Monday, December 12, 2016

Daruma Doll – Make a wish!!

Do you know Daruma dolls? 

"Daruma doll" is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll made of paper-mache. 

These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist.  

One of leading producers of Daruma dolls in Japan is Gunma Prefecture. 

Takasaki Daruma dolls are painted with symbols of longevity, cranes (eyebrows) and turtles (mustache), and are considered to bring good luck. 

This is because the left eye is painted while making a wish, and the right eye is painted when the wish is granted. 

The doll is returned to a shrine at the end of a year, and a new doll is purchased at the beginning of a New Year, and a new wish is made. 

It will be a great item as a Japanese souvenir. 

Why don’t you get one for your family or your friends? 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Public Bathing Place –“Ofuroya”

Have you ever taken a bath with unknown people? 

In Japan, many public bathing places called "Ofuroya" are around the country. 

Therefore, Japanese people can reach there easily to enjoy the atmosphere. 

People who do not have a bath at his/her apartment or cannot use a bath because of some trouble might use Ofuroya. 

Also, many people who would like to enjoy many types of bath go there. 

Usually, Ofuroya has several types big bathes; a bath with jacuzzi, cold water, hot water, or water from a famous Onsen. 

Those bathes have some good effects like relieving stiff neck, shoulder and back pain. 

Moreover, ofuroya is the good place to communicate in a family because they recently tend to have less time to talk together. 

Parents can teach the social rules to childeren in ofuroya as people among all ages need to use a same place at the same time. 

Why don't you experience this unique culture in Japan? 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Line up at right? Or at left?

Even though people live in a same country, there are some differences depending on where you live. 

Japan is a tiny island country, but you will see the differences like how we speak and how we act. 

We make lines to smooth movement as a rule. 

Lining up to get on an escalator is the one example of it. 

Which side do Japanese people stand on a escalator? 

Most people living in Japan get on a left side of an escalator to prevent from troubles. 

However, people living in Osaka get on a right side of an escalator. 


A reliable reason is they changed the rule when the World Expo was held in Osaka to fit the global standard. 

Osaka people are proud of the rule they have. 

Now, investigator warns that people should make 2 lines on escalator without walking. 

Walking on an escalator is quite dangerous. 

Well, what differences among people in your country have? 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Warm you up in Kotatsu

How do you let you warm up during winter? 

Do you use a heater? 

In addition to a heater, we use "Kotatsu" to feel warm and comfortable during the cold season. 

A Kotatsu is a low, wooden table frame covered by a heavy blanket futon, upon which a table top sits. 

Underneath is a heat source, formerly a charcoal brazier but now electric, often built into the table itself.

Kotatsu is used almost exclusively in Japan.

Kotatsu is usually placed in front of TV in a living room.

Some tangerines are on a Kotatsu and some cats are staying underneath; which is a traditional image of Japanese winter.

It definitely makes you feel warm and sleepy.

However, we need to be careful because it is easy to get low-temperature burn.

Therefore, don't fall asleep in a Kotatsu for long hours!!

Anyway, it is the best place to relax at home.

Well, why don't you ask your Japanese friend and try Kotatsu in the winter?

Monday, November 28, 2016

What can you get from “Gashapon”?

You might see some vending machine-dispensed capsule toys everywhere; like at train stations, supermarkets, and amusement parks when you come to Japan. 

Do you know what they are? 

It is called "Gashapon" or "Gashapon". 

It is very popular here in Japan. 

Gashapon describe both the machines themselves and the toys obtained from the machines. 

The cost is from JPY100 - JPY500, and the toy in the capsule is normally higher quality for the price. 

So many types of toys including popular character like Kamen Rider, Dragon Ball, and Godzilla series, are in those small capsules. 

Also, so call "Otaku" goods are obtained from the capsules. 

Because commodities for all generations from kids to adults are in capsules, gashapon has become a big hit product in this country. 

Well, which gashapon would you like to try? 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Let you feel warm with “Oden”

When it is getting cold, what kind of food would you like to eat?

"Oden" is one of the foods we eat in winter season in Japan.

Oden is a typical Japanese hodgepodge suitable for colder seasons. 

Many different foods are boiled together in a large pot with a soup seasoned with soy sauce and dried bonito flakes. 

The ingredients include soybean curd, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Konnyaku, Japanese radish, kelp rolls and Hanpen etc... 

Hot mustard goes really well with Oden!

Each region has its own taste of Oden.

Soup and ingredients are very different from others.

Some uses "Miso" for its soup and other uses soup based on soy sauce.

Cooking methods and toppings vary from region to region.

We should make importance on the differences to protect our culture.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Place for relaxation and refreshment –“Izakaya”

Izakaya is Japanese style pub.   

There are more than 300,000 pubs in Japan. 

Due to the number of spots, people might think Japan is an alcohol heaven country.   

These shops serve many types of food; from traditional Japanese food to Western types of meals, and tons of kinds of alcohols.

Any other countries might not have these types of public spaces.

Japanese people go Izakaya with colleagues or friends, enjoy delicious meals and drinks and talk and laugh in loud.

Izakaya tends to be a noisy place with only people's voice.

However, they can enjoy spending more than 3 hours in there.

Would you like to enjoy having both food and drinks and talking without caring what other people think? 

Why don't you try to go to Izakaya?