Seasons

How to survive the heat of summer in Japan, which is too hot

2020/11/27

I’ve long dreaded summer, it’s my least favorite season, at least in Japan. Back in Europe, I didn’t mind the summers because they were dry heat. It’s early July, the rainy season is more or less over now in Japan for this year, and temperatures are already mirroring those of last year on some days. It seems that during the summertime in Japan no matter where I go, it’s almost like the heat keeps constantly bugging me. To Survive The Summer In Japan Here are some tips for surviving the Japanese summer heat –many of these tips will help you beat the heat and humidity of a Japanese summer.   DRINK WATER I’m not kidding. I don’t know how to emphasize this enough. Your body needs water, and lots of it. That amount of water your sweating needs to be re-hydrated.   DO NOT underestimate the heat It will bring you down and you may suffer a heat stroke. Heat strokes happen every single day in Japan because people don’t stay hydrated. Don’t take this lightly as it’s really dangerous. I used to drink a 500mL bottle of water a day back in Europe, but after coming here, I started drinking 2-4L of water per day. If you notice that your head suddenly starts to hurt, it’s because you’re dehydrated. You need to re-hydrate a.s.a.p. The most important thing is to stay hydrated– A cold drink of water with lots of ice can do wonders in the efforts to cool your body. In addition, it’s ...

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Japan

Japanese Driver’s License Test Tips and Tricks【For foreigners】

2020/11/10

Those who have to pass the practical driving test in order to convert their foreign licenses should be prepared for a long and sometimes frustrating process. First-time pass rates are low even for native Japanese, who routinely spend 200,000 to 300,000 yen for lessons to teach them how to pass this test. There are many seemingly minor details that must be considered. A positive attitude and patience will go far towards minimizing cost, time spent at the driver's license center, and test failures. The following information is based on the experience of a former Saga JET. This advice does not reflect the views of and is not officially endorsed by the Saga JET Programme, National AJET, or CLAIR.   Paperwork The first challenge is to get your paperwork in order. If you have to return to the licensing center multiple times to correct paperwork errors, it will reflect poorly on you and may reduce your chances of passing the test. License translation: visit your local branch of the Japan Automobile Federation for an official translation of your driver’s license and related documents. This will cost around 3,000 yen. You can either visit the office and have it done the same day or mail your documents and receive them back in about a week. Any paperwork out of the ordinary also needs to be translated, but not professionally; consider asking a friend or JTE to do the job for you and write their contact information down in case there’s a problem. More information can be found ...

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Japan

How to get a driver's license in Japan! Let's go to a driving school

2020/11/9

In Japan, you usually obtain a driver’s license by taking lessons at a private driving school. You obtain a license by entering a designated driving school and taking the lessons needed to acquire driving skills and accumulate driving knowledge. Most driving schools offer driving lessons and classes only in Japanese. Although in recent years this has changed, some schools have English speaking staff, and some even hire foreign, or native English speaking instructors.   In the case of Tokyo The Koyama Driving School in Tokyo, says it is “the only driving school that provides lessons in English.” Most Japanese go to driving schools, which takes over a month and costs about 300,000 - 380,000 yen depending on the school. This is one of the most expensive fees in the world. If you are a foreign resident you can avoid it, as you have the right to take the exam without going to the driving school. Japanese do not use this opportunity, but non-Japanese residents, have their own different ways.   Lecture and driving skills The lecture is 50 minutes per lesson and is a group lesson. The first 10 minutes of each lesson begins with video learning. As a result, you may suddenly get sleepy or have difficulty maintaining your motivation. Also, in the case of group training, if there are any unclear points, it may be difficult to hear or the questions may be difficult to resolve on the spot. Skill training (driving) is generally conducted by one-on-one tutoring. Every time one skill training ...

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culture

Have a special holiday at Ryokan. A Japanese classic style inn.

