People watching – Japanese monk

After living in Japan for a while, you kind of get used to all the things that used to excite you so much at first. But every once in a while, you get what I like to call the 'hello-you're-in-japan-face-slap'. Today I will tell you about one of those faceslap moments that stand out in... Continue Reading →

Let’s dance!

Today is Obon, an important Japanese holiday. Traditionally it is a day for honouring the spirits of one's ancestors. But since the Japanese never pass up an opportunity to have a party, it is also an excellent reason to organise a festival and get together with friends and family. Apart from delicious festival food and... Continue Reading →

My first bowl of matcha green tea

After having lived in Japan for over a year, a bowl of matcha green tea seems like the most normal thing in the world to me. But I can still vividly remember the first time I came into contact with this magical substance. Matcha tea is produced by drying and grinding green tea leaves into... Continue Reading →

Sumo fashion

It's no secret that I love sumo. As with all things Japanese, the visual aspect of the whole thing is part of its appeal. I would therefore like to dedicate this post to sumo attire. The wrestlers, or rikishi, are best known for their typical ring fighting outfit consisting of a colourful, silk, thick-waisted loincloth,... Continue Reading →

Traditional Japanese breakfast

If you ever spend the night in a Japanese hotel or traditional ryokan, it is highly likely that you will be confronted with what I like to call 'the Japanese breakfast experience'. While most Westerners will already consider a bowl of cereal a heartening breakfast, the Japanese are a bit more thorough when it comes... Continue Reading →

Japanese hands

The other day I was watching the Japanese movie 'Okuribito' (usually titled 'Departures' abroad). I absolutely love that movie and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. The movie is about a man who moves back from Tokyo to his hometown in the mountains. He gets involved in the funeral business, a profession that was despised... Continue Reading →

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