Japan Glances

Slices of life in Japan. Quick looks at aspects of culture, society, and human relations that help to paint a more detailed picture of the nation.

“Izakaya”

Izakaya are popular places to drop in for a drink and a bite to eat with friends or work colleagues. Shops usually have a casual atmosphere and offer a range of beverages and food.
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Japan Glances Index

Discover Japan by picking a theme from the list below and exploring the related topics. Each short overview is illustrated with colorful photographs.
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Japan’s Emperor and Imperial Family

Japan’s imperial family has a long history, shading back into legend. The emperor today has a ceremonial role and performs numerous functions as a symbol of the state.
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Japanese Castles

Many castles were built in Japan during the Warring States period (1467–1568), when regional leaders vied for power. Although a large number were destroyed in the centuries that followed, there are still several fine structures to visit today, including those that have been reconstructed.
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Mount Fuji

An introduction to Japan’s iconic mountain that draws visitors from around the world for its main summer climbing season.
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“Kakigōri”

Japanese summer would not be the same without the shaved ice dessert kakigōri. Traditionally incorporating syrup, it may also feature many other ingredients.
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Tatami

Tatami flooring is seen in many traditional Japanese spaces, including rooms, inns, restaurants, temples, and tearooms. Whether made with rice straw and rush grass or more modern substitutes, it contributes to a classic Japanese atmosphere.
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Cosmetics in Japan

Japanese cosmetics span new and traditional varieties. The wide choice of beauty products also continues to adapt to meet the evolving needs of users.
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Ninja

Ninja are famous as masters of spycraft, but their image has been much embellished over the years. The real ninja were mainly active during the tumultuous fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, acting as scouts in battles between feudal lords.
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“Miai”: Meetings to Arrange Marriages

Until the postwar period, most Japanese weddings were arranged through miai, formal meetings set up by a matchmaker. The practice continues today on a smaller scale, although the meetings are now typically arranged by specialist businesses.
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