Best Japanese Features and Cultures

Best Japanese Features and Cultures

Life in the land of the rising sun can be stressful but there are more to just mundane work. One of the best things about Japan is Hanami, or the cherry blossom period. During spring season, the weather is beautiful with the cherry blossoms within you sight along your travels. Japan has some of the most innovative Kit-Kat flavors and there are countless flavors to choose from namely Passionfruit, Matcha, Sakura or Spicy Citrus. Nighttime is unusually silent and calm where people return to their homes after 6pm. Japan dog breeds such as Shiba-Inu are cute and polite and friendly to strangers. Train efficiency in Japan is the best in the world where you can travel to any parts of Japan anytime.

The public parks have good facilities for exercising, for instance public gymnasium and running path. Japan has countless theme based dining option ranging from prison cell setting to school classroom. Romantic dining options are also common. Food in Japan is generally good in taste. Nomihodai is where alcohol drinkers can drink all they can within 2 hours for a fixed price. One is guaranteed to have an overhang with such great deal. Karaoke lounges are everywhere in the cities and you can sing your hearts out and enjoy the music with you close friends, all while drinking up.

Okonomiyaki is a pork based dished served with shrimp as well as cabbage. It is eaten together with awesome barbecue sauce. Some of the best Okonomiyaki can be found in Kasuya at Fukuoka Prefecture. There is a beautiful shrine called Dazaifu Tenmangu and is popular among students having major exams where they will pray for knowledge and wisdom. It is located in Kyushu. Plum blossoms are around the compound which gives a great view. During the Winter Equinox, women clad in ancient robes will perform a dance to entertain the guests. Japanese culture involved superstitions and there are many amulets and palm reading service for protection against bad luck. For those looking for honeymoon spots, be sure to check out the beautiful Kyoto. Small bars that shaped like a telephone booth can be found in Japan. Purikura is a photo booth vending machine where you get your picture taken and printed on a sticker against a backdrop of fancy colorful setting. There is the Village Vanguard where all kinds of Japanese merchandise are sold. In Japan festivals are common during summertime and it is just another day's common affair once you get settled in. Advertisement involving a giant doll manned by human in a suit can be seen in the streets of Japan and it is a common sight as well. Tipping for service is not a requirement in Japan compared to in the US, and service is fast and waters are ever friendly to accommodate any requests.

Kaitenzushi is the sushi place delivered by conveyor belt and you have to get used to self-service. The price is cheap due to limited staff on standby. Flying to other Asian countries can be a very cheap affair due to the various airlines serving all major Asian routes. Travelling in Japan involves a lot of walking and it is one of the best ways for experiencing the Japanese culture. Keep an open mind when in Japan where you will encounter strange phenomenons. Package delivery is fast and convenient and you can order anything online and have it delivered within days. Convenience stores or Konbinis are situated at every corner of the street that saves a ton of hassle if you need any last minute purchases. Cicadas roam the streets where these insects of the size of hummingbird will be filling the air with their buzzing melody. Kotatsu, or table heater are good devices for warming yourself during the chilly winter. Combine that with Nabe, a boiling hot soup and you will be the happiest person during the cold weather. Colleagues in Japan office often give food items to each other and are part of the Japanese hospitality. You can forge friendships from international citizens ranging from Australia to France and have the opportunity to have a globalized perspective over current issues. Friends will help you when you are in need no matter where you go and they prevent loneliness and culture shock.

Supermarket Jazz played via computers is a common feature in Japan. Fish is a staple food and you eat them even for breakfast. Onsen or hot spring baths are some of the best spots to wind down and socialize with close friends. Japan has unique seasons every year starting from the cherry blossom to plum rain seasons. Giant ancient castles are preserved and open to public for viewing makes Japan a hot spot among history buffs. In restaurants waters will serve wet-wipes instead of dry paper towels which is great. Game lovers would love to try out the famous game called Taiko Drum at the nearest arcades where you make loud musics during the gameplay. Night life in Japan is lively and you can stay late every day and can get home easily from the taxi services. Japan has many romantic spots for lovebirds, for instance the lantern filled street at Kyoto. Shrines are located at most random places, where you will encounter one just few blocks away. Finally there is this promotion going for 100 yen for 12 eggs which is a great deal for bargain hunters.

The Beautify Surrounding of Mount Fuji

The Beautify Surrounding of Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji, as the highest mountain in Japan, is the most famous place for a tourist destination. As famous as the beautiful mountain, it is also being a famous historical site. Let's dig deeper around the mountain, which has a very lot of sites and exciting spot. This volcano mountain surrounded by three prefectures, which is Kanagawa prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture, and Shizuoka Prefecture. Each of the Prefecture has saved a mixture of history, scenery, and a lot of activity to be done by the tourist. Losing the chance might be pitiful since it will be awesome and memorable. The camera is number one included on the top of the list.