2020/10/30

Ryokan is Japanese style inns found throughout the country, especially in hot spring resorts. More than just a place to sleep, a ryokan is an opportunity to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality, Ryokans were once the main place a traveler would stay in Japan. Today the Ryokan has changed very little in style but is more of a place where tourists go to get a real feel of what living in a traditional Japanese home is like. incorporating elements such as tatami floors, futon beds, Japanese style baths, and local cuisine, making them popular with both Japanese and foreign tourists alike. There are many different kinds of ryokan, varying greatly in terms of size, cost, and style. Some ryokan is small, family-run establishments with just a few rooms, while others are large, hotel-like facilities with hundreds of rooms.   Unchanging style Ryokans have their origins in the Edo period (1603–1868)Because of their emphasis on traditional style and atmosphere, ryokan may appear rigid and intimidating for the first-timer unfamiliar with the procedures and etiquette. In reality, they are a special and relaxing experience that everyone should take the opportunity to try when visiting Japan. A typical ryokan has a relatively large entrance hall, with couches and chairs where guests can sit and talk; a modernized ryokan often has a television in the hall as well.   Ryokan room Guest rooms are constructed using traditional Japanese methods: flooring is tatami, and doors are sliding doors. Your room at a Ryokan will feature a tatami mat, ...

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Tool

Hanko Stamp: All Japanese have a Hanko and it is used instead of a signature

2020/10/30

Hanko is a small cylindrical object, 1~2 cm in diameter, and 5~6 cm in length, with one's name in stylized letters carved into the surface of one end. It is usually made of wood, but various materials such as stone・ synthetic resin, and metal are used. One sticks the carved surface into a red ink pad, then presses it on paper. In Europe and North America, a person's signature is regarded as important, but in Japan, the Hanko is in place of the signature. There are three main types of "Hanko" depending on the application.   Jitu-in(officially registered seal) The registered ”Jituin” is the most important Hanko and is accompanied by legal and social rights and obligations. It is used for notarial act creation, money and other loan certificates, contracts, real estate transactions, inheritance of heritage, and car registration when becoming the founder of a corporation. To use it as a registered seal, you need to register your seal at the municipal office or office where you are registered as a resident. Only then will Hanko have legal effect as a 「Jituin」. Only one person is allowed. The same Hanko cannot be registered by two people.   Regulation of the shape of the imprint A stamp that becomes circular when pressed is common. However, stamps with missing contours or no contours are not allowed. Because what is missing cannot leave an accurate imprint. Also, if there is no contour, the force balance is poor and there is a high risk that it will not be ...

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Food

Katsuobushi: Preserved food made by fermenting fish like a cheese?

2020/11/19

Katsuobushi is dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis). It is also known as Bonito flakes when young bonito is used as a cheaper substitute for skipjack tuna. Katsuobushi or similarly prepared fish is also known as okaka.   Until "Katsuobushi" is made ... First, remove the head and internal organs of the raw bonito and grate it into 3 pieces. (Cut out the body on both sides centering on the bone) The cut bonito are carefully arranged in a basket and boiled in a large kettle. The reason for boiling is to sterilize, prevent spoilage, and speed up drying. Boiled bonito is cooled in a well-ventilated place for about an hour. Removes bones, skin, scales, dirt, subcutaneous fat, etc. to improve the mouthfeel and flavor. It's a hassle, but repairs are important. If there is a scratch, it will crack or break, so we will embed the paste-like body.   fumigation work After shaping, smoke the bonito lined up in a bamboo steamer. Use dried hardwoods such as cherry, oak, beech and oak. The role of this work "Dry" "Add flavor" "Antibacterial / antioxidant effect" "Proteolysis" At night, the fire is turned off and a process called "Anjo" is performed to even out the water in the bonito. Repeat for 10 to 12 days to complete the "Arabushi".   Shaving After exposing "Arabushi" to sunlight for half a day to a day, pack it in a box and leave it for another 2-3 days. When the surface becomes damp, start the <shaving> work. ...

