Kanji 101: Your Guide to Mastering the Characters

You stumble upon this post probably because, by now, you have taken an interest in Japanese culture. Perhaps you think that the best way to learn more about their culture is to understand their way of writing. You are not mistaken in this respect. If you are really into the whole cultural immersion thing, mastering Kanji is…

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Creating a Memorable Bed and Breakfast Japanese Experience

Why do people do bed and breakfasts? Maybe they just needed a place to stay, and yours was the last room in town. But is it really that simple? Most often not. The difference between staying at a hotel and staying at a hotel is the experience. You aren’t just selling a room with a…

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What Inspires Japanese Pottery and Porcelain Designs

Japanese are well known for having good taste in designs. Of course, to be able to come up with beautiful designs, one must be inspired. Japan’s culture is definitely an inspiration to the Japanese and to all who have experienced the country. From their nature to history, the sun is continuously rising to illuminate the…

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Japanese Culture: What’s So Special with the Number 5?

Numerology has always played a part in the lives of people from the Orient. The Japanese, specifically, have a profound fondness for the number 5. A little backgrounder on the figure’s place in their culture will go a long way when you visit or meet someone from Japan. One of the more straightforward applications of…

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The Search for an Authentic Japanese Dining Experience

Most of us don’t just like Japanese cuisine – we absolutely love it! After all, who wouldn’t? Sushi, sashimi, tempura, soba – just the sound of these delectable dishes fill our tummies with delight. We know that in your quest to try to replicate an authentic Japanese dining experience, you’ve probably caught yourself buying your…

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Rules for Proper Chopstick Use

Historically, knives were considered weapons in Japan and not utensils used by guests at a meal. Instead of a knife and fork, the Japanese use a pair of smooth wooden sticks called chopsticks to eat their meals. If you have been to a sushi bar or traditional Japanese restaurant, you have almost certainly seen and perhaps used…

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Japanese Tea Ceremony

“Chanoyu” means “hot water for tea,” but it is also the term for the traditional Japanese Tea ceremony. A historical part of Japanese Tea Ceremonies and is a form of art and of spiritual cleansing influenced by Zen Buddhism practiced all over the nation to this day. All aspects of chanoyu are heavily ritualized and…

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What is Sushi Etiquette?

Freshwater eel, raw meat, and salty fish roe – who would have thought that these seemingly obscure dishes would eventually become a mainstream type of cuisine? Sushi etiquette is important in this centuries-old food from Japan; sushi is a well-loved cuisine worldwide. It became popular in Western cultures over the past few decades and has…

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History of Traditional Bento Boxes

Everyone is familiar with a rapidly growing food trend: bento boxes. The Japanese created bento boxes to pack lunches. Recently, they have become something of culinary art as many people make designs with food. Some boxes feature decorated rice. There are even bento art contests! But where does bento come from? How Bento Boxes Came to…

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How to Properly Serve and Drink Sake

Japanese rice wine is collectively referred to as “sake,” pronounced “sah-kay.” Unlike recreational drinking in most countries, drinking sake is an art. It requires the host to know everything from the temperature of the sake to the appropriate manner of pouring. Most Western countries do not practice the traditional way of sake drinking. However, authentic Japanese…

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