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.

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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Japanese Dialects

Japan has a wide variety of distinctive regional dialects. While the spread of standard Japanese, referred to as hyōjungo, has made it easier for people from different areas to communicate, many feel that local vernaculars convey greater warmth and friendliness.
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Nail Salons in Japan

Japan’s nail salons are popular with international visitors who wish to experience local styles. Nail art in Japan, more flamboyant than in the West, can include 3D decorations and anime characters in the design.
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“Purikura”: Photos with Friends

Purikura booths are places to take photos with friends or family members. Users can apply the latest technologies to make creative adjustments and improvements.
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The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Sadō, also known as chadō or chanoyu, is Japan’s austere rite of tea. Although its origins lie in Chinese Zen ritual, over centuries the ceremony developed into a distinct Japanese form combining native culture, including art, ikebana flower arranging, and haute kaiseki cuisine.
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Bicycle Rental in Japan

Cycling is a good way to explore a little further afield than traveling on foot. In Japan, there are many bicycle rental services available, especially around tourist spots.
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“Bentō”

Bentō lunches are Japanese meals that can be enjoyed anywhere. Different regions have their own specialties, aimed particularly at rail travelers.
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