A shallow, outdoor hot spring with large stones around and in it for decoration. It is surrounded by trees changing colors (green, red, yellow) in the fall season.

A Beginners Guide to Onsen (Hot Springs) in Japan

If you ever get the chance to visit Japan, one of the must-do experiences is to visit an onsen. An onsen is a natural bath that uses spring water to provide a warm, potentially healthy bathing experience. Visitors enter the baths in the nude, with the onsen usually separated into male and female areas. Then … Read more

A photo of five hands each holding a mug filled with beer that are converging in the middle of the image to toast. Under them on the table are plates of food like edamame, cucumber, and cabbage.

A Look Into Japanese Izakaya: A Quick Guide

Having a drink after work is a universal pleasure. Somewhere to retreat to after a long week or punishing day. Britain and Ireland have their pubs, Germany has the beer hall, the USA has the bar, from South Africa’s Shebeens to the Cantinas of Latin America and Spain. All have their quirks, but each is … Read more

A photo with a black microphone in focus in the middle on a table. In the background, a green and pink drink in glasses, a yellow tambourine, and a tablet for karaoke can be seen but are blurry.

A Short History of Karaoke & Its Culture In Japan

Karaoke, meaning “empty orchestra” in Japanese, is singing along to an instrumental backing track. A visual accompaniment usually shows scrolling lyrics on a screen in time to the music. Many people have tried karaoke, one of the most popular nightlife activities in Japan and globally, but few know the story behind it.   Karaoke: Origins The origins … Read more

An illustration of a man holding a long spear who is on a white horse at the top of a small flight of stairs. There are trees with yellow leaves on both sides and above the man.

The Best 10 Historical Manga Series You Need In Your Library

The immense variety of settings available in manga is one of the medium’s strengths, and nowhere is that clearer than in the realm of historical manga. Whether you’re interested in 20th Century gun battles, Three-Kingdoms era politics, or French royal romance, there’s always something new to discover. Here are the top 10 historical manga to … Read more