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Kyoto's Cultural Riches Saved It from the Atomic Bomb

Kyoto is a repository of much of Japan's classical culture, from its wealth of temples and shrines and traditional arts and crafts, to its renowned geisha districts. Those cultural riches saved Kyoto from destruction by atomic bomb....(more)

Mount Fuji, the Iconic Symbol of Japan

There are peaks as famous in the world, but there is no other mountain as iconic - and as immediately identified with its country - Japan's Mount Fuji. It's been a destination for pilgrimages for centuries, and an inspiration for artists. So it's no wonder that it's been named a...(more)

Japanese Family Names

Compared to its neighbor, China and Korea, Japan has the most number of surnames. To date, the total number of Japanese family names in use totals to around a hundred thousand. The sheer number of it comes from the fact that they were chosen at will, which was usually derived from their natural surroundings. Thus, it is not surprising to learn that each of them is unique to a particular region. For example, Shimabukuro is common in Okinawa but you cannot find them in other parts of the country. From the common man to the royal family, it was not part of the Japanese heritage to acquire a surname....(more)

The Dragon in Japanese Cultural Heritage

The dragon is a vibrant symbol of the Japan's heritage. It has presided in myth and media through centuries of history. As a symbol representing nobility, wisdom, and ferocity, it encompasses much of what Japan has stood for historically. It is also intimately connected to the royal family of Japan....(more)


Preparing for Possible Japanese Weather Disasters

Japan is a beautiful country filled with culture and intrigue. It is a country that welcomes millions of visitors every year. However, the country has dealt with weather disasters that have caused much property damage and loss of life. If you are planning a trip to this country, it is in your best interests to prepare in case there is a weather-related disaster....(more)


Tokyo Disneyland Celebrates 30 Years of American-Born Fun

Walt Disney had a global vision, which has grown from just producing cartoons to being the most famous animation studio in the world, as well as a full live-action movie studio, television giant and theme park operator. Tokyo Disneyland has continued his legacy in Japan for 30 years....(more)

Walking Vistas in Japan

When most Americans think of tourism in Japan they think of two things, large crowded cities like Tokyo and futuristic technology. This causes many people to plan their trips around the cities and wanting to spend their vacation outdoors to inadvertently overlook the country. What many tourists forget is that while Japan does have thriving cities with a vibrant atmosphere and countless activities, it also has beautiful outdoor areas with landscapes on par with anywhere else in the world. Despite many people's misconceptions, Japan is a very accommodating place for backpackers and walkers, with excellent trails all over the country....(more)

Top 5 Places to See on Your Japanese Summer Vacation

A Japanese summer vacation consists of festivals, fireworks, beaches, and plenty of fun things to see and do. The weather is hot and humid during summer months, unless you spend time in the mountains, and during June, expect a few rainy days during your trip. Tourism in Japan is huge, with millions of people visiting each year. Anytime of the year is considered a great time to visit, but a Japanese summer vacation offers a more festive experience to your trip....(more)

Japanese Expert

Gil Asakawa

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Gil Asakawa is a third-generation Japanese American, or Sansei, who was born in Tokyo. His father served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and met his mother in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, where he was stationed. Gil moved with his family to the U.S. when he... Read More

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