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5 Sightseeing Spots You Can’t Miss in Hokkaido's Furano and Biei Area!

Furano / Biei / Sounkyo Other Nature

The Furano and Biei area in Hokkaido has a majestic rural landscape and fields of flowers to enjoy, such as the Patchwork Road (Patchwork no Michi) and Blue Pond (Aoike). Here we’ll share 5 photogenic locations you can’t miss!

Cherry Blossoms FAQ - The Ultimate Guide to Sakura Trees!

Spring

Japan’s beloved flower is the cherry blossom. According to the traditional Japanese calendar, spring officially starts on February 4, the day known as risshun. Kicking off spring in Japan is the February bloom of Japanese plum blossoms. This is followed by the early spring celebration of Hina Matsuri on March 3 that wishes health and happiness for girls. After the ornamental dolls of Hina Matsuri are put away, it’s only a matter of time until the cherry blossoms are in bloom. As spring’s premier event, it’s no surprise that talk of cherry blossoms dominate conversation in Japan. It’s no exaggeration to say that all of Japan is glued to their TV screen anxiously awaiting updates on the weather forecast. Will there be sunny skies for this year’s cherry blossom viewing party? Exactly when will the cherry blossoms begin their bloom? Will spring showers put a premature end to cherry blossom festivities? If you’re wondering what the big deal about these flowers is, you should know that cherry blossoms are in bloom for only about one week. Once the buds open, there’s an explosive chain reaction that results in a beautiful display of pale pink, finally fluttering to the ground in grand finale known as sakura fubuki. Though it’s for a short period of time, a trip to the park to see the cherry blossoms is wonderful way to enjoy nature in all its glory. We’ve put together this Sakura FAQ to help you enjoy the viewing of cherry blossoms this year.

Locals Recommend: 3 Must-Eat Soup Curry Shops in Sapporo!

Sapporo / Chitose Curry

Sapporo is known as the birthplace of Soup Curry and has many restaurants throughout the city. There is a huge variety of shops with different flavors, atmosphere and probably something that matches your preference. Our local writer who is a soup curry connoisseur recommends the following three shops. These popular shops have their own unique flavor and ingredients. We strongly recommend trying these out!

Collecting Goshuin: Traditional Shrine Stamps

Other Traditional Culture

Shuin are large stamps, handwritten by monks, that works as receipt to prove you have visited a specific temple or shrine. Simple in concept, this document is full of symbolic, religious, and historical meaning. Many people are fascinated by kanji (Chinese characters adopted and adapted by the Japanese language). Sometimes it’s their shape that intrigues even those who don’t understand their meaning. Often, their appeal is the power they intrinsically carry beyond the word or concept they express. Shodo, the art of calligraphy in Japan has also been associated, for a time, to the art of sword-wielding, inferring to the many styles masters could use, as well as their propensity to use quick or slow strokes, wide or narrow movements, and so on.

20+ Words and Phrases to Help Kickstart Your Japanese!

Are you going to Japan soon and are in need of a few useful Japanese phrases to help you on your trip? In need of a few Japanese phrases that will help you express your thoughts to your friends? If you don’t have time to sift through textbooks , listen to podcasts, or study with apps, this list of useful Japanese phrases is for you! Use these phrases to convey your sincere appreciation to your Japanese acquaintances and friends, meet business associates, have a fun night out, or express your feelings to that special someone.

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