Medicine pill tablets in their pill packs, which is in a mini shopping cart with a blurred view of a pharmacy drugstore's shelves in the background.

Complete Guide to Over-The-Counter Medicine in Japan

  Japanese drugstores, or yakkyoku, can be daunting.  Even if you feel pretty good about your Japanese ability, names and descriptions of medicine can be highly technical and heavy on the kanji.  With shelves bursting with more products than you ever knew existed, finding the right medicine might seem like an impossible task. And kampo-yaku, … Read more

A shot of the many buildings in a busy city at night, with the lights in the buildings lit up.

How to Find an Apartment in Japan

Looking for an apartment in Japan? Be prepared for a long and complicated process involving tons of paperwork. And, you’ll need quite a bit of money, too. Even for Japanese people, moving is frustrating.The upfront costs are incredibly high and come with strange, outdated fees like “key money”. But, if you’re a foreigner in Japan … Read more

A close-up of a bed with white sheets and pillows. There are four, white, folded towels with flowers on top placed on the bed.

The 6 Best Places to Stay in Akihabara: Minutes Away from the Station

Famous for both its abundance of electronics shops and for being the anime/manga center of Tokyo, Akihabara is a vibrant, wonderfully geeky district. There are tons of shops, selling the latest cutting-edge electronics and anime/manga, along with collectibles, games, toys, etc. And there are also some very unusual cafes, like maid cafes – where women dress … Read more

A close-up of Pocky style snack sticks of different colors (black, pink, and green) in a pile on top of a grey surface.

The 10 Best Japanese Snacks You’ll Want to Try

The world of Japanese snacks is colorful and playful… and sometimes quite bizarre.  Snacks can come and go in the blink of an eye.  It’s not uncommon for Japanese snacks to disappear from existence forever – and sometimes after a very short stint. You probably wonder why. It’s partly because the Japanese obsess over seasonality. … Read more

In the background, a metal teapot and candles are on a wooden mat that has a cloth with flower patterns on it drapped across part of it. In the foreground are two black cups; one filled with green tea (left) and the other filled with green tea powder (right).

The Complete Guide to Japanese Tea

From traditional tea ceremonies that artfully prepare matcha to the palate cleansing konacha served at sushi restaurants, tea is an essential part of Japanese culture and cuisine. With dozens of different types, there’s a Japanese tea for everyone. Japanese tea tastes great. It gives you a whole slew of health benefits. There’s no reason not … Read more

A white ramen spoon is resting on a black tabletop filled with soy sauce. Grains of rice are scattered around it.

The 10 Best Japanese Seasonings

Despite my Japanese heritage, I’ve always shied away from cooking Japanese food. The subtle, complex flavors intimidated me. Creating the right taste seemed impossible. But it’s not that difficult at all. I began to enjoy cooking once I found the key to making Japanese food taste great. Would you like to know the secret? You’ll … Read more

A woman holding up a burning torch in front of a red circle that symbolizes the flag of Japan.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Hotels – The Best Places to Stay

7 Best (And Closest) Hotels for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Where will you be for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? If you’re lucky enough to be in Tokyo, expect exciting things – sport climbing, surfing, skateboarding, and karate will be making their Olympic debut. Baseball and softball will return to the games, after being dropped from … Read more

A grayish rice bowl with white stripes is filled with steaming hot rice. A pair of brown chopsticks is holding a little bit of rice over this bowl.

How to Cook Japanese Rice

The secret to cooking Japanese rice is all in the prep. If you want delicious, fluffy rice, follow these steps to prepare and cook your rice. It will take a little bit of time and effort to prepare, but you’ll be treated to a perfectly cooked bowl of amazing rice. This guide will cover all … Read more

A young Asian male and female taking a selfie with a smartphone in front of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan.

9 Cultural Mistakes Foreigners Make in Japan and What To Do Instead

Let’s face it – if you’re new to Japan, you’re probably gonna make a few cultural mistakes. And you wouldn’t be alone. Deeply rooted in tradition and religion, Japan has a rich and complex culture, with what seems like a million unwritten rules. That’s pretty tough to navigate, even for Japanese people. Just like with … Read more

Three young, Asian women are sitting down at a table eating food and laughing.

20 Cool Japanese Slang Words Being Used Right Now

When you’re learning to speak Japanese, it can sometimes feel like you’re learning more than just one language.  That’s because you use different words and grammar depending on who you’re talking to. It’s expected that you acknowledge a person’s social status in the language that you use. If you’re going to interact with Japanese people … Read more