Month: Last updated Aug 1, 2017

Boso no Mura Folk Village

The Boso no mura is a fantastic blend of history, nature, and beautiful architecture in Chiba, near Narita Airport. It doesn’t seem to get many visitors, which is really a shame because it’s a really worthwhile tourist spot – very educational, entertaining, and great for photography. The main attraction is this re-created samurai town. The buildings are amazing, and inside there are people demonstrating traditional crafts. Depending on the day and time, there’s Ukiyoe printmaking, blacksmithing, bamboo crafts, straw crafts, ceramic art, weaving, etc. You can even try your hand at things like making pottery or children’s toys. You can see photos of all the buildings on this page, but it’s in Japanese only. There’s also an old farm that is actually under cultivation. Here are more details, again, in Japanese only, but with lots of photos.   This Jomon Period history museum is really well-done, and has some very interesting displays. In the back, they have Jomon Period houses, and a lonely-looking old man came and talked my ear off for 15 minutes about Jomon house-building techniques. I only had to wait about 30 seconds to get this photo of the main street of the town with no people walking through it. You can try on samurai armor for free too. The admission fee is only 300 yen. The problem is that it’s kind of difficult to get...

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Memories of the Bubble

I’ve always been fascinated with Japan’s bubble economy. I think it’s because I came to Japan in 1993, just after Japan’s famous economic bubble burst. I was constantly hearing stories about people getting 10,000 yen an hour for teaching English, GOD (Gaijin on Display) jobs where all you had to do was show up at the office to make it look “international,” and guys getting invited by salarimen they met on the street to ritzy hostess clubs where they drank single-malt whiskey and smoked cuban cigars, all on the Japanese guys’ tabs. Today’s post is translations of selected comments from an interesting thread that appeared on a  blog called Burusoku-vip.com, a site which posts interesting threads from 2Channel, about excesses during the bubble. There original post is here: http://burusoku-vip.com/archives/1309313.html#more How did you feel at the peak of the bubble? 1:Did you enjoy wild, salariman merrymaking every night? Did you get a lot of job offers? 2:Not only did I get a lot of offers, I got paid money for going to recruiting seminars. 3:Guys who graduated from famous universities were invited to soaplands or given trips to stop them from taking offers from other companies. Actually, it was just Tokyo University, Kyoto University, Hitotsubashi, Waseda, Keio, Sophia, and International Christian University. 4:When I couldn’t get a taxi, I a waved a ten-thousand yen bill. 7:They say when you went...

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Ueno Lotuses

I don’t usually recommend Ueno as a tourist destination (the zoo is just cruel, the museums are stodgy, Ameyoko-cho is charmless, and the park is ugly), but at the end of July and early-August when the lotuses are in bloom, the Shinobazu Pond in the lower section of the park is actually quite nice. The lotuses will probably be in full-bloom after the 20th or so, and it’s best to go around 10 o’clock in the morning when they’re fully open. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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Urawaza – Japanese Living Tips

An urawaza is a helpful hint or secret technique for doing something. I recently found this interesting site, the Urawaza/Ura Jyouhou Blog (in Japanese only) which has some uniquely Japanese ones. How to stand stably on the train without a strap! If you stand on a bus or train without the strap, most people spread their feet apart and do their best to keep their balance. If possible, spread your feet with one forward and one back, but stand with the ball of your back foot pointed outwards and it’s extremely stable. Also, if you relax and don’t lock your knees, it will act as a sort of cushion and the vibration won’t be a problem. Also face the seat, and when you grab the strap or when the train starts, if you shift your weight forward, and when the train stops, shift it backward, it will support you. Also, when the train curves to the right, shift your center of gravity to the right, and when it curves to the left, shift your weight to the left. Here is the original post. Eating sushi in the right order to make it taste better. When you eat sushi, start with the light, simple ones, move onto the boiled stuff, then to thingswith strong flavors, and finally makizushi (sushi wrapped in seaweed). The reason is that if you eat fatty foods...

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