Shorter pieces shedding light on the creativity underlying Japanese culture and technology and on lives and lifestyles in Japan.

Insider’s Guide to Shintō Shrines

Amid all the change that has swept Japanese society in modern times, the position of the Shintō shrine remains rock-solid. There is always something drawing local residents to the neighborhood shrine, whether it be an annual celebration like New Year’s Day or just the hope of warding off bad luck. Foreign tourists also feel the pull of these hallowed spots, which somehow instill a sense of awe in even the most casual visitor. Through images and words, this series offers information and insights that will challenge your preconceptions and make your own shrine visit that much more meaningful.

Torii: Gates to the Sacred Spaces
Your Virtual Guide to the Shintō Shrine

Other reports

Japan’s Rail Network

Japan is a railfan’s delight, boasting not only leading-edge technologies like those featured in the Shinkansen and the maglev but also an increasing number of unique rail services in localities around the country.

Tokyo’s New Restaurant Train Offers Haute Cuisine on Wheels
Kyoto Railway Museum (Photo Gallery)
Kyoto Railway Museum: A Showcase of Japan’s Rail Heritage

Japanese Approaches to an Eco-Life

As one way to help preserve the environment, many Japanese today are looking to the past, seeking inspiration in traditional cultural aspects like reverence for nature or taking careful care of things to extend their useful lives. Their ecologically friendly lifestyles hint at ways to safeguard the health of the global environment for future generations.

Lessons from the Bees: The Rooftop Hives of Central Tokyo
Keeping Mount Fuji at the Peak of Beauty
Cooking Up a Do-It-Yourself Lifestyle
Saving Electricity to Save Yen
(Re)Built to Last
A Breezy Style of Green Urban Living

Visiting Japan’s Remote Communities

There is more to Japan than huge cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Some would say that the best of the country can be found in tiny villages far from the urban centers. While battling depopulation, the hardy residents live their lives, largely forgotten by the rest of the nation. journeys to discover Japan’s timeless mountain and island communities.

Shimoguri-no-sato: A Japanese Shangri-la

"Bentō": A Feast for the Eyes and Stomach

Bentō, or box meals, contain a fine balance of rice and other dishes, carefully thought out down to the colors and layout of the food. The bentō eaten in Japan include homemade meals, those sold at convenience stores, and the luxurious variety offered by upscale Japanese restaurants. Explore the fun of bentō for insights into Japanese food culture.

Show Me Your “Bentō”! Part 1: Under the Cherry Trees
Power Lunch at Japanese Schools
The Local Flavors of Popular Railway Box Meals
My “Bentō,” My Pride
Your Own Japanese-Style Box Meal

Japan’s Holy Places

The ancient belief in a myriad of native deities resident in the mountains, seas, and trees fostered the earliest sacred sites in Japan. These were added to over the centuries by significant locations in the imported faith of Buddhism. This feature explores Japan’s holy places.

A Clean Bill of Health for Kamakura’s Great Buddha
Foreign Tourists Flock to the Gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine
The Spiritual Pull of Shikoku’s “Henro” Pilgrimage

The Pastimes That People Love

Life isn’t just about working—the Japanese are serious about playing, too. This section offers a look at people who are hooked on their hobbies. Here you’ll find dazzling portraits of men, women, and children pouring themselves passionately into their interests outside the workplace or school.

Way of the Sword Remains Exclusive: Kendō’s Largely Local Appeal
Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics: A Japan Original
Can’t Help But Sing of Joy

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