Kaiseki: A Set Menu to Tickle Your Tastebuds


The Japanese take careful measures in almost everything they make — in clothes, cars, fine timepieces, electronics, and of course, in food. Kaiseki (懐石) or kaiseki-ryōri, is a traditional Japanese multi-course dinner. The term can also refer to the many skills and techniques involved in the preparation of the meal. There are essentially two types of kaiseki: […]

Distinctive Kumano Brushes


Kumano brushes are known for their quality and are recognized by Japan as a traditional industrial art. The craftsmanship put into the creation of fine handmade Kumano brushes is revered worldwide. Kumano (熊野町), or Kumano-chō, is a town in Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, in Japan. The quiet town of Kumano is adjacent to Kure, Hiroshima, and […]

Chankonabe: The Sumo Wrestler’s Meal


Sumo, considered Japan’s national sport, is centuries old and  thought to have entertained the Shinto gods. Sumo is a full body contact sport that involves two male wrestlers known as rikishi, who try to push each other outside a ring with the goal of getting any part of the other’s body to touch the ground aside from […]

Utsuri: “Shadow of the Hamon”


Japanese swordsmithing is a labor intensive process of forging traditional Japanese bladed weapons often used by the samurai such as the katana (samurai’s sword), tantō (short blade), wakizashi (sideiinserted sword in between the length of a katana and tantō), ōdachi (a type of Japanese long sword), nodachi ( large sword), tachi (a type of sword that preceded […]

A Never-ending Feast with Wanko Soba


Wanko Soba (わんこそば) is a popular variation on Japanese soba noodles originating from Morioka and Hanamaki in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. What makes Wanko Soba interesting is the way it is served: in small individual servings, one at a time, with your own personal server. The word Wanko can be traced from Iwate Prefecture’s regional dialect which means “bowl”—specifically, a […]

More of Japan’s Major Deities


The Emperor of Japan is considered the direct descendant of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun. Many Japanese myths are based on ancient texts such as the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. Japan has several gods or spirits, “kami” in Japanese. Japanese mythology embodies Shinto and Buddhist traditions and local folk religion that are deeply […]

Precision Japanese Timepieces


When it comes to timepieces, the Swiss mostly come to mind. But in the last few decades, the Japanese have gained distinction of their own in creating some of the world’s finest watches. Japanese watches are known for their high functionality, efficient designs, and affordable price tag. The watchmaking industry today recognizes the Swiss and the […]

Major Deities of Japan


Many divinities native to Japanese beliefs and religious traditions are from the Shinto religion, while some are from Buddhism or Taoism. These deities are integrated into Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese deities are an important aspect in the culture and history of Japan and its people. Here are just a few of the major deities in Japanese […]

Japanese Urban Legends and Haunted Places


Halloween is just around the corner. There are many places all around the world that have stories of the unexplained, and Japan is no exception. Here are some of Japan’s talked about haunted destinations and urban legends: Shirokiya Department Store, Tokyo The Shirokiya Department Store fire took place on December 16, 1932, killing 14 people and injuring 67. […]

Delicious Donburi: The Ultimate Japanese Fast Food


Donburi (丼) literally means “bowl.”  It is a popular Japanese rice bowl dish that can consist of a variety of elements: vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, or fish. Donburi  is usually a full meal served in huge bowls, often made of ingredients simmered together and served over rice. Donburi are also sometimes referred to as sweet or savory […]