What’s a travel bucket list hashtagged #travelgoals without Japan on it? This land of sushi, manga, anime, matcha, and picture-perfect views never ceases to charm anyone with its natural beauty and never-ending innovation. It’s where the old, the new, and the quirky mix effortlessly.
Look at Tokyo with its high-tech toilets, robot sales attendants, and religious shrines that are as ubiquitous as a konbini (convenience stores) selling onigiri (rice balls) and more!
For all the skyscrapers and buildings that dot this modern nation’s skyline, nature reclaims the top spot when cherry trees are in full bloom. Canopies of white and pinkish flowers take over as merry people flock under their shade and indulge in the tradition of welcoming spring.
If traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun is anywhere near your plans for the moment, you’ve come to the right place. Check out this massive list of blogs dedicated to everything about Japan, its culture, language, and people. These blogs are written with the most reliable and useful information, so they should be able satisfy your curiosity.
Who better to ask straight up about Japan than the authorities themselves? Only in Japan, owned by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), has information about top Japanese destinations and backlinks to the official tourism websites of these places. You may get a little help when preparing for the trip with insights about the weather, transportation, and accommodation. Practical and straightforward information about traveling to Japan awaits you here.
This is the glossy sister of Only in Japan, expanding on food, beauty, fashion, shopping, and culture. Also owned by the JNTO, Japan Monthly Web Magazine is feature after feature of Japanese dishes, activities, and sights captured in high-quality pictures.
This travel magazine can be all over the place (no pun intended), so the information can be a bit overwhelming. Your best bet is to click a tag or type it in the search bar to keep things simple for you.
Japan-Guide.com promises “up-to-date information on traveling in Japan, first-hand from Japan.” While it looks like a conventional travel site (with a booking feature), it puts in the hard work by categorizing interests/attractions. For instance, it lists down temples with comprehensive information about access, hotels, fees, business hours, and more with a click here and there. That takes away the work of looking for gardens, museums, or onsen one by one, don’t you think?
Nomadic Matt has a good number of things to say about the country, enough to put up a resource page à la Wikipedia. The guide has the usual basic information: what to do/see, how to get around, and where to stay.
If you are backpacking, though, you’ll appreciate his money-saving tips. After all, he has a best-selling book on how to travel with $50 a day. You may also find his personal advice on how to stay safe in Japan, despite it being one of the safest countries in the world.
He said it: he’s not Jeff Friedl from Ashes Divide. The owner of Jeffrey Friedl Blog is a software developer based in Kyoto, which is also the setting of his many posts. Jeff has a quiet way of getting his story out, accompanying them with snaps of temples or scenes of mountains. You can get a good glimpse of his daily life in Kyoto through his posts and find insights you can use when you visit it one of these days.
Do you know that soramitsu literally means “a view from the sky”? This is the aim of this project of the Nara University that provides a “historical-geographical” tour of Nara, the ancient capital of Japan.
Soramitsu provides an aerial view of Nara’s many temples, landmarks, and monuments and their history. If you want to learn more about why deer roam free in the grounds of Nara’s temples, Soramitsu is the place to start.
If you want to read news about Japan in English, you can check The Japan Times. The Tokyo-based newspaper has sports, culture, and events covered, as well as topics that may interest you, like getting visas or working in the country.
The Japan Times can get you updated on the latest in the country and what it’s like to live, work, or visit there. It has a city guide, where you can look up films, restaurants, events, or places to see in Japan.
The Japan News is another English-language newspaper brought to you by Yomiuri Shimbun, one of Japan’s major newspapers. You may find the news here reported in a traditional, formal manner; however, it has entertainment, life, and art sections to balance things out. You may also want to check its videos featuring Japanese traditional rites, tabi socks, and avatar robots.
It would be nice to speak Japanese beyond the usual canned phrases, right? The methods of FluentU may help you in that area. The way it works, you watch videos whose subtitles or captions are clickable; you can click on one word to know its meaning and context. It’s a new way to be immersed in learning a language such as Japanese in a more accessible, understandable format.
Tofugu has a lot going on. It has reviews, interviews, and travel features, all focused on the Japanese way of life. But before it came to be known as an “anything Japan” blog, the site started out as a language resource where self-learners flock to learn Nihongo. It has since built a reputation as one of the go-to sites to learn Japanese through its tutorials and guides. Learning about the country and the language sounds equally fun.
