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Internationally renowned Japanese Culture: The Most and Least Favorite Traditions Ranked by Foreigners

Ueno

Recent trends in consumption have shown that more and more people want “products with meanings” rather than just “products”. This seemingly includes tourists visiting Japan as well, as their numbers rise with every year. Be it washoku, judo, or anime, Japanese culture is well-loved around the world, but which parts exactly are they? And are there any which foreigners are not very good with? We interviewed a number of foreigners who have lived in Japan for a year on what they thought.

Fluffy and Delicious: Enjoy Japan’s Best Pancakes at the Top 3 Cafés in Harajuku and Omotesando!

Harajuku Other Cafes and Sweets

If there’s one universal truth, it’s that everybody loves pancakes. That’s why every country and culture has its very own version of the delicious dish – sometimes sweet, sometimes savory, fluffy and thick or crispy and thin. Japan, known for its sweet tooth, is no exception to this rule. Actually, the world of Japanese pancakes brings forth new and tasty creations year by year, with numerous pancake specialty stores all over Japan and Tokyo ready to satisfy any pancake craving, no matter the season! Japan has undergone a real pancake boom, initially triggered by breakfast and brunch specialty stores. Now, however, pancakes are an integral part of the menu of all sorts of Japanese cafés and restaurants, incorporating the unique tastes and characteristics of the different chefs. While some places win our hearts with their amazingly tasty varieties, others draw us in with their exceptionally beautiful pancakes, so photogenic that it’s hard to take the first bite. Among this colorful pancake variety, one certain characteristic has stood out and is now known as the “Japanese style:” fluffiness. Especially the trendy area of Harajuku and Omotesando has become a hot spot for anyone wanting to try authentic Japanese pancakes! Whether you like it with thick macadamia sauce or matcha powder and azuki beans, we know just where to go.

Stringraphy at Studio EVE: A Striking and Unique Musical Experience

Shibuya Other Contemporary Arts

Have you ever imagined being right inside a musical instrument, surrounded by song? I visited Studio EVE in Tokyo’s Daitabashi neighborhood and was able to experience this very feeling by attending a Stringraphy workshop. A beautiful melting of music, art, and movement, Stringraphy is an original concept that while born in Japan, has already made waves across the globe in its 25 years of existence. During the workshop, I had the chance to meet the members of the world-renowned Stringraphy Ensemble, enjoy a performance, and even try my hand at making my own string music.

Furano/Biei Japan: Visiting the Gorgeous Floral Wonderlands of Hokkaido!

Furano / Biei / Sounkyo Landscapes

The hills in Hokkaido's Furano and Biei areas are colored purple with lavender fields where a variety of flower gardens can be seen. This exquisite scenery is a source of local pride. Get out and enjoy the great views of Biei and Furano lavender fields by visiting during their blooming season, which is from mid to late July. While these fields are positioned closer to the city of Asahikawa, there are many ways to get there, making a day trip from Sapporo possible. Here we share the perfect itinerary to make the most of the region!

Asakusa Dining Guide: 3 must-try soba shops in Asakusa!

Asakusa Udon & Soba

Soba is a noodle dish in which the noodles are made with the flour of the ground seeds of buckwheat, an annual plant. Since ancient times in Japan buckwheat flour was kneaded and eaten uncut, but after time the custom of slicing the dough into thin noodles came about. Eventually they took the forms as we know them today. It is also considered to be an auspicious food, and in Japan the custom of eating it at certain junctures in life, such as when moving or at the end of the year, is well-known. Soba is imbued with symbolic meanings. Compared to other noodles, it is easy to cut and as such it symbolizes the "severing" of misfortune while the long, thin noodles symbolize longevity. So it's fitting to enjoy such a delicious, auspicious dish in Tokyo's historical district of Asakusa!

Tokyo's Top 25 Neighborhoods on Instagram!

Tokyo Station Downtown

Choosing what areas to go visit in a metropolis as large as Tokyo often seems like a daunting experience. Everyone has a different preference, some good memories connected to one place or another. We are about to introduce you to the most popular hot spots in Tokyo according to, well, everyone who's ever posted a picture of Tokyo online. With Japan expecting over 40 million visitors in 2020, and with tourism to the country increasing on a yearly basis, tourists and locals alike take to Instagram to post pictures of the places they like best. So, let’s take the guesswork out of the equation. Let’s see which areas are the ones most people like and let’s dive into the Top 25 hotspots in Tokyo on Instagram!

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