Category Archives: Life in Japan

Yes in Japan team: DUVAL Sébastien on Twitter

You wonder about our life in Japan? Our inbound travel manager, DUVAL Sébastien, has started sharing his thoughts and adventures on Twitter (@sebastienplus) on 01 January 2016 for his family, friends and colleagues but kept the access open for all the fans of Japan… Have a look now then click the “Follow” button if you like what you see :)

You have questions about one of his photos, visits, suggestions, etc.? Tweet him in English, French or Japanese language!
Sébastien Duval and Ushiku Great Buddha (Ushiku city, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan).

The Yes in Japan team particularly recommends this Twitter account to those who know the basics of Japan, have already visited Tokyo and Kyoto, and prepare their second (third, fourth…) trip to Japan because Sébastien has been living in Asia for more than 12 years and often visits exceptional destinations, tastes diverse Japanese foods and tries various traditional activities!

New tour in 2016: Newcomer discovery tour in Tokyo

You wish to live in Japan or just moved here? Join our useful “Newcomer discovery tour in Tokyo” in English, French or Japanese to discover the country, its culture, and the local everyday life from 2016!

This new tour including a walk and seminar with Yes in Japan staff certified as Tokyo City Guide is planned in the daytime and on evenings in various areas of Tokyo city where you are likely to live, study or work (e.g. Iidabashi, Nakano, Otemachi, Roppongi). Expect to learn about important local laws, living expenses, Japanese apartments and guest houses, tatami mats and futon mattresses, supermarkets and convenience stores, personal seals and contracts, bills and bank accounts, holidays and festivals, schools and offices, internships and jobs, Japanese restaurants and parties, vegetarian and halal food… and feel free to ask about your other topics of interest :)

Note: We may operate a “Newcomer discovery tour in Tokyo” in two languages at the same time for the convenience of “Japanese + foreigner” couples, families or friends.

Life in Japan: Our services & information for foreigners in 2016

The Yes in Japan team and its carefully selected partners help foreigners who wish to spend several months or years of their life in Japan!

We provide information about kind estate agents and homestay specialists, great designers of personal seals/stamps and business cards, exceptional schools to study the Japanese language & culture, trustworthy organizations helping find internships, skilled babysitters, bilingual cooking teachers… In addition, we also give free maps of Tokyo recommending attractions, restaurants (vegetarian, vegan and halal included), traditional and modern shops, supermarkets, hospitals with English-speaking staff, etc. Note that our services do not cover visa, banking, job-hunting, or dating services for Japan.

Besides, we organize useful discovery tours in Tokyo in English, French or Japanese for foreign newcomers and tourists thinking about living in Japan, to help them understand Japan, its culture and everyday life while introducing areas where they may live, study or work! For “Japanese + foreigner” couples, families or friends, we may operate these tours in several languages at the same time :)
Master Toyokuni painting a wall-size sumi-e at Toyokuni Atelier Studio (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

You own or work at a local business? Do not hesitate to e-mail us to share useful information or join our expanding network in 2016 :)

Today in Tokyo: National flag of Japan & Japanese girls in kimono

Why do we see so many big Japanese national flags in the streets of Tokyo today? Because schools all over Japan display the national flag for the graduation of their students these days… Yes, in Japan the academic year starts with Spring in April and ends with Winter the following March.

Japanese national flags in Tokyo on 25 March 2014.

Lucky or well prepared, you can see happy Japanese boys in business suit and Japanese girls in kimono (traditional dress) before/after their graduation ceremony near universities, in the streets, at hotels…

Japanese girls in kimono in Chiyoda ward (Tokyo) on 25 March 2014.

This is life in Japan… with photos taken today in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward :)

Things to do in Japan: Enjoy hands-on traditional activities!

Have you ever enjoyed a hands-on Japanese activity in your country or in Japan? Beside cooking sushi, joining a tea ceremony or wearing a kimono, there are many things to do in Japan for foreigners curious about the Japanese culture and life. Teachers may guide hands-on sessions at diverse locations: a craft village, cultural centre, museum, school, temple, workshop… but support in English often requires arrangements. Think about it; hands-on activities can make your holidays in Japan much more memorable, interesting and fun!

Things to do in Japan: prepare sushi!

To better understand life in Japan, you may harvest rice or pick up tea leaves, pickle Japanese horseradish “wasabi”, prepare sushi, make tofu or soba/udon noodles, make Japanese confectioneries “wagashi” or even create (modern) food replicas normally shown at the entrance of restaurants! Beyond Japanese food, you may learn to make a tatami, ceramic object, daruma or kokeshi doll, paper lantern or simple Washi Japanese paper… and families with small children may try origami or traditional games.

Things to do in Japan: pick up tea leaves!

To better understand the Japanese culture, you can notably join a tea ceremony, try flower arrangement, take care of a bonsai, print ukiyo-e with woodblocks, write Japanese or Chinese characters (calligraphy) with a standard or giant brush, copy or chant a sutra at a Buddhist temple, practice Zen meditation, play Japanese drums… If your timing is good, you may even carry an omikoshi, pull a float, or dance with locals at a festival!

Things to do in Japan: copy a sutra!

The fans of Japanese martial arts can also practice more or less ancient arts in Japan: hand-to-hand martial arts such as judo and karate, Japanese archery “kyudo”, the art of using a Japanese halberd “naginata-jutsu”, Japanese swordsmanship “kendo”…

Things to do in Japan: practice Japanese swordsmanship KENDO!

Try 1-2 Japanese traditional activities during your stay; it really reveals much about Japan and its culture. Tea ceremonies are popular in Kyoto and karate trainings in Okinawa but Tokyo provides most activities. Also note that many events occur all over Japan on Culture Day (national holiday: 03 November)! So, which traditional activity have you enjoyed? Which traditional activity would you try?

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