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Izumo-Oyashiro Shrine

Izumo-Oyashiro Shrine is one of the most famous Shinto shrines in Japan. I had a chance to visit the shrine in the beginning of July. Shimane Prefecture, where the shrine is located, is about an hour and a half flight from Tokyo and has some very beautiful natural scenery including Shinji-ko lake (see the picture). …

Asakusa, Downtown in Tokyo

During your stay in Tokyo, I recommend visiting Asakusa if you have a couple of extra hours. You can reach it within 20 minutes from Tokyo Central Railway Station by train and subway. Asakusa is a downtown area where old rows of houses, shops, restaurants and new clusters of buildings blend together to create a …

One-Day Trip to Kamakura

As I explained in my previous article, Kyoto is a very beautiful city with many beautiful temples and Shinto-shrines, and was the former capital of Japan. It is definitely the city that visitors from overseas should prioritize on their visit. For those who stay in Tokyo, however, Kyoto is quite far. It takes more than …

Temples in Kyoto

I had a chance to visit some temples in Kyoto on a Sunday afternoon in winter. Although winter in Kyoto tends to be very cold, probably colder than in Tokyo, I think it is one of the best seasons to visit them because the air is so clear and it is not so crowded with …

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is off to a good start on a prosperous new year. This time, I would like to write about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Recently, the interests and values of Japanese people have become quite diverse, and the way people observe New Year’s Eve and New Year’s …

Bounenkai, year-end party

Generally, we always need a good excuse to drink beer. From this standpoint, we love December because there are tons of Bounenkai, year-end parties. In December, in addition to enjoying Christmas time, we have many Bounenkai with colleagues, business partners and friends. Bounenkai is composed of three Japanese characters that may be translated as “forget-year-party,” …

Our company trip to Tohoku

Last weekend, we had a great event, our Company trip. This year, we decided that we would visit the Tohoku district in Japan, which was severely damaged by the big earthquakes and tsunami last year. The purpose of this trip was not only to unify the minds of all the members of SOEI by communicating …

Beautiful underwater world, IZU

I am a scuba diver, and I travel around the world to dive. Although Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Waikiki in Hawaii are beautiful places for scuba diving, I strongly recommend that you dive in the IZU area when you visit Japan. IZU is located about 150km west of Tokyo, about a one-and-half-to-two-hour drive …

Ramen, the most beloved food in Japan

Japanese food has become more and more popular worldwide with good Japanese restaurants in almost every the major city worldwide. In other words, at any corner of the world, we can enjoy Japanese food such as sushi (sliced raw fish on a rice ball), sashimi (sliced raw fish), tempura (fish and vegetables dipped in batter …

Hanabi, Fireworks

We, Japanese people, love hanabi (fireworks). Especially in July and August, there are many hanabi festivals not only in Tokyo but also many regional cities throughout Japan. We often enjoy hanabi festivals while wearing yukata, a traditional summer kimono, and drinking beer. In my home town, a hanabi festival was held on a weekend in …

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