The Art of Sitting and Emptying Your Mind
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We’ve all seen it in movies: the Buddhist monk sitting still in the Lotus position, legs crossed, and their hands joined in a specific formation, their eyes closed in concentration. This is how mainstream media has simplified Buddhism, but there … Read More

We Found Beauty in a Foreign Place
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Today, we visited our district’s protectorate shrine. As we made our way through the busy streets of Minato-ku, we passed office buildings, hotels, small restaurants, and familiar fast food chains (I’m looking at you McDonald’s), there was no greater surprise … Read More

Tea Ceremony at Hamarikyu
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The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a traditional practice in which green tea called matcha is made and served to guests, all in a set ceremonial fashion. The ceremony dates back the 9th century CE during the Heian period in Japanese … Read More

Akasaka Hikawa Jinja Shrine
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When entering Akasaka Hikawa Jinja Shrine. Akasaka district is how the trees seem to envelope you and take you away from the concrete jungle of urban Tokyo. At the entrance you will encounter the first large stone torii gate, flanked … Read More

An Amazing Place to Reset Your Mind
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Hama-rikyu is a public garden located on the shore of Tokyo Bay in the Shiodome District in Central Tokyo. It is a massive complex, with saltwater ponds that rise and fall with the tides of Tokyo Bay. Various paths and … Read More

Experiencing “Omotenashi”
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When you first arrive in Japan there’s always a phrase that will almost immediately get stuck in your head, “Irrashaimase”. This Japanese word of “welcome” is one of the many features of the unique service you are guaranteed to experience … Read More

Do you know Japanese word “okeiko”?
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You can experience traditional Japanese culture at 「Tokujuji Temle」in the island of Miyajima that is  famous for “Itsukushima Shrine” floating on the sea. It is called okeiko Japan! Do you know おけいこ(okeiko)? To translate it directly, it means a lesson. … Read More

Exploring the Art of Karakami
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During my time in Tokyo, I was fortunate enough to visit a Karakami exhibit and store. For those who don’t know, Karakami is a traditional method of pattern printing. Located Ueno, Tokyo Matsuya is a 4 floor location that is … Read More

Wrapping up money?
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When looking at western style cultures, gift giving is done for many occasions. Holidays, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, and weddings are just a few of the many. These gifts can be presented in various forms such as wrapped in paper to … Read More

Interview with Visit Tohoku
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Interview with Visit Tohoku Pohan Chen(Visit Tohoku) & Michelle Alleman(Jtast) PC: I just came here four months ago, because I wanted to do something for Tohoku tourism, especially after the 2011 earthquake, because I am a licensed guide, and I think as … Read More

Hinamatsuri Festival
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Have you ever heard of the Japanese Doll Festival? It is a festival aimed at girls that is held on the March 3rd every year. Most Japanese people don’t even know the actual meaning behind the festival, so here is … Read More

How do Japanese at the seasonal division?
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Setsubun, which literally translates as “seasonal division,” is a traditional event held on the day before the calendrical beginning of season. The first day of spring is the most special setsubun in Japan and is usually held on the 3rd … Read More

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