Lifestyle

Parents of bullied teenage girl who committed suicide commission portrait to 'attend' Coming-of-Age Day ceremony

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Last weekend, Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies, or Seijinshiki, were held across Japan. Well, not everywhere, as many have been canceled, postponed, or turned virtual because of Tokyo’s state of emergency. Still, in Arao City in the southwestern prefecture of Kumamoto, the ceremonies were held as scheduled, but an unusual occurrence is causing a stir. One… Read

Lifestyle

AI chatbot introduced to tackle alarming rise in coronavirus-related suicides

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Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has urged people who are struggling with depression to “have the courage to consult someone” in response to an alarming spike in the number of suicides in the capital. Two hundred and fifty-six people committed suicide in October 2020, a rise of 50% over the figure… Read

Lifestyle

6 types of English conversation students and how to handle them

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In Japan, eikaiwa, or English conversation schools, are different from regular schools. Teaching here is not the same as being an ALT (assistant language teacher) at a public school or a university. The students are often taught individually, and they can review your lessons or even request to have (or not have) you as… Read

Lifestyle

Tango therapy brings joy to seniors and unites generations

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NPO Tango Therapy Association started out with a clear mission: encouraging intergenerational exchanges and sharing the benefits of Tango Therapy with the elderly in Japan. While many may have heard of the Argentine tango dance, not as many are aware of its use for rehabilitation purposes. What is tango therapy… Read

Lifestyle

Here’s why Japanese supermarkets play 'cheap' background music all day, according to Twitter

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If you’ve ever been to a Japanese supermarket like Ito Yokado, Aeon, Seiyu, or Max Valu, then you’ve probably noticed the elevator-style music they play on the speakers throughout the shop. Well, maybe it’s a bit cheerier than elevator music, and sometimes synthesized, but it’s definitely generic and so nondescript that you… Read

Lifestyle

Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies in Tokyo changing form due to COVID-19 state of emergency

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With the holidays over and people returning to their homes after being with family over the New Year, it’s no surprise that coronavirus cases have been spiking recently, especially in Tokyo. Though the numbers are low compared to the U.S. and Europe, the spike was alarming enough to prompt the… Read

Lifestyle

Stay at a ninja trick house in Japan with hidden doors and passageways

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Japan is filled with all sorts of unique accommodation options, ranging from capsule hotels with kittens and bunks hidden away inside bookshelves, to whole islands that can be reserved for private stays. Now there’s an AirBnB property to add to the list of rare and unusual places to spend the night in Japan, because this… Read

Lifestyle

Welcome to Inami Station, where these frogs keep you company as you wait for your train

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At first glance you might think Inami Station (photo below), on the Kisei Line in the town of Inami, Wakayama Prefecture, isn’t much to look at. A non-descript rectangle with a utilitarian tile roof, most people would call it plain, and if one were prone to harsher vocabulary, they might even use the… Read

Lifestyle

Company PET partners with Kyoto temple to offer genuine funeral services for beloved pets

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Kyoto-based company PET began offering pet funeral services throughout the southern-central Kansai region of Japan late last year. On Dec 30, it further announced a new partnership with Jomanji (成満寺), a well-established Buddhist temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture. ▼ Jomanji, founded in 1603 While pet cremation services… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese book encourages you to make art out of orange peels

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Once temperatures start getting lower and it starts feeling a bit more like winter, one tradition that Japanese people like to enjoy during this season revolves around the mikan, or mandarin orange. In Japan, when people gather around a kotatsu, it’s customary to munch on some mandarin oranges while trying to stay… Read

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