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Autumn in Japan 2018: Best 8 Spots to see Fall Colors Throughout Japan!

Autumn

The year 2018 is slowly coming to an end. Summer and its hot humidity are saying goodbye and autumn refreshes us with its cooler temperatures and crisp weather. The main highlight of the season is the fall foliage, called kōyō in Japanese, transforming Japan into a wonderland of vivid colors. The Adirondacks in the state of New York or Llanrwst in Wales are world-famous autumn leaf spots. However, Japan’s fall foliage spots are defined by the serene and pure beauty that comes from a unique harmony between nature and man-made buildings and structures. To let you savor this tranquil spectacle of the seasons, we’re taking you to eight iconic autumn leaf spots throughout Japan, show you how to get there, and when to make the most out of the colorful foliage!

Light or Dark Matcha? Experience a Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony at Waraku-An in Tokyo

Shibuya Tea Ceremonies

What comes to mind when hearing the words “traditional Japanese culture”? For many, green tea is one of the most obvious symbols connected to Japanese culture. Green tea is strongly associated with Japan; it’s more than just a drink, it’s tradition. In particular, the ceremonial preparation of matcha, the powdered form of green tea, is revered in Japan as a traditional ritual that is preserved to this day. To the foreign eye, the Japanese tea ceremony has long been regarded as something of an enigma: fascinating, yet arcane. Even most Japanese people do not fully know the intricacies involved in performing this ritual. However, an increasing number of tea houses have begun opening their doors to matcha novices, offering instruction and authentic experiences to Japanese and international visitors. Waraku-An, located in Tokyo, just two stops from Shibuya, is one such place that welcomes both Japanese and English speakers the chance to participate in an authentic tea ceremony!

Shibamata: Snacking and Sightseeing in Tokyo’s Old Edo Neighborhood

Shibamata / Kita-Senju / Kameari Old Towns (Shitamachi)

Among Tokyoites, Shibamata is known as the city’s most nostalgic neighborhood, a place with a warm atmosphere that lets you forget the hustle and bustle of the metropolis for a while. It’s a “shitamachi,” one of Tokyo’s old towns that still bear a close resemblance to Edo, one that has a special place in the heart of many a Japanese person. The long-running TV film series “Otoko wa Tsurai Yo,” or it’s tough being a man, was filmed here as the main protagonist’s much-beloved home. The center of the neighborhood is dominated by the magnificent Shibamata Taishakuten, a Buddhist temple founded in 1629. Beautiful sculptures and a calm Japanese garden invite to a leisurely sightseeing stroll. The approach to the temple is a scenic street – a lot livelier than the tranquil temple - dotted with numerous shops, stalls, and restaurants, selling delicacies typical for the area such as una-ju (eel on rice in a lacquered box), kusa dango (mugwort dumplings), and senbei (rice crackers). Located in Tokyo’s northeast, Shibamata is a mere 30-minute train ride away from popular Asakusa, offering an entirely different taste of Tokyo’s old days.

Differences Between Japanese Chain Stores that Come From Overseas

Japan is full of eateries originating from other countries. Walk around Tokyo, Osaka or even parts of the countryside and you’ll see many familiar brand restaurants dotting the landscape. They range from McDonald’s to KFC to a fair share of the big American pizza companies. These offer a taste of the United States to Japanese citizens, while also giving those visiting the country a taste of home. Yet there are plenty of differences between chain dining establishments in Japan when compared to their place of origin. Sometimes it just comes down to the menu, and other times it involves the venue itself along with the services on hand. It can actually be jarring to go somewhere you think you understand, only to find out that nope, it's pretty different. So here are some of the key differences between Japanese versions of chains and their origin version.

Complete Guide to Japanese Etiquette for Business Travelers - From a Tokyo Insider!

Japan is an amazing destination for travelers who are longing to enjoy their vacation in a beautiful and exciting country. This is especially true recently. Japan is becoming more and more popular as time passes and as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approach. By the same token, the country is becoming a more sought after location for new businesses (foreign and domestic), as well as to create partnerships among established companies, but also for startups and new innovative ideas. Japan as a whole, and the companies that populate the country, though, have a very specific way of handling social interactions and businesses. This different approach can often be surprising and confusing for those who are not prepared to the standards of the country. For this reason, regardless of one’s experience in a certain field, or in business deals, it pays off to dive into the details, similarities, and differences between business meetings in Japan and those in other countries (even among very similar fields). We sat down with an American who's been doing business in Japan for over 16 years. Here are some of the inside secrets he shared!

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