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Food

Raw Egg On Rice? The simplest Japanese food

2020/10/27

Tamago kake gohan (“egg over rice”) is a popular Japanese breakfast dish, which consists of hot steamed Japanese rice, topped with raw egg, and toppings. There is no correct way of making tamago kake gohan. Some people beat the egg first, then pour it over their rice. Some people only use the yolk. Toppings can include whatever you feel like adding. Scallions, nori, furikake, bacon,all are delicious! This dish is so popular in Japan that is sometimes called TKG for short. Food Safety Japanese eggs are premised on raw food, so hygiene management is thorough from the production stage, and the expiration date is often set to about two weeks on the premise of raw food.   The poultry house environment was prepared so that chickens would not be infected with Salmonella, and for distribution, strict quality control such as washing, sterilization, egg inspection, and selection of eggshells was carried out, and containers and packaging were hardly touched. And sold in stores under complete hygiene management. The system is so tightly controlled that many steps must be cleared.     The date is displayed In Japan, each egg is stamped with the date on which it was laid, so you always know exactly how old your eggs are. Raw egg is never something people are afraid of in Japan. In other countries however raw egg is a different story, so for them, tamago kake gohan isn’t a frequent breakfast option. Many Japanese people today like raw eggs on rice. They break a raw egg over ...

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Japan

Vending Machines in Japan, You can buy it anywhere!

2020/10/28

It is estimated there is a vending machine of some variety for every 20 people in Japan. With Japan’s population in excess of 127 million people, there must be some 5 million vending machines in the country. This figure might be hard to believe, until you step foot in Japan. There are vending machines for virtually everything, from the expected soft drink, ticket and food machines to the unusual machines which sell underwear or stuffed toy animals.   General vending machine Many of the drink machines provide both hot and cold beverages, and they are fairly cheap in contrast to drink prices around the world with as little as 100 to 150 yen being required to purchase most drinks. Ice tea, fruit juice and flavored water are just as popular as soft drinks like Coke in Japan. With all the vending machines in Japan, you may think they are full of Coca Cola, but no you will rarely see Coke, instead you will see an array of fascinating and sometimes unusual beverages.   Coca Cola have another popular soft drink called Qoo, it is an orange or grape flavored non carbonated beverage which is also popular throughout Asia. A big difference with Japanese drink vending machines in the rest of the world is they usually even serve hot drinks as well as cold from the same machine.   Pocari sweat? Some of the more popular and engaging drinks include the sports drink range. There are several which are immensely popular including the oddly named Pocari ...

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culture

Do Japanese people have a prejudice against tattoos? History of Japanese tattoos

2020/11/10

In Japan, it is common to see "no tattoos allowed" signs at establishments such as restaurants, public bathing areas (Onsen), gyms, public swimming pools. But why is this? Tattooing is the most misunderstood form of art in contemporary Japan. Demonized by centuries of prohibitions and rarely discussed today in civilized circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in their own country — banned from many beaches, pools, and public baths.   Reason Ask anyone to explain the reason for this vilification and most will blame the yakuza and their penchant for body ink; better-informed citizens may even trace the roots of negative attitudes to the 17th century when criminals were tattooed as a form of punishment. However, such explanations for Japan’s longstanding animosity toward tattoos are, at best, an oversimplification — and, at worst, most incorrect. Instead of targeting wrongdoers, Japanese prohibitions against tattoos have historically been aimed at the working classes, women, and ethnic minorities, and today the bearer of a full-back tattoo is increasingly likely to be a sensitive salaryman rather than a punch-permed thug or criminal.   Japan has had a long tattoo history. The history of body modification in Japan is long and vibrant, dating back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 B.C. to 300 B.C.) when clay figurines were molded with marks that modern historians interpret as either tattoos or scarification. There isn't any physical proof that the Jomon people tattooed themselves; however, a Chinese historical record written at around 300 A.D. said all Japanese men tattooed their faces and bodies. ...

