You probably heard about the hanko - The personal seal is an important part of Japanese culture and everyday life. Although the importance of hankos in everyday Japanese culture is prevalent, a personalized seal is also a great gift idea or souvenir to bring back from Japan. Whether you want to surprise a loved one with their personal name stamp in Japanese letters, or you just want it as a memory for yourself, you can get one easily without paying a lot of money, and with limited Japanese ability. Where from you might ask? From a vending machine!
Have you ever visited a shrine or temple in Japan? If so, you may have noticed a common theme; little wooden plaques adorned with art and handwriting. But what are they? And what purpose do they serve? Say hello to the Ema board, or Japanese wishing plaque.
Usually when we hear about Kyoto, we think of a city mostly undisturbed, placid and preserved in the richest and most authentic setting of traditional Japan - and rightfully so! Many travelers usually go straight to Kinkakuji. We cannot blame them, however, on the other side of the town are a handful of other amazing temples. Nanzen-ji and Zenrin-ji are worth a mention. Take the Philosopher's Walk and get off the beaten track!
When you see Japanese women wearing kimono, aside from the kimono itself, their hair accessories are amazingly stealing your attention in a good way. However they move, the hair accessories will look so elegant and expensive. Those accessories are called Kanzashi. Kanzashi is a traditional hair ornament.
If you notice, Japan is all about pretty things. When you look at the photos or literally walk around the streets here you will find so many beautiful and interesting patterns. Shibori is a Japanese technique of dying fabrics with indigo color, and yes, it is a little bit similar to western tie-and-dye but more complex.
Also known as Todai, University of Tokyo is famously known among Japan as the most prestigious university in the nation and also in Asia. Approximately 145,000 people visited its school festival this past May, and many tourists from around the country, or even outside the country, visit the campus year-round. So what’s there to see in University of Tokyo? What are some of the must-see spots? Here’s an easy guide to grasp the essence of the campus.
If you grew up speaking English, it is very likely that reading the Peanuts comic strip was a staple in your childhood. Illustrated by Charles M Schulz, the Peanuts comic series has been called one of the greatest and most influential comic strips in history. Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Woodstock and friends are characters familiar to those who have read the comic strip. The Snoopy Museum, Tokyo is located in Roppongi!
Japanese embroidery is decorative embroidery with very detailed designs or patterns. People often addressed Sashiko as Japanese embroidery but for natives they are definitely different. So why do I call it multifunctional?
The art of second-hand shopping is fast gaining momentum in Japan. Recycle shops have ironed out the wrinkles both literally and figuratively and have an easy system that anyone, given a few pointers in Japanese, can easily manage.