this made in the western garment industry. These often come in the form of silky nightgowns that fe… Read More

Japanese Writing

Culture Alison Muir Alison Muir

Although a national survey hasn’t been carried out since 1948, the literacy rate in Japan is often claimed to be 99%. Realistically, the actual rate is unlikely to be quite as high as claimed, but illiteracy in Japan is still pretty rare – and considering the pervasiveness of text-based communicati… Read More

The Takarazuka Revue

Hyogo Culture Alison Muir Alison Muir

In the Takarazuka Revue, all the women are beautiful – and so are the men. The motto of the Takarazuka Revue is "kiyoku, tadashiku, utsukushiku" – a reminder to live with purity, integrity, and beauty. These are three qualities that the founder of this all-female musical theatre troupe, Ichizo K… Read More

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