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Items

Year of the Tiger figures

As we’re approaching the end of the year, it’s time to stock up on items for the new year here in Japan. All around me are dragon items as 2012 is the year of the dragon. Super cute New Year cards, dragon figures and...

Life in Japan

Japanese Driver’s License

Since yesterday I’m the proud owner of a Japanese driver’s license! Despite being in Japan for almost 4 years, I didn’t have any until now. I thought it might be interesting to read about the process of...

Travel

Dotonbori (Namba, Osaka)

I’m pretty sure that everybody who has ever been to Osaka knows about the popular district called Dotonbori. It’s in the shopping area close to Namba Station. Actually you can walk all the way from Namba Station to...

Nature

Autumn Colors in Japan’s countryside (2011)

Autumn seems to be over now. Actually we had our first snow today (初雪: hatsuyuki = first snow). I want to use this opportunity to say goodbye to my favorite season in Japan! The photos you’ll see were taken last week, just...

Items

Akabeko: Red Cow of Aizu

Akabeko (赤べこ) is a traditional toy from the Aizu region in Fukushima Prefecture. The toy is made from two pieces of papier-mâché-covered wood, shaped and painted to look like a red cow or ox. One piece represents the cow’s...

Travel

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is probably one of the most famous sights with its many red shrine gates. Actually this was not my first time going to Fushimi Inari Shrine. My first visit was in September 2007. That was before I...

Items

Japanese Taiko Drums

Have you ever heard of Japanese taiko drums? Literally translated taiko (太鼓) means “great (big/fat) drum”. Nowadays taiko performances are quite famous even outside of Japan. “Yamato” is a group of taiko...

Travel

Fushimi Momoyama Castle in Kyoto

Today I want to introduce “Momoyama Castle” to you. Momoyama Castle, also known as Fushimi Castle is in Kyoto. I’m pretty sure that most (foreign) visitors didn’t know about this castle or have ever...

Items

Kyoto Geisha Doll

I bet a lot of you have been to Kyoto or want to go there some day. As you might know Kyoto is famous for its traditional old houses, historical sites, tons of World Heritage tagged temples and shrines and … for geishas, of...