KCP Student Views 2013, Part 1


2013 was a fun, memorable year for KCP students. They share with us their takeaways from the language and culture program as well as life as a study abroad student in Japan. In this first installment of a 3-part series, students describe their experiences with cooking classes, dormitory and homestay life, the Speech Contest, and […]

Bringing Medication for Personal Use Into Japan


Access to medication is essential, especially for travelers who may be away from home for a long period of time. It is always good to check what types of medication are allowed when entering a foreign country, whether they are over the counter or prescription meds.  The policies of most countries differ widely on what […]

Celebrating White Day in Japan


White Day (ホワイトデー Howaito Dē) is celebrated a month after Valentine’s Day in Japan. Women and girls usually give their men friends gifts of chocolate as an expression of love, social obligation, or courtesy every 14th of February. A month later, on the 14th of March, also known as White Day, the men and boys who received the […]

Fascinating Japanese Wildlife


Japan is a nation composed of 6,852 islands. It is no wonder that many fascinating and unique wildlife species can be found there. Given the country’s broad range of climactic zones, the variety of Japan’s wildlife is immense. Here are a few of the Japanese wildlife native to Japan: Japanese dwarf flying squirrel (Pteromys momonga; ニホンモモンガ; Nihon […]

Exciting March Festivals in Japan


Each month brings exciting festivals in Japan. These festivals are a wonderful way to get to know the Japanese culture and way of life. Here are a few Japanese festivals in March: Dai Himonjiyaki – a month-long fire festival held every March around the area of Mt. Aso in Kyushu. The most anticipated event of […]

The Mikimoto Legacy


Pearls are similar to fingerprints in that each one is unique.  They are highly prized gemstones and coveted heirlooms passed on from one generation to the next.  A pearl is produced in the mantle of a living shell mollusk such as an oyster. It is made of minute crystalline calcium carbonate deposited in parallel layers. […]

Cats in Japanese Culture and History


Cats are often the stuff of legend–they embody mysticism. It is no wonder that cats have been culturally significant for many nations. Their relationship with and influence on humans is as old as civilization itself and can be traced back to over 9,500 years. In Japan, cats are revered for giving good luck and other […]

Could Japanese Ama Divers Be Linked to Mermaids?


Mermaids have long held mysticism and fascination for many. They are believed to be aquatic creatures with the upper body of a human female and a fish tail instead of legs. The first tales of mermaids can be traced back to ancient Assyria, where the goddess Atargatis was driven by remorse after she accidentally killed […]