Back to Japan after 8 years

In 2020 I had the privilege of spending two months in Japan. It had been 8 years for me since I last visited Japan. As loyal readers of this blog will know, I have spent a year living in Japan in 2011-2012. That experience was incidentally also my first time to visit Japan and it... Continue Reading →

Kaiseki meal in Kyoto

Kyoto is famous for kaiseki cuisine. Kaiseki is an exquisite multi-course meal. It can even be considered as an art form, where one tries to balance the taste, texture, appearance, and colors of food. It goes without saying that only fresh, seasonal ingredients are used. The dishes are served in carefully selected bowls and plates,... Continue Reading →

People watching – Tanned skin

While visiting the Hachiko statue in Shibuya, I noticed a Japanese girl with tanned skin. Both her skin tone and overall styling caught my attention and I snapped a picture of her. In Japan, the classic beauty ideal is to have a skin that is as pale and white as possible. To achieve this look,... Continue Reading →

Safety first in Japan

Japanese people are very concerned with safety. One of the first Japanese words I learned after arriving in Japan was anzen (安全 ), the Japanese word for safety. A well-known example of this concern with safety is the method of 'pointing and calling', shisa kanko (指差喚呼), used by public transport operators in Japan. Japanese train... Continue Reading →

Japanese advertising slogans

I love Japanese advertising slogans. They often include English words that have been used in a very Japanese way. Japanese copywriters are clearly convinced that positive words are the way to go. I often see a collection of positive words thrown together in a way that no native English speaker would ever use them. What... Continue Reading →

Outgoing Japanese people

When Belgian people ask me questions about my stay in Japan, they often ask what Japanese people are like. From their questions, I gather that they believe all Japanese people to be quiet and introverted. When I answer that I actually met lots of Japanese people who were outgoing and easy to come into contact... Continue Reading →

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