This city becomes famous because of its historical background. It has been a place for shikken (the head of the authority charges) during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) by the shogunate. This city with the coastal line is also one of the proliferation of Buddhist religion, which made a lot of shrine or temples around. One of the famous is Tsurugaoka Hachiman. This temple was built under the authorization of Minamoto Yoritomo on 1191, in order to worship the God of War, Hachiman Daibosatsu. This temple located in the center of the city. There's a famous promenade from the shrine to the sea, as long as 1,8 kilometers called Wakamiya Oji. This promenade becomes a backbone of the street network nowadays. There's also a bridge behind San no Toori gate as the inheritance of the Shogun. There's a canal underneath the bridge, which linked with two ponds, and each of it represents of each feuding clans during Yoritomo period. This Shinto shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachiman has become a Buddhist Temple for centuries.

To the southwest of Tsurugaoka Hachiman, there is a big temple of Kotoku-in. At this temple, there's a famous giant statue of Daibutsu, the statue of Amida Budha. It is 11,4 meters high and made from bronze. It's been there since 1252 but has no luck with the hall, which has been destroyed by the storms and tsunami. From Tokyo, Kamakura can be reached by train for one hour.

Mount Oyama

Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Mount Oyama has been a sacred place to be worshiped. Nowadays, it becomes a spot for mountain climbing, which represents the great view of mount Fuji on top of it. Mount Oyama is 1252 meters at the peak, and when it's clear, we can look at the Boso Peninsula and the skyscrapers at the central of Tokyo. Other than climbing, the tourist can ride a cable car, which looks so classic, to go to the mountain slopes and leering the temple there. Mount Oyama is 90 minutes away from Tokyo, tracing the Odakyu line from Shinjuku to Isehara.


Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Hakone presented the famous onsen, or the hot spring. Tour to Japan won't be completed without soaked in the onsen. Besides that, there're two big art museum and tall ship cruises. You can also see the scenery of mount Fuji from here. The Hakone open air museum is really great to see. There's a large art sculpture spread all across a lawn scape. There's also a collection with a mixture of Japan and West collaborate in a modern art like Rodin and Miro. A huge hand knitted in wonderful color won't escape the look. The last-added museum in Hakone is Okada Museum of Art, contains a lot of artworks by Okada from Japan, Korea, and China. Hakone is two hours' length from Tokyo (Shinjuku Station).


This city is located at the Yamanashi Prefecture, this city built from lava flows from mount Fuji. It has become a spot for spiritual gathering for the pilgrims. Surrounded by cedar trees, along path spread ahead the Old Yoshidaguchi Trail for 19 kilometers. At the end of it, there are Fuji Shengen Shrine. The shrines along the trail stamped a white robe inside, which usually use to climb (it also use for the death). There's an annual festival every 27 August, called Yoshida no Himatsuri, or the Fire Festival. This festival held to appease the Goddess of Mount Fuji and let her not to erupt. Fuji-Yoshida located two hours by bus from Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Tokyo Station.


It's another climbing spot to mount Fuji. And the first climb by non-Japanese people ever recorded (by Sir Rutherford Alcock) in 1860. There're some waterfalls in Fujinomiya, with the biggest and famous one is Shiraito Falls. This beautiful waterfall formed from the drops of the melted water underground from mount Fuji.

Okinawa Southwest Islands cuisine

Okinawa Southwest Islands cuisine

Most people are familiar with standard Japanese delicacy such as sushi or ramen. Okinawa has unique offerings which gives you a different taste for Japanese food. The culinary style evolved from combination of subtropical climate in Okinawa and island topography. It has also evolved as key historical events occur such as independence from Japanese ruling until end 19th century, trade connections with China and US occupation during World War 2. Its local fare combines influences from Japan mainland, Korea, US and China. It is said that Okinawan delights can lengthen the lifespan. Fish and other seafood are not the main ingredients. Pork is made the main dish ingredients. Seaweed is also a treasured delicacy.

The first Okinawan food favorite is brown sugar. It has been in production for centuries. They come from sugar cane harvested in areas rich in minerals. It has beneficial iron and calcium content that is pleasing to the taste bud as well. It is often used for making sweets or ice cream. It can be used for tea as well. Eating It raw is also an option that will give you much needed adrenaline boost. Okinawan doughnuts are small in shape and filled with black sesame and coconut or sweet potato. It is best eaten fresh and hot. Most restaurants serve them together with ice cream. Sweet potato purple in color is another highlight. They are a loyal ingredient to many local Okinawan dishes. They come in different shapes and sizes in the form of ice cream, doughnut or sliced chip.

