Writer: Akira Fuyuno

Akira Fuyuno is the nom de plume of a Japanese writer and working doctor living in Beppu, Japan. He has written and published in both Japanese and English over the past 20 years. His short fiction “Chocolate Soup” was recently included in the anthology Opus 22 published by Melius Scripto Press International.

Interesting Japanese People and Where to Find Them

Japan offers a wide range of experiences and sights to see, from robot restaurants to sushi bars, from anime festivals to zen monasteries. The people express themselves in a wide range of activities, from traditional ceremonies to cyberpunk cinematography. But every now and then, I hear from long-term residents that Japan does not offer much in the way of interesting people.

5 Reasons to Visit Yufuin, Oita

Today there are many activities you can do at the popular tourist destination. You can rent some kimono and amble through the historic quarter in traditional costume. You can take a ride on a rickshaw. You can eat sweets at one of many vendors on Yunohira Kaido Street. You can have your photo taken with an owl on your arm at the Owl Zoo. But to me, the true charm of Yufuin had always been the tranquility.

Satou Making in Your Home – Creating a Carving Knife From Samurai Sword Parts

Knives used to carve them are specialized tools called “satou” or “hidari-ba” which are more like tiny scrapers than knives. They look like dental picks for mythical creatures to be used by monstrous dentists. I acquired my first set of satou knives from master carver Kazuaki Nakamura but I needed a knife suited to my individual needs: One that was curved in the opposite direction to the knife included in the set.

Things to Do in Rural Japan

So you landed in Japan on an ESL grant or some other job, hoping that you might be able to live in Tokyo or Yokohama, but instead you were posted in some one-horse town in the boonies. How can you make your days in the countryside a worthwhile experience?

The Ferry – A Forgotten Mode of Transportation

There used to be thousands of ferry lines connecting the over four hundred inhabited islands of the Japanese archipelago. But that number has been steadily declining since the islands became increasingly connected by bridges and tunnels. It is a shame that we no longer have such charming little lines as the Tako Ferry. But despite the arguably diminished demand, some ferry lines are still alive and well.

10 Japanese Foods You Have Never Had

In fact there are a wide variety of Japanese foods and most of them are unfamiliar to the Western traveller. This is inconvenient to the short term traveller because you can only eat so many meals in a day and few resources tell you what to look for when you really want to search for the truly unusual stuff. So here is a short list of some things you, or your friends, have probably never eaten.

Kobe, The City of Sweets: 5 Best Spots

With shops all around selling a variety of chocolates, cookies, cakes, and bread, Kobe is the city of sweets. Few sweets in Kobe can be described as mediocre. In fact, most range between eye-opening-good to mind-blowing-excellent. The amount of care and attention that goes into what are seemingly “gimmick” products can be astonishing.

Bowl of tonkotsu ramen in Japan

Ramen: A Japanese Obsession

There are thousands of variations of ramen, and you can argue that no two are the same. But it is generally acknowledged that ramen can be grouped into five basic types. Here is a quick rundown.

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