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From Countdown to Sunrise: Top 4 Places to Celebrate New Year in Kyoto 2019 – 2020

Kyoto Station, To-ji Temple

For the Japanese, the end of the year and the New Year holidays are an important time to express gratitude for the passing year and to anticipate the aspirations of the year to come. Everyone has their own way of celebrating, but many people express their sentiments by visiting shrines and temples. Here are some fun and interesting options for ringing in the New Year in Kyoto, where so much Japanese tradition can be found, whether you prefer praying at a shrine or temple, or parting with your pals.

Quirky 'Sora-Donki' Discount Shop Opens at New Chitose Airport: Top Staff-Recommended Products & More!

Sapporo / Chitose Discount Stores

When you hear the name 'Don Quixote' in Japan, you will most likely picture Japan's largest discount store chain. Sora-Donki, the airport location of the chain, recently opened its second branch on the international departure floor of the New Chitose Airport on August 30, 2019. This branch boasts an area of up to three times larger than that of its Haneda Airport counterpart, with items upon items lining the store, offering an overwhelming variety of goods including snacks and drinks, souvenirs, medicines, and even clothing. Because it is located on the international floor, it is perfect for inbound travelers. Let's take a look at some of the most popular items amongst traveling visiting from overseas.

Learn the Art of Flower Arrangement at Ohara School of Ikebana

Harajuku Other Traditional Arts

Ikebana, flower arrangement, is one of Japan’s most treasured art forms, a time-honored tradition that continues to be relevant even in today’s modern society. Beautifully arranged flowers and plants have permeated Japanese culture in a way that is seldom found in others. The Ohara School of Ikebana has played a major part in keeping the tradition alive, through its many schools in Japan, as well as its 59 chapters abroad, with over 300,000 members worldwide. The beauty of the Ohara School is not only in its floral arrangements, but its ability to share the culture of ikebana with the world. I visited the Ohara Center of Tokyo to try an ikebana class to learn more about this traditional art form.

A City That Never Sleeps: Top 3 Spots to Stay in Ikebukuro Until Morning (If You Miss the Last Train!)


Ikebukuro, along with Shinjuku and Shibuya, is a major hub in Tokyo. Here there are many Japanese language schools, commercial complexes, and recently one particular road has become very popular. Otome [Maiden] Road is known for its shops selling anime goods and magazines. It is a part of town that has become popular even with travelers who see it as a “subculture mecca” for fans of manga and anime. There are lots of places where you can have so much fun you forget the time - and even end up missing the last train home! This happens to more than just a few people. In this article we will tell you about good places where you can leisurely spend time until morning that include a hotel-like net cafe and a restaurant-cafe that has many repeat visitors from overseas. These are also good places to rest for travelers who arrive in Japan in the middle of the night and need a place to rest as well as being good places for groups who want keep on partying throughout the night. These spots have delicious food and just about anything else you might need.

5 Reasons Why Japan Is Said To Be Beautiful

Sapporo / Chitose

All foreign visitors are equally surprised by one thing – the beauty of Japanese towns. Whether day or night places like Shibuya and Shinjuku are bustling with people with the city’s central railway stations having the world’s largest number of users, but what is surprising is the almost total lack of public waste receptacles. Yet each area is always kept clean and attractive. This is especially amazing considering the high density of people going about the city every day. Are there any other cities in the world with a population of slightly less than 9.3 million that manage to stay as clean as Tokyo without waste receptacles? Let’s take a look at the secret to this phenomenon: the way people are raised in Japan.

Inside One of Japan's 3 Largest Hikiyama Festivals: Chichibu Night Festival Highlights

Saitama Suburbs Japanese Festivals (Matsuri)

All across Japan, interesting festivals are held throughout the year. Often holding great significance within local culture, they are an important part of Japanese society, regardless of the scale. The three largest and most well-known are the “Gion Festival” in Kyoto, the “Takayama Festival” in Hida, and the “Chichibu Night Festival” in Chichibu. Taking place in Saitama Prefecture's Chichibu area, the “Chichibu Night Festival” is an important part of Japan’s historical culture. In 2016 it was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage as “Chichibu Festival Yatai and Kagura.”

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