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Rich & Refreshing! Hokkaido’s Top 5 Must-Try Soft-Serve Ice Creams

Sapporo / Chitose Other Cafes and Sweets

Cows leisurely grazing in the vast landscape. This is what many people imagine Hokkaido is like. Having a colorfully decorated sweet at a stylish café is nice, but eating soft-served ice cream while being surrounded by nature’s beauty is something special indeed. We would like to recommend ranch-style soft-served ice cream with a refreshing finish! Taste the sweet milk flavor under the blue sky.

Sweets Kingdom Tokachi! 4 Popular Sweet Souvenirs to Buy in Hokkaido

Obihiro Other Cafes and Sweets

Hokkaido’s Tokachi region is famous for its agriculture and dairy farming utilizing the area’s vast plains. With the production of quality wheat, sugar, adzuki red beans and dairy products, the Tokachi brand is established in various fields. Using these quality ingredients, there are many sweets shops located in Obihiro City, the center of Tokachi. We will introduce 4 shops popular to locals and tourists.

Sapporo Transportation Guide – Sapporo Municipal Subway Section

Sapporo / Chitose

The subways that run beneath the central part of Sapporo are essential for sightseeing. You can access almost all of the major sightseeing spots of the city by subway. The subway is easy to use at an affordable cost guaranteed to make your sightseeing even more enjoyable.

Life in a Traditional Home – 12 Clever Japanese Design Secrets

You surely know Tokyo’s modern skyscrapers and traditional temples, but how does a regular Japanese home look? One that a regular Japanese family lives in? While you’re free to indulge in Japan’s bathing culture at hot springs, discover ancient arts at old theaters, or bask in colorful pop culture at Akihabara, but day to day Japanese life in traditional homes stays hidden from the vast majority of travelers. Currently, we’re living in a time in which those old houses gradually disappear to be replaced with modern apartment buildings and the likes, especially in and around Tokyo. While the West boasts a great many buildings made from stone, Japanese houses are traditionally made out of wood, so rebuilding and renovating has to be done once every generation, as a general rule of thumb. While some Japanese houses exist that are well over 100 years old, most of them are said to have a lifespan of between 30 and 50 years. Having a traditional-style house made from wood isn’t only a lengthy process, it is also more expensive due to the skill of the carpenters required. Instead, more and more single-family houses are built from modern construction materials like steel and concrete. When we think about a Japanese house, we immediately imagine tatami, the straw mats that are so characteristic of traditional Japanese living. It’s also common knowledge that it’s common to take one’s shoes off when entering a home in Japan, and that rooms are separated by sliding doors and paper walls. This leads to a couple of questions: do you not hear everything, through those paper walls? How to sit properly on tatami—is that really relaxing? It seems so different from what we’re used to. Living in such a traditional house is hard to imagine. Because of that, we took our shoes off and visited such a home ourselves, asking the charming inhabitants everything you ever wanted to know about life in a traditional Japanese house! The house we visited is about 40 years old and stands in Japan’s Hokuriku region. That’s the coastal area in the northwestern part of Honshu, the biggest of Japan’s main islands. Because of its location along the Sea of Japan, Hokuriku is known for its excellent seafood, rice, and sake breweries. Nature is lush and there’s plenty of snow during winter. Now, let’s take a look at the unique architecture of a traditional Japanese house and how daily life really is like!

Ohaguro: The Beauty of Blackened Teeth in Old Japan

When you think of a smile, what immediately comes to mind? Most likely a set of lips parting to show bright white and spotless teeth, like the smiles we know from toothpaste commercials. Would you be shocked if the white teeth you were expecting were actually... pitch black? Ohaguro, the Japanese custom of blackening one's teeth is an ancient one. Those who have come in contact with Japan’s culture and customs may have already heard about the pitch black smile of the women of days past–the tradition is indeed a rich one.

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