Tamaki SAITO(西東たまき)

Born in Tokyo and raised in Chiba prefecture. I'm excited to reveal the Japan's life behind the scenes that you can hardly learn from the regular sources. Let me hear how far it worked from your side!

If you greet, the Japanese will be even more friendly to you

Konnnichiwa (hello) must be the most well-known Japanese greeting. ‘Konnichiwa’ will be used any time after ‘good morning’ time but before ‘good evening’ time. ‘Ohayo’ is good morning. Ohayo followed by ‘Gozaimasu’ (oayo gozaimasu) is the polite version. ‘Konbanwa’ (good evening) is the greeting used in the evening and afterwards. Greeting at Departure When you go out, anytime of a day, you will say to anyone you leave behind ‘Ittekimasu’ which literally means ‘I’m going’. You will be answered by ‘Itterasshai’, let’s say ‘Have a nice day’. When you are back, you are supposed to say ‘Tadaima’ toward anyone at ...

Garbage disposal in Japan

It’s been quite decades since the separation of household garbage was started in several communities. By now almost all communities have established the full set of rules on garbage management and put them into practice rigorously. For new comers to the community, the chart and list will be given which tells you how to separate items correctly and how to dispose them properly. Unsorted disposal is not allowed or they will be left uncollected. Garbage is chiefly categorized into 5 groups Burnable garbage, non-burnable garbage, plastic, over-sized garbage, and recyclables such as cans, bottles, glasses, batteries, papers in different types, ...

Rainy season in Japan

Japan experiences the rainy season annually. It starts from late spring to early summer and often it falls day and night for days. The actual timing will differ according to the region but it lasts for nearly a month and a half in any place of Japan. For example, Okinawa, the most southern part of Japan, will be in rainy season from early May until June end. While in northern part of the mainland it will be from middle of June to end of July. Hokkaido and some islands are exceptions; they have no rainy season. Rainy season in Japan ...

Pencils are evolving independently in Japan

How many of you could guess what is a ‘Sharp-pencil’, which is also called ‘Shar-pen’ or simply ‘Sharp’? The answer is a mechanical writing tool which is known as ‘mechanical pencil’ or ‘propelling pencil’. In many countries, students mostly use pens (ball-point pens) for writing. But in Japan, use of sharp-pencil is much more common among students. Because it is easy to erase using plastic eraser that keeps the notebook look clean and neat. So it’s one of the indispensable items in their pen cases. Structure of mechanical pencil Sharp-pencil has a pen-like body whose inner part is hollow into ...

KEIGO: Let's learn how to talk politely in Japanese

Keigo is the honorific language in Japanese, which is one of the major categories that have to be mastered to be a proper Japanese speaker. Let’s start from a simple example. ‘Sushi’: the most famous Japanese dish actually is hardly called ‘sushi’ especially among ladies, and the people who want to use polite speech: it has to be called ‘O-sushi’. Prefix ‘O’ denotes politeness. ‘Cha’ (tea) will be called ‘O-cha’, ‘Hashi” (chopsticks) will be ‘O-hashi’, equally. "Go" & "o" But it’s a bit tricky. You can’t put ‘O’ to just anything, as it should be ‘GO’ in some cases like ...

Japanese cannot live without Noodles.

Perhaps Japanese are known as the rice people. But noodles are one of their favorite that Japanese can’t really live without! One of the most popular noodles could be Ramen; yellowish egg noodle paired with pork and/or chicken hot broth. This is originally from China but it is deeply rooted into Japanese food culture. There are quite varieties in the type of noodle and soup. Ramen restaurants compete for the singular taste and style of ramen. Some regions of Japan have been known for their established style of ramen of their own. It’s worth traveling for the ramen exploration.   ...

Slippers: Please take off your shoes at home in Japan

There are, in this world, several countries that have a culture to take off the shoes at the house entrance. Japan is definitely one of them. Japanese houses are made to separate strictly inside and outside. When you open the entrance door, there is an open space where you take off your shoes. The house floor is set approx. 10cm up to knee high raised from the entrance to allow very little chance that dirt reaches to the floor. That makes your feet feel completely clean and smooth on the floor. Even though, people wear slippers which are strictly for ...

Japanese Loves Bath

Japanese are known as bath-loving people. People love to take a bath, ‘Ofuro’ in Japanese, all year round regardless of hot or cold season. Onsen – hot spring Must be most well-known issue when it comes to Japanese bath culture. It actually is a very popular destination of the short trip in Japan. Onsen is just everywhere in the country, even in the middle of the metropolitan Tokyo! But without taking a trip, people still enjoy taking bath at their home every day.   No bathtub, No way! Japanese housings, however small it might be, hardly miss to have a ...

Without knowing the anko, I can not talk about Japanese sweets.

Have you heard or tried Japanese red bean paste as known as ‘Anko’? Anko is definitely indispensable for Japanese confectionary. It is simple to say how to prepare anko; cook the red beans until soft and dense, sweetened with sugar. Then either strain them through a sieve to make smooth creamy paste which is called koshi-an, or just mash them to adapt its rough texture with the husks which is called tsubu-an, according to the type of confectionary or to your preference. That’s it. However, of course it needs some tips and skills to reach the professional standard. Anko has ...

Mugicya is the most suitable drink for the summer.

 

Probably, green tea is known as Japan’s most popular drink. However, ‘Mugicha’ is actually the most popular one during the summer seasons in Japan. Almost definitely, it will be found in everyone’s fridges. So what is Mugicha? Mugi-cha literally means ‘barley-tea’. To be qualified as the most popular drink, it is just simple to prepare; bring the water to boil then just add a cupful of whole roasted barley grains (mugi). Here’s the clear brown tea done! Since it uses roasted barley, it’s caffeine-free. So it is a good drink for everyone from children to elders. Commonly, it is drunk ...

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