The reason behind the name of this website is a story in itself. What Spoon & Tamago is into right now is Japanese art, design, and culture. The result is far-reaching with crafts, art exhibits and projects, home furnishings and fixtures, toys and knick knacks, accessories, textiles, and Pokémon dress shirts. Spoon & Tamago also has sidelights featuring quaint, hole-in-the-wall spots in Tokyo as told by the city’s very own residents.
Who wants Japanese cheesecake? Ask Nami as she shares over 700 recipes for modern and classic Japanese dishes on Just One Cookbook. The site’s recipe index makes it easier to find what you need based on course, ingredients, preparation, occasion, etc. Nami also offers tips for cooking or sourcing substitutes for Japanese ingredients that may not be in your local grocery. By the way, there’s no Japanese cheesecake per se; it’s soufflé cheesecake.
Learn more about landmarks, songs, delicacies, and customs associated with the Kansai region when you visit Kansai Digital Archives & Rekishi Kaido. It is an online database of historical resources/records created to introduce you or anyone to the region. The Kansai Institute of Information Systems (KIIS) maintains this database that maps out temples in Kusatsu or anywhere in the region.Learn more about landmarks, songs, delicacies, and customs associated with the Kansai region when you visit Kansai Digital Archives & Rekishi Kaido. It is an online database of historical resources/records created to introduce you or anyone to the region. The Kansai Institute of Information Systems (KIIS) maintains this database that maps out temples in Kusatsu or anywhere in the region.
Have dreams of finding work or going to school in Japan? Then you may find help at GaijinPot. A gaijin (as what foreigners are generally referred to in Japan) can also check the listing and moving services on the platform. Aside from these foreigner-centric services, the blog dabbles in Japanese pop culture, customs, and practices. Travel is part of the GaijinPot package as it puts together the top 10 destinations in Japan.
Matcha looks to the popular green tea from Japan to bring the country’s culture closer to everyone around the world. This web-based travel mag offers guides to Sapporo, Osaka, or Tokyo, among others. It also has your shopping, sightseeing, hiking, skiing, and other relevant outdoor activities covered. Lastly, Matcha shares what it knows about public holidays, heat packs, and weather advisories for travelers like you.
Bento.com dishes out Japanese cuisine and more. Well, there’s more to life than sushi, such as tempura, yakitori, yakiton, ramen, curry, tonkatsu, unagi, and okonomiyaki. And this blog tells you what each dish is about, how it is cooked by region, and how it is presented on the menu. If you want to sample the best of what Osaka has to offer, Bento.com curates the places where you can eat and drink.
Shop, eat, visit, enjoy. Live Japan promises to be the perfect guide when traveling in and around the country. It is packed with tips and tools that you can put to use, like finding ATMs, Wi-Fi spots, tax-free shops, buffets, and more. Take note that the guide covers two main areas: Tokyo (including Asakusa, Ginza, and Akihabara) and Hokkaido (with Sapporo, Otaru, and Niseko).
Sora News 24, formerly Rocket News, is for the overseas fans who their love anime, manga, idols, cats, and Pocky in any form. This site rounds up the bizarre, crazy, interesting, and funny news that has gone viral and is widely shared among Japanese netizens, whether they have anything to do with Japan or none at all. Sora News 24 also takes on challenges usually based on what’s popular in Japan at the moment.
Tasty and sometimes hard-to-find Japanese snacks can be found at Japan Centre. It’s like the Japanese aisle of your local grocery store as it offers a wide selection of food and drinks, including sake. These are complemented with bento boxes, chopsticks, cutlery, and kitchen accessories. Gifts come plenty with cute merchandise, greeting cards, and food baskets.
Japan Centre also has a dedicated blog on Japanese culture and lifestyle.
Various bloggers and content creators come together on All about Japan to write about the country’s fun, weird, cool, and innovative side. The blog also has a travel section where you can hop on a train ride to Wakayama, find the hidden sights of Nara, or take the road less traveled to Okayama. It also highlights famous Japanese personalities, sports, and onsen getaways.