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Tool

Katori senkō: The Mosquito insense Coil in Japan

2020/11/30

A mosquito coil is mosquito-repelling incense, usually made into a spiral, and typically made from a dried paste of pyrethrum powder. The coil is usually held at the center of the spiral, suspending it in the air, or wedged by two pieces of fireproof nettings to allow continuous smoldering. Burning usually begins at the outer end of the spiral and progresses slowly toward the center of the spiral, producing a mosquito-repellent smoke. A typical mosquito coil can measure around 15 centimeters (6 in) in diameter and lasts around 7–12 hours. Mosquito coils are widely used in Japan, Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia.   The History Of The Mosquito Coil In Japan, during the summer months, mosquitoes can be a real problem. Repellents for mosquito's using Pyrethrum has been used for centuries as an insecticide. The in the late 1800s however a Japanese businessman, Eiichiro Ueyama, invented the first Pyrethrum mosquito coil, which he patented in 1895. A man named Ueyama Eiichiro, who was in the business of exporting mandarin oranges when Fukuzawa Yukichi, the famous author, statesman, and founder of Keio University, introduced him to a seed trader in the United States. This dealer offered Ueyama seeds of a flowering plant that he claimed would knock insects dead. Ueyama decided to import the seeds and start growing the plant in Japan. It was a member of the aster family, Tanacetum- cinerariifolium, and certainly didn’t look like a killer. With two rows of overlapping white petals and a cheerful yellow center, the flower resembled nothing ...

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NEW ENTRY

2020/11/27

How to survive the heat of summer in Japan, which is too hot

I’ve long dreaded summer, it’s my least favorite season, at least in Japan. Back in Europe, I didn’t mind the summers because they were dry heat. It’s early July, the rainy season is more or less over now in Japan for this year, and temperatures are already mirroring those of last year on some days. It seems that during the summertime in Japan no matter where I go, it’s almost like the heat keeps constantly bugging me. To Survive The Summer In Japan Here are some tips for surviving the Japanese summer heat –many of these tips will help you beat the heat and humidity of a Japanese summer.   DRINK WATER I’m not kidding. I don’t know how to emphasize this enough. Your body needs water, and lots of it. That amount of water your sweating needs to be re-hydrated.   DO NOT underestimate the heat It will bring you down and you may suffer a heat stroke. Heat strokes happen every single day in Japan because people don’t stay hydrated. Don’t take this lightly as it’s really dangerous. I used to drink a 500mL bottle of water a day back in Europe, but after coming here, I started drinking 2-4L of water per day. If you notice that your head suddenly starts to hurt, it’s because you’re dehydrated. You need to re-hydrate a.s.a.p. The most important thing is to stay hydrated– A cold drink of water with lots of ice can do wonders in the efforts to cool your body. In addition, it’s ...

ReadMore

2020/11/10

Japanese Driver’s License Test Tips and Tricks【For foreigners】

Those who have to pass the practical driving test in order to convert their foreign licenses should be prepared for a long and sometimes frustrating process. First-time pass rates are low even for native Japanese, who routinely spend 200,000 to 300,000 yen for lessons to teach them how to pass this test. There are many seemingly minor details that must be considered. A positive attitude and patience will go far towards minimizing cost, time spent at the driver's license center, and test failures. The following information is based on the experience of a former Saga JET. This advice does not reflect the views of and is not officially endorsed by the Saga JET Programme, National AJET, or CLAIR.   Paperwork The first challenge is to get your paperwork in order. If you have to return to the licensing center multiple times to correct paperwork errors, it will reflect poorly on you and may reduce your chances of passing the test. License translation: visit your local branch of the Japan Automobile Federation for an official translation of your driver’s license and related documents. This will cost around 3,000 yen. You can either visit the office and have it done the same day or mail your documents and receive them back in about a week. Any paperwork out of the ordinary also needs to be translated, but not professionally; consider asking a friend or JTE to do the job for you and write their contact information down in case there’s a problem. More information can be found ...

