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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.)

How Japan's Sushi Trains Are Coping with COVID: Sushiro's Latest Safety Measures and Services

Tokyo Station Sushi

For many, Japanese food equals sushi! In particular, Japan’s super famous “kaitenzushi” conveyor belt sushi trains are renowned for being cheap and high-quality, making them a popular stop for international visitors to Japan. However, many sushi trains in Japan lack private space, making some people anxious about visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic. To discover how they’re dealing with these circumstances, we visited Sushiro, one of Japan’s leading sushi companies. Since the advent of COVID-19, Sushiro has undertaken numerous contactless systems to ensure that those in Japan can still relish delicious conveyor belt sushi with peace of mind!

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.

Visiting Nara Japan: 9 Essentials to Know Before Traveling to Japan's Ancient Capital

Nara, Ikoma, Tenri Other Sightseeing

Nara is the perfect place to go for travelers looking to enjoy a traditional Japanese city. Visitors from all over the world love Nara Prefecture for its famous historic buildings, cute and friendly deer, and delicious local food. Here, we're going to share 9 quick and helpful tips on how to make the best use of your time. Options to enjoy the area abound! Visit intriguing buildings like World Heritage sites Tōdai-ji Temple and Kōfuku-ji, head over to the historic Hōryū-ji Templethat was established by the legendary Prince Shōtoku, or wander into Nara Park to frolic with the friendly deer inhabiting the area, among other activities. One thing's for sure - you'll hardly ever run out of fascinating things to see and do in Nara! Main image: PIXTA

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