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 →

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 →

Nabe party

Nabe refers to a variety of Japanese hot-pot dishes. It is a typical winter food. All the ingredients for nabe are prepared together in a large clay or iron pot. The pot is usually placed on a burner in the middle of the table and the dish is cooked at the table. Everyone gathers round... Continue Reading →

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