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Discover & Experience Awa-Odori, One of Tokyo’s Most Joyful Festivals

The Koenji Awa-Odori, Festival, held every year on the last weekend of August in Koenji (few minutes from Shinjuku station), is one of the liveliest events you can have the chance to see in Tokyo! Thanks to an initiative taken by Suginami City to expand cultural activities to foreign visitors, even in late winter, you have the chance to both see elements from this fabled fest – and even get to learn dance moves! It’s an experience not to be missed. Thanks to them, this past summer I had the chance to participate in the festival, accompanied by other beginners but also dancers that came especially from Tokushima. But before jumping into the streets, we had a workshop to learn the basics!

Disney’s 2018 Spring Season Souvenirs are Here! These Are the Items You Must Get Your Hands on!

Chiba Suburbs Theme Parks

It’s almost spring season in China, Easter break in Europe and spring break in the U.S. There are sure to be a lot of travelers to Japan during this season. On February 1st, 2018, In anticipation of the spring season, Tokyo Disneyland has released their new line of souvenirs. At Live Japan, we took the liberty of going to see for ourselves the numerous new products that will tickle the fancy of even non-fans of the franchise. Several of the products are only available for a limited time and only in Japan so getting your hands on these will give anyone major bragging rights! Read on to find a list of both the new spring products as well as those products that are about to go off the shelves for good.

Behind the Stereotype: “Japanese People Are So Nice and Polite!”

Japan seems to be shrouded in stereotypes like no other country. From obscure vending machines to speaking toilets, from the shyness of Japan’s people to their eccentric subculture fashion. Amidst preconceptions and memes, we’re left wondering – what is Japan really like? As someone born and raised in Japan, I will try my best to share an inside perspective on the common stereotypes that people have about my home country. One of them is that Japanese people are incredibly nice and polite. From anime to sushi, Japan leaves its cultural fingerprints all across the globe. It is known as a quirky, innovative country that is the source of many a trend and invention, some useful, others amusing. However, there is one aspect of this developed nation that has undergone an undeniably unique evolution, especially compared to other countries in Asia and Europe. I am talking about communication in a global world. And especially the often-lauded kindness of Japanese people has everything to do with this.

The Ultimate Shopping Experience: How Tokyo's Service Staff Conveys Japanese Hospitality to International Tourists

Tokyo is all but preparing for the upcoming Olympic Games in 2020. A big part of these preparations is hiring staff who is able to speak multiple languages, especially at shops and department stores. This is important not only to make shopping for tourists more comfortable but also to convey the genuine experience of Japan’s famed hospitality. What exactly does that mean, though, how is this hospitality different from simply offering the standard customer service? To find out more about it, we asked the multilingual top staff of Tokyo’s most famous department stores.

[MOVIE] How to Open Convenience Store Onigiri - You Won’t Need to Struggle with It Anymore

Is it a donut? Is it a dumpling? No, it’s a rice ball! After growing up watching some of your favorite cartoon characters eat these infamous rice balls, you’ve come to Japan and want to try one of these classic snacks yourself. Rice balls, or onigiri, have been popularized by TV shows and video games around the world over the last 20 years as a staple of Japanese cuisine.

Nogi Shrine – Discovering Modern-Day Shinto and the Real Last Samurai

Roppongi Shrines

Nestled between the busy nightlife district of Roppongi and the stylish commercial area of Akasaka lies a place of modern-day Shinto worship, dedicated to someone who can be called Japan’s real last samurai: Nogi Shrine. Right as I left Tokyo Metro’s Nogizaka Station, I was greeted by a large white torii, the gate that marks the entrance to Shinto shrines all across Japan, as well as two statues of komainu, or lion-dogs, the protectors of the precincts. The noise of the metropolis was quelled by this very atmosphere as soon as I took my first steps onto the shrine grounds – it almost felt like entering an entirely different world. Large trees cast their cooling shadow on me, the air felt fresh and clean, and the soft murmuring of the water in the temizuya, the basin used for ritual purification before prayer, welcomed me to an entirely different part of modern Tokyo.

Choice Spots

  • Akihabara
  • Asakusa
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  • Harajuku
  • Ikebukuro
  • Roppongi
  • Shibuya
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  • Tsukiji
  • Ueno

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