The hidden Japanese art of Onsen

What my years in Japan have taught me is that after a tiring hike, there is always a hot spring at the foot of the mountain to relax and freshen up. The abundance of volcanoes in the country is related to the numerous natural hot springs all over the country. And the Japanese people makeContinue reading “The hidden Japanese art of Onsen”

Omiyage, meibutsu; there’s a bit of everything

I am pretty sure that everyone knows what a souvenir is. Do you happen to know what an omiyage is? Omiyage (お土産) is basically the japanese version of a souvenir. Traditionally, when someone from work or the lab goes on a trip, regardless if it is for business purposes or casual vacation, it is common to bring back small gifts for the team.

Things you find in Japanese countryside (Hint: Spirits)

As you maybe already know, the Japanese people worship a weird mixture of shamanistic Shinto as well as Buddhist gods. Along with the dozens of gods with large names and long titles usually ending in -kami (神) or -mikoto(尊) (like Amaterasu Omikami or  Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto), there are myriads lesser spirits. Japan has a lot of water.Continue reading “Things you find in Japanese countryside (Hint: Spirits)”

Little X of Japan

I guess every country is proud of its own traditions and culture, that’s what annual festivals and cultural heritage preservation endeavors are for. Similarly, expats tend to create small communities in their new countries that try to resemble the original as much as possible, in order to feel more at home. But what happens whenContinue reading “Little X of Japan”