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'Like Watching Flowers Blooming at Night' Expats Reveal 5 Surprising Things About Japanese Fireworks Festivals

Niigata And Sado Japanese Festivals (Matsuri)

Fireworks displays are an indispensable part of Japan's summer traditions. However, in recent years, many have been canceled due to Covid-19. Japan is famous for its large-scale fireworks festivals, including the National Omagari Fireworks Festival in Akita Prefecture and the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival in Niigata Prefecture. These bright and beautiful displays of color have also captured people's hearts from all over the world. We asked foreign residents in Japan, "What surprised you the most about Japanese fireworks festivals?" And the responses were varied! Let's take a look and see what impressed and surprised people the most! (The following responses are the personal opinions and experiences of those who responded to our interview.)

Sanriku Fireworks Competition 2021 (Oct 9): A Modern Way to Enjoy Fireworks

Other Surrounding Areas Of Iwate Shows

After the rehearsal last year in Iwate Prefecture’s Rikuzentakata City, the Sanriku Fireworks Competition will finally be held in 2021! Adding to the excitement is a new category where pyrotechnicians from a total of 23 fireworks companies throughout Japan will compete to see who has the best skills. Not limited to fireworks, the event will be further livened by local performances from various groups in the Sanriku area. What’s more, at the Sanriku Food Village, you can enjoy a variety of food stalls run by local restaurants. With the event offering top-tier entertainment in addition to fireworks, we highly recommend you to stop by the city of Rikuzentakata this fall! Photo Provided By: Sanriku Fireworks Competition Executive Committee

Become a True Gundam Pilot - Stepping into the P.O.D. at a Tokyo Arcade! (Video)


Japan and robots go together like a hotdog and mustard. One of the nation’s most famous robot exports is known worldwide simply as “Gundam.” What started out as an anime has become a huge franchise with its own games, movies, and even a life-sized statue in Tokyo’s Odaiba. What many people don’t know, however, is that there is a way to pilot your very own Gundam robot!

Cool Down in the Hot Summer! 10 Refreshing Places to Visit in Kyoto in Summer

Kyoto Station, To-ji Temple Shrines

Kyoto is a popular tourist destination both domestically and internationally. Situated in a basin surrounded by mountains, summers are hot and humid, and on many days the temperature exceeds 30°C. However, Kyoto also has cool summer destinations, including mountains, the seaside, and rivers. In addition to beautiful natural scenery, there are plentiful experiences and activities to get a feel for the city’s summer atmosphere. Here are 10 cool spots in Kyoto where you can beat the heat, from famous sites like Shimogamo Shrine, Tadasu-no-Mori, Kibune, and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest to less frequented areas away from the city.

7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Lawson: An Insider’s Guide to Japan’s Three Giant Convenience Stores!


From busy downtown areas to sleepy rural villages, convenience stores are a common sight in Japan, open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. The three big names of Japanese convenience stores are 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and Lawson, dominating the city centers. You won’t only find snacks, boxed lunches, and freshly brewed coffee but also alcoholic drinks, everyday items, and a lot more in these stores. During the night, they even act as a drop-in spot for the police and services like mail reception, ATMs, multifunctional printers, and free-to-use toilets make convenience stores indispensable for Japanese daily life. But what is the difference between the difference convenience stores? We’re taking a thorough look at Japan’s “Big Three” and their different services, brands, and more.

Definitive Travel Guide to Hokkaido: Sightseeing, Transport, Food, and More!

Sapporo / Chitose Other Sightseeing

Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is a vast sightseeing paradise popular with both Japanese and international travelers. From spring to summer, an incredible array of colorful flowers bloom, while autumn sees stunning fall foliage and winter with luscious, white snow, making each season a completely different encounter. Hokkaido is also renowned as a foodie destination, with a tapestry of distinctive dishes changing between region and season. In this complete guide to Hokkaido, we will introduce essential information and tips to ensure a successful trip, including the island’s most famous spots, seasonal sightseeing, must-eat dishes, and how to get around. Read on to make sure your Hokkaido itinerary is up to scratch!

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