Another top delicacy is the Okinawa soba. It is thick and white in color. They are best eaten with hot broth boiled with pork. It is tasty and nutritious. Extra flavoring can be added such as chilli peppers or pickled ginger. Mozuku seaweed is also worth mentioning. It is usually eaten raw as serves as a side dish, combined with sesame seeds. Eating the seaweed coupled with tempura would form the best combination. It is light and delicious. Tender seaweed coated with crispy batter would make a hearty meal. Bitter melon is another delicacy unique to Okinawa. It is bitter, as the name suggests and not suited for certain people. It takes time to appreciate the taste. It has high levels of vitamin C. It is usually served with tempura or as a side dish. Goya beer can be made out of the melon juice and it is well loved by many travellers.

Awamori is a rice liquor without sugar. It was first produced during the Ryukyu Kingdom's reign and exported to China about few hundred years back. It has high levels of alcoholic content, up till 80% but tastes mild and mellow. It is a good social drink consumed at dining events. People usually drink it after dilution with water. A recent recipe was made to combine Okinawa brown sugar to form plum liquer, rich in taste and intensity. Awamori can also be served with ice cream with raisins as toppings.

Shikuwasa is a citrus fruit best consumed during summer time. It is served with ice and extremely sweet and addictive. Freshly made shikuwasa juice are better compared to the pre-packaged vending machine bottles. It can be used as sashimi sauce, or mixing with rice liquor. The fruit actually resembles a lime, but plumper. Its taste is hard to describe, most refer it as a fusion between lime, lemon as well as grapefruit.

Coffee is another local Okinawan drinks delight. It has its famous roasted Coffee 35. It can be found at selected cafes around the Naha region. Try out a café named 1-15-23 located at Tsuboya, where the digits in the shop's name literally means coral. Coffee used are locally roasted using coral, and 3.5% cut of profits is channeled towards preserving corals around all the islands.

Ogasawara Islands - hot tourist spot

Ogasawara Islands - hot tourist spot

Not many people will expect seeing clear dark skies dotted with shining stars, clear blue sea and romantic sunsets when they travel to Japan with their friends and families. There is a hidden wonderful spot just for the observing nature's beauty lying just 1000 kilometers south from Tokyo, the bustling city of Japan and the place is none other than Ogasawara Islands.

Ogasawara Archipelago, or more commonly known to locals as Bonin Islands, was awarded the prestigious World Heritage site title. It is located in the center of Pacific Ocean. The distance may seem far away from Tokyo but the Islands are considered a member of the Tokyo prefecture. Human footprints and local dwellers populate the small islands such as Chichi Jima as well as Haha Jima. If you take the ferry from Tokyo, you will be docking at Chichi Jima. It is an island well developed for tourist arrivals and houses Japanese restaurants and plenty of fine accommodation. It is a popular spot for travellers looking for breathtaking beaches. Haha Jima, on the other hand is more but it is a great place for solitary confinement and peaceful outing. Ogasawara Islands is definitely a heaven for nature enthusiasts. The islands have multiple seaside activities that you will not get tired of ranging from snorkeling to kayaking. Great adventures await you if you fancy forest hiking as well as observing whales.

There is no better spot for snorkeling and diving at around Ogasawara Islands. Divers are in for a treat as they are able to spot rare manta rays roaming the seabed of the Islands. Plenty of unique sea creatures await the patient divers ranging from sea turtles to whales. There are also beautiful coral reefs all around the island. Chichi Jima is the best diving spot one could find. Diving packages are available and you can take your time to select from the best operators. As for snorkeling, one should visit Miyano Hama as well as Tsuri Hama where the beaches are the undisputed kings. They are accessible via foot just over a hill. Miyano Hama is a good spot for beginners looking for more shelter. Tsuri Hama on the other hand has more rocky beach but offers better coral.

Whale watching is and activity not to be missed. Do not miss the sighting season from January to April every year if you crave to see the great humpback whales. Be wary of the cold weather in January as well as February which is not conducive for island exploration. Sperm whales can be sighted from May right to November. Whale tours are widely available from multiple operators. One could just indulge in swimming non-stop around the beaches just west of Chichi Jima. Copepe as well as Kominato Kaigan are attractive spots. One could also hike up a mountain trail to witness the sparkling white sand from John Beach. Make sure that you bring enough drinking water supply as the walk by take more than 2 hours.