Just Hungry teaches you how to cook or prepare your own sushi rice or Doraemon’s favorite snack, dorayaki. That’s just one or two of the many Japanese dishes you can learn from Maki, the owner of the blog. While she mostly blogs about homemade Japanese food, she also talks about Japanese table manners, like when using chopsticks, and other features related to food or its ingredients in Japan.
Koryu.com introduces you to the traditional martial arts of Japan. Here you’ll find resources about Koryu, literally translated to “old school,” which was practiced by the Japanese samurai.
The site shares content about the history of this ancient style of combat, including books/resources on how or where to train and personal musings. Check out the frequently asked questions, and find out how you can get in touch with real Koryu practitioners.
UK-based Inside Japan tells you to experience beyond the usual when you are in Japan. While the travel agency understandably promotes its packages and tours, you can use the itineraries and tips as a guide when planning your own trip. And if you are a first-time traveler in Japan, read up and prepare a big appetite for ramen and other must-try regional dishes.
What’s up over there, Japan? News on Japan pulls up the latest news from the archipelago and puts them all on this blog. You can find the usual serious stuff like Japanese politics, business, and economy. What’s interesting to read is the author’s take on or reaction to tweets, articles, and/or posts from other Japan blogs with some of them being featured in this roundup.
Japanese pop culture is at the heart of Moshi Moshi Nippon, which is on fashion, food, anime, games, and music. There are plushies, clothes, and goods from our favorite Sanrio, manga, and anime characters who, apparently, have their own themed cafés. Swoon over makeup products in too-hard-to-resist packaging and find out what the fashion-forward Japanese girls are wearing. Also, if you know little of Japanese musicians, meet some of them here.
Tokyo is notoriously expensive, and if you are looking for more bang for your buck (er, yen), Tokyo Cheapo is your ally. Browse its “Beginner’s Guide” and the available hotel options, rail passes, flights, etc. While some sections of the guide are updated regularly, some of them may not be up-to-date. Newer blog articles do have fees and rates on places they cover.
Mark of Japan Zone introduces you to two Japans, the traditional and the modern. If you are interested in its ancient world, you have ikebana, kabuki, origami, bonsai, and even the imperial family. For modern Japan, you can catch up on famous personalities from movies, TV shows, music, and business. The blog also dedicates posts to newcomers to the country.
Go Japan Go looks like your typical travel guide until it says it has information on over 2,000 tourist attractions in Japan. It has an index where you can click on a place by region, city, or neighborhood. Select Tokyo, and you will be taken to its many districts, attractions, hotels, and itineraries. Speaking of an itinerary, you can take notes from fellow travelers such as a five-day journey to Mount Fuji, covering central Tokyo, Hakone, Kamakura, and Nikko.
HIS provides group travel and tour packages, and its blog, HisGo, tells you more about that. While you are not obligated to buy any of the package tours or services, you are free to look around the itineraries and plan a similar one. The blog also has articles or guides for more inspiration for your trip with really nice pictures to accompany them.
Your virtual tour to Edo, Japan, literally starts with just one click. Before Tokyo, there was Edo (well, they are one and the same; only the name changed through time), where the shogunate lived. So click on the doorway to take you to Edo.
See that castle? Click again to learn more about life in eighteenth-century Japan. You can go back home and browse through the shogun’s gallery, which features ukiyo-e from Hokusai and the masters of this ancient art.
Leave Your Daily Hell leaves you a megapost that will, hopefully, make your week or so of stay in Tokyo trip a bit easier. Created by Robert, who is a travel blogger, the Japan resource page will help you get by weeks-long travel in Japan (e.g., where to stay, to eat, or even to find an ATM). The best time to visit Japan? You can read more about it on the page.
For long-distance travel in Japan, a rail pass is your ticket to getting around and saving on transportation cost. This blog serves as a platform to buy these tickets with a blog that contains hacks on how you can make the most of your JR pass. It also features novel train tours with the Tokyo Olympics, which is one of the most anticipated events in Japan.
Savvy Tokyo targets women in a good way, sharing the latest in food, fashion, fun, and family. It has a calendar highlighting major traditional or modern-day events happening in Chiba, Tokyo, etc. Savvy Tokyo has a diverse range of interests up its sleeve. When you visit its culture section, you’d chance upon discussions on the Japanese lifestyle, as well as the complex relations of the Japanese family.