ReadMore

2020/11/9

How to get a driver's license in Japan! Let's go to a driving school

In Japan, you usually obtain a driver’s license by taking lessons at a private driving school. You obtain a license by entering a designated driving school and taking the lessons needed to acquire driving skills and accumulate driving knowledge. Most driving schools offer driving lessons and classes only in Japanese. Although in recent years this has changed, some schools have English speaking staff, and some even hire foreign, or native English speaking instructors.   In the case of Tokyo The Koyama Driving School in Tokyo, says it is “the only driving school that provides lessons in English.” Most Japanese go to driving schools, which takes over a month and costs about 300,000 - 380,000 yen depending on the school. This is one of the most expensive fees in the world. If you are a foreign resident you can avoid it, as you have the right to take the exam without going to the driving school. Japanese do not use this opportunity, but non-Japanese residents, have their own different ways.   Lecture and driving skills The lecture is 50 minutes per lesson and is a group lesson. The first 10 minutes of each lesson begins with video learning. As a result, you may suddenly get sleepy or have difficulty maintaining your motivation. Also, in the case of group training, if there are any unclear points, it may be difficult to hear or the questions may be difficult to resolve on the spot. Skill training (driving) is generally conducted by one-on-one tutoring. Every time one skill training ...

ReadMore

2020/10/30

Have a special holiday at Ryokan. A Japanese classic style inn.

Ryokan is Japanese style inns found throughout the country, especially in hot spring resorts. More than just a place to sleep, a ryokan is an opportunity to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality, Ryokans were once the main place a traveler would stay in Japan. Today the Ryokan has changed very little in style but is more of a place where tourists go to get a real feel of what living in a traditional Japanese home is like. incorporating elements such as tatami floors, futon beds, Japanese style baths, and local cuisine, making them popular with both Japanese and foreign tourists alike. There are many different kinds of ryokan, varying greatly in terms of size, cost, and style. Some ryokan is small, family-run establishments with just a few rooms, while others are large, hotel-like facilities with hundreds of rooms.   Unchanging style Ryokans have their origins in the Edo period (1603–1868)Because of their emphasis on traditional style and atmosphere, ryokan may appear rigid and intimidating for the first-timer unfamiliar with the procedures and etiquette. In reality, they are a special and relaxing experience that everyone should take the opportunity to try when visiting Japan. A typical ryokan has a relatively large entrance hall, with couches and chairs where guests can sit and talk; a modernized ryokan often has a television in the hall as well.   Ryokan room Guest rooms are constructed using traditional Japanese methods: flooring is tatami, and doors are sliding doors. Your room at a Ryokan will feature a tatami mat, ...

ReadMore

2020/10/30

Hanko Stamp: All Japanese have a Hanko and it is used instead of a signature

Hanko is a small cylindrical object, 1~2 cm in diameter, and 5~6 cm in length, with one's name in stylized letters carved into the surface of one end. It is usually made of wood, but various materials such as stone・ synthetic resin, and metal are used. One sticks the carved surface into a red ink pad, then presses it on paper. In Europe and North America, a person's signature is regarded as important, but in Japan, the Hanko is in place of the signature. There are three main types of "Hanko" depending on the application.   Jitu-in(officially registered seal) The registered ”Jituin” is the most important Hanko and is accompanied by legal and social rights and obligations. It is used for notarial act creation, money and other loan certificates, contracts, real estate transactions, inheritance of heritage, and car registration when becoming the founder of a corporation. To use it as a registered seal, you need to register your seal at the municipal office or office where you are registered as a resident. Only then will Hanko have legal effect as a 「Jituin」. Only one person is allowed. The same Hanko cannot be registered by two people.   Regulation of the shape of the imprint A stamp that becomes circular when pressed is common. However, stamps with missing contours or no contours are not allowed. Because what is missing cannot leave an accurate imprint. Also, if there is no contour, the force balance is poor and there is a high risk that it will not be ...

ReadMore

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