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 young woman sitting in a car and looking out of the window and smiling. She is holding keys in her right hand.

How to Get a Japanese Driver’s License

A Japanese driver’s license may seem unnecessary to anyone living in a large city. Places like Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya have great public transportation systems, so driving is easily avoided. On the off chance you can’t get to your destination by train, there’s definitely a bus within walking distance of where you’d like to go. … 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 Even for Japanese people, moving is frustrating.The upfront costs are incredibly high and come with strange, outdated fees like “key money”.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 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

A plate of curry and rice, with vegetables (yellow bell pepper, eggplant, mushrooms, etc.).

How to Make Japanese Curry at Home

When you think of Japanese cuisine, images of sushi, sashimi, ramen noodles and tempura probably come to mind.  However, you might be surprised to learn that another popular and famous food here is curry. The taste of Japanese curry is usually sweeter than the more heavily spiced Indian or Nepalese curries.  It also differs from … Read more

A Japanese Bidet Toilet Armrest with buttons to do several functions.

How to Use a High Tech Japanese Toilet

Your first contact with a high-tech Japanese toilet may be a shocking one, especially if you can’t read Japanese.  These electronic toilets, known locally as “washlets,” boast so many advanced features they’ve become an internationally-discussed cultural phenomenon.  Just looking at the control panel can be an overwhelming, dizzying experience.  What are all these strange buttons … Read more

An older Asian man wearing a cooks uniform is writing something down on a restaurant order sheet inside of a restaurant.

How to Order Food in Japanese

Dining Out in Japan:  How to Order Food in Japanese like a Pro Japan has some of the best food in the world.  I’m talking about finger-licking, lip-smacking, and spine-shivering deliciousness.  However, many restaurants in Japan don’t have an English speaking staff.  Sure, you could use gestures and very simple English to your point across.  … Read more

A woman with black hair is soaking in a Japanese Rotenburo (open air bath) while looking at the snow and trees all around her.

Japanese Onsen Etiquette

In addition to the amazing food, wonderful culture, and helpful people, onsen, or hot spring baths, are another reason why Japan is so awesome.  Japanese onsen etiquette is pretty straightforward once you know the basic rules.  Don’t let this intimidate you.  If you are in Japan, you should definitely try soaking in an onsen. The … Read more