Japan Intercultural Consulting Blog means business as it focuses on cross-cultural communication in the commercial setting. The blog features views from people who have worked in a Japanese company or have worked with Japanese people. If you belong to the business sector, deal with Japanese companies, or aspire to work in Japan, this blog can give you insights on the country’s workplace dynamics.
A Japan photo a day keeps the boredom away; that’s what Muza-chan said. Her blog talks about traditional/modern culture, history, and travel from her travels throughout Japan that spanned a decade. For the otaku, the blog covers Gundam, Anpanman, Astro Boy, One Piece, and other relevant attractions related to these famous works of fiction. Muza-chan also has interesting tidbits about Japan.
This is another website owned by JNTO, the government body that promotes Japan as an international destination for work and leisure. Japan. Endless Discovery is for Australians who want to take part in cultural festivals and ceremonies, among many things they can experience in Japan. Adventures, attractions, and more that make for endless discoveries fill the pages of the blog.
This Japan blog exposes the dark side of Japan, the underground, and the underworld. By this, the blog takes head-on the not-so-savory parts of modern-day Japanese society, discussing current issues and putting things in perspective to make Japan a better place for everyone. Japan Subculture Research Centre offers another view of Japanese society that isn’t exactly all rainbows and unicorns.
Voted as the Star Language School of 2018, Genki Japanese & Culture School has a blog that specializes in the arena of study travel. If you are intent on mastering Japanese, the site offers several learning tips, tools, and recommendations you can look into. These materials are nested in many categories, so you may have to check each category to find these gems of learning resources. Patience is a virtue, after all.
Go! Go! Nihon makes living and studying in Japan a nice dream to have and achieve. Do you want to move to Japan, learn the language, or live harmoniously with the Japanese folks? This blog offers insights on these areas of concern and your next steps after you’ve earned your language certificate. Even if you don’t have grand study-abroad plans, you can still work on your Japanese with the practice exercises on this blog.
Zooming Japan invites you to take a closer look at what Japan offers to visitors and foreigners who intend to live there. This blog brings out the beauty of Japan as the seasons change and talks about the day-to-day realities of living in Japan. Take it from Jasmine, who has been to 47 prefectures and 100 castles in Japan—this experience encouraged her to write this travel blog.
Exploring Japan can be challenging, and Boutique Japan gives a hand through its online guide and content. The company behind the blog is a travel agency that organized specialized tours or itineraries. To its credit, Boutique Japan’s blog puts the spotlight on important things that matter to travelers, such as konbini, food, and Wi-Fi access.
Nihon Ichiban brings to you the artistry and craftsmanship of the Japanese people. Get acquainted with traditional slippers called setta and how to wear them, furin wind chimes and how they are made by hand, and paper crafts (washi) and their types. These are just some of the Japanese arts and crafts featured on the blog, rounded up by snacks, drinks, and ceramics.
What is it like to stay in a traditional Japanese inn and soak in its hot springs? This site offers a sneak peek for adventurous folks who want to enjoy the quiet and calming countryside in a ryokan with an onsen located in the Kanto region. The e-magazine has put together features about the noted countryside, the handmade soba and udon, and the autumn foliage that will greet you upon your arrival.
The modern Japanese martial art of aikido represents a way of unifying life energy or spirit. And this blog maintained by Aikido Sangenkai, a nonprofit dojo based in Oahu, Hawaii, wants to embody this harmonious spirit. It’s interesting to note that aikido doesn’t have weight classes or matches. That detail and more about aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, can be read here.
Who would have thought that there’s an online directory of traditional castles in Japan? There is one called Jcastle. The site pretty much has everything mapped out, classifying castles by type, condition, cultural significance (like UNESCO World Heritage Site), historical period, and features. All you need to do are to click and to read about the castle. That’s not all; samurai residences are also listed on the site for your viewing pleasure.
Hub Japan provides a platform where you can ask a question and a local resident will answer. The site is also brimming with information about food, accommodation, transportation, and everything in between that would interest any traveler or visitor in Japan. You can also meet people, whether locals or foreigners, through socials and group tours for a more immersive and fun cultural experience.
Deano Wormald takes you to many places in Japan through his blog. Japan Travel Mate covers art, culture, food, shopping, and travel tips and planning. To highlight some of the best places or cultural tidbits that deserve special mention, it has the “Best of Japan” section. The Golden Pavilion Temple, Korakuen Garden, and Awa Odori are some of the best things you’d see when you visit Japan.
A blog dedicated to ramen? Eat that! The owner of Ramen Adventures gets tangled in gastronomic adventures while looking for that fine bowl of noodle that’s uniquely Japanese. For readers, the experience can get mouth watering as ramen of every kind and style from the many corners of Japan is brought to this blog. And you’ll have no trouble finding your way to these ramen shops because they are properly accounted for on this blog.
Offbeat Japan wants you to take the road less traveled when visiting Japan. Brought to you by French photographer Jordy Meow, the off-the-beaten track can get exciting as you discover places (who knew there’s an underground temple in Tokyo?) that probably won’t make it to most travel brochures. It’s your job as a traveler to uncover new sites for adventures following this blog’s lead.
If its name is any indication, Deep Japan promises that you get the real experience out of your Japan travel. And your first stop? Well, you can explore the travel posts for options.
While you are at it, brush up on your knowledge about proper conduct when attending funerals and riding trains in Japan. You may also find it useful to check which meds are “illegal” to bring, where to buy contact lenses, and so on just in case.
Here’s a practical guide to some of the most common situations you will likely face while in Japan with little to zero Japanese skills. This blog shares the basics of survival when faced with perplexing scenarios like the high-tech Japanese toilet. It tells you to learn the relevant words or at least memorize what the characters of those words look like so you’ll know which to press. You can find more of these practical, everyday how-tos on the blog.
What’s a Texan doing in Tokyo? Ask Grace of Texan in Tokyo. Her blog offers a slice of her married life and living in Japan in general. Having married a Japanese man and settling in the country afterward, Grace writes posts centering on the dynamics of dating and relationships similar to hers. She also talks about practical matters like how to make it to the last train in Tokyo.
The vibrant city of New York plays host to special screenings, exhibits, and other cultural events as curated by Japan Culture-NYC. These local events feature Japanese architecture, pottery, music, film, play, food, technology, and more. The Japanese and/or Japanese-American communities also organize meet-ups where you can chat with fellow lovers of Japanese culture and find possible language partners.
All Japan Tours Blog highlights the old and the new about Japan. It’s a travel blog with its fair share of destinations, attractions, activities, and travel planning tips. But it does have a special guide for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves -- both celebrated seasons and major events in Japan. The blog has mapped out the cities, their months for fall foliage and for cherry-blossom viewing, and the forecasts for every city.
Writer Baye McNeil offers snippets of his daily life on Loco in Yokohama. Being a black expat, as he calls himself, he takes a special interest in how his race is perceived in Japan, exploring the themes of blackness, racism, hate speech, and blackface. Through his blog, he becomes a voice for what it is like to live in Japan given his background.
Donald Ash, a.k.a. the Japan Guy, encourages you to continue with your journey to learn to speak or write Japanese as he has a number of resources up his sleeve. Adverbs, reviews of Japanese language resources, and even FAQs on living in Japan take up most of the blog’s space. In-between breaks from the language lessons, he has pop quizzes about anime, manga, etc.
You can think of Iro Megane as a place to find answers to some of your questions about Japan and the old and new faces of its culture. On the blog, you can read about long-cherished traditions like Obon and Origami Day. It also explores modern-day practices like shaving heads or married women choosing their husband’s names, which, by the way, are still rooted to tradition.
You’ll get to know more about Japan’s winter wonderland, Hokkaido, on this blog. Hokkaido Travel Tips Blog is a crate of ideas and tidbits on getting around Niseko, Sapporo, and Otaru, as well as dishes, activities, festivals, and sites worthy of photo-ops and obligatory selfies. While the blog is owned by a travel operator, feel free to look around and ask them questions.
Tokyo is not Tokyo with the streetwear and fashion that you just can’t see anywhere else. Wander Tokyo is your view from the streets as it goes about Tokyo’s fashion scene, themed cafés, and vending machines that churn out almost anything. The blog also features the diversity of people and their lifestyle in this main Japanese hub and dabbles in language study and travel.
Alison celebrates Japanese culture on Haiku Girl’s Japan. She blogs about random and popular topics in Japan, like bento boxes, animated films, candies, and everything in between. If there’s anything that stands out from her blog and one that keeps recurring, it is the Japanese saying or idiom “Ichigo ichie.” It is loosely translated to “one time, one meeting”, or “once in a lifetime encounter.”
Black Tokyo is a platform “for blacks living in Japan,” a space where they can meet, talk, and share their life experiences in the country. The blog explores black history in Japan, as well as recent films, events, and topics that are close to their heart. You are free to jump into the conversation and watch their vlogs to know what the community has been up to.
Here’s an Aussie who lives in Gifu and owns Japan-Australia Blog. It’s a journal of miscellany: Japan’s relatively hidden destinations, such as Fuchu; the invasion of matcha on virtually all snacks; and the adventures of many restless travelers who contribute to this blog. The site also reserves a help corner for expats, first-timers, and just lovers of the Japanese land.
Raise your hand if you want a Ghibli Museum ticket. Japan Wonder Travel Blog doesn’t give out one, but it will tell you how to book tickets. The ticket guide is pretty comprehensive, with other useful information found in the comments section. On the whole, the travel blog offers destinations, restaurants, nightspots, sample itineraries, and fine things to have while visiting Japan.
Eryk makes way for introspection and serious discussion on This Japanese Life. He reflects on issues that are deeply rooted in the Japanese psyche and explores themes that somehow characterize Japanese society today. While his observations are his own and his experiences may be unique, his thoughts show another perspective of today’s Japanese society and culture from a foreigner’s point of view.
When you are a geek in Japan, you can only be involved in too many things, anime, manga, Zen, Akihabara, etc. That’s what Hector realized, and that became the basis for his best-selling book and his blog, which share the same name. The blog has picture after picture of the best spots in Japan, traveling tips, and of course, curious inventions that Japan is most famous for.
Into Japan Blog is part of a larger website that offers sightseeing trips in the country. The blog is focused on the experience you’ll get out of Japan, highlighting activities that will complement your itinerary. These include driving, lantern making, and go-karting. The blog itself has fewer posts; you may navigate the other sections of the main website for content.
What’s the best or fastest way to learn kanji? Japanese Up tells you how to say hello, greet someone, read time, and the works. Counting numbers, memorizing the alphabet, and expanding your Japanese vocab are in order, one module at the time. Call it fate or destiny, this blog also recommends other Japan blogs that are essentially on this little roundup. Sweet.
Japanese Rule of 7 is a treasure trove of karaoke rules, ghost stories, hangover cures, and a hundred things about Japan. That’s just for living in the country; Ken, the ruler of the blog, also shares what it’s like working in Japan. You can work your way through the posts (there are tons of them) or, better yet, press the index for a nice shortcut.
Travelin Boots chronicles the life, mainly travels, of Ada and her family in Japan. The blog is as personal as it gets as she and her husband take the readers with them in izakaya cooking classes, kimono rental shops, robot restaurants, and theme parks, among their many adventures and tours. She also shares general travel advice about getting Japanese passports and visas for Filipinos.
French guy Michael offers what he knows of Japan on Nipponrama. Whether you are a traveler, an expat, an anime fan, a student of the Japanese language, or just a curious reader, there are many things to discover and read about Japan on this blog. You can start off with mastering the phrases for “Thank you”, “hello” and “I’m home” in Japanese.
What was initially a space to practice Japanese and meet like-minded folks became more for Kirk, a Jamaican whose love for Japan gave birth to Jamaipanese. He blogs about his life in Japan and sightseeing trips every now and then. Through his blog, he shares his interest in gaming, anime, photography, film, and tech stuff. Kirk also covers events involving Japanese and Jamaican communities.
Tokyo Weekender feels like a high-end magazine with soft-toned pics to boot. Through its posts, you find yourself wandering through Tokyo for clubs, restaurants, or cafés offering calm and comfort in a city bustling with activity. When city life is becoming too much, you can step out of the capital and into Kobe or Akita, where something new awaits, as the blog shows.
You think KitKat wasabi is all the rage in Japan. Think again as Japan Trends updates you with the chocolate bar’s latest flavor. Did it mention robots that give comedians a run for their money? The blog covers just about the hottest and latest in food, technology, fashion, beauty, and sports in Japan, where any flavor of Coke is possible.
Asia Society aims to create and foster partnerships between Asia and the US. The Japan section covers initiatives and discussions facilitated by the nonprofit organization that is engaged in promoting the arts, current affairs, education, culture, business, and policy in the Asia-Pacific region. That’s a tall order. Anyway, if you are following closely the policies and development matters involving Japan, visit this site.
Japan Today gives you a daily dose of national and world news delivered in English. It works like any newspaper as it covers entertainment, politics, technology, business, lifestyle, and even crime.
The English-language newspaper, however, goes beyond its usual beat by rounding up articles from other Japan blogs that can be additional resources for its global readers. Don’t forget to leave a comment.
Let’s dip into Beyond Calligraphy. It is dedicated to the traditional Japanese calligraphy, shodo. The blog offers tips for starting out in this type of calligraphy and working to improve it. Other posts discuss other forms of art, like etegami and photography. Moreover, the blog can take on a brooding tone as its writers reflect on the meaning of the brushstrokes and life in general.
Daniel wants people to appreciate Japan’s castles, which, for him, were “nothing [he has] ever seen” through Japan Castle Explorer. Where do you actually start castle-hopping in Japan? Work on the list that spans from Aizu Wakamatsu Castle in Fukushima Prefecture to Zeze Castle in Shiga Prefecture. There’s also the interactive map, where you can click on any castle to pull up the details about the castle.
She Japan aims to help students learn English by organizing scenic tours around the world. Professor Setsuko Watanabe is the editor of the blog, having lived and traveled the world. She conducts guided tours for many years now. The site can be pretty hard to navigate as it is in Japanese, so you either have to refresh your Japanese skills or use Google Translate for now.
Enter a site where every post is a blog. That’s Japan Blog Directory. So when you want to know more about life in Japan, it will take you to blogs covering this topic. The same goes when you want to learn Japanese or find some travel tips or anime merch. To date, the directory has over 400 blogs about beautiful Japan and its people.
Real, deep—this time, authentic—holiday is what this website is about. Authentic Visit Japan lists places where you can do farm stay in rural Japan. In this type of travel, you live in a Japanese farming or fishing village, interact with the locals, and connect with the community. The site has put together places and inns/houses where you can have the golden opportunity of a farm stay.
Japan is a leading figure when it comes to modern design and art. Many of these pieces in the form of prints, posters, scultures, photographs, textiles, and texts decorate the wall of Japanese Design. What’s interesting are packaging materials and everyday products that are art in themselves. This virtual art gallery is a feast for artists and anyone who loves art.
“Once upon a time”—so begins Japanese Incense as it relates the colorful history of the Japanese incense and how it has evolved through time. Here you can read about senko, or the incense sticks that are very much present in Japan today. What is a tale about Japanese incense without any mention of the famous Tale of Genji and Lafcadio Hearn, who is most famous for Kwaidan.
Why So Japan tries to explain why Japan is so different in a cutesy, artsy way. This blog tends to focus on doing arts and crafts, shopping, and sightseeing. As the blog confirms, Tokyo is and will always be a giant store of stationery, paper, notebooks, pens, art supplies, and anything for the crafty and lover of anything kawaii. You’d wish you can buy them all.
This blog belongs to Sosekido, a Japanese calligraphy school in Berlin, Germany. Juju Kurihara runs the school and teaches Japanese calligraphy classes and workshops. Her art has been displayed in exhibits, and she herself has been part of a commercial as shown on the blog. She also writes about Japan and its traditions on another blog that has been mentioned in this roundup.
Ojisanjake wants to show another side of Japan that doesn’t reach mainstream channels. More Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan shares the quaint and the obscure, blogging about interesting figures, magical creatures, and demon masks. Ojisanjake sometimes wanders through abandoned schools and visits shrines as part of his pilgrimage to temples. This and more often-not-seen visuals of Japan are featured on this blog.
Self-confessed geek Jamie shows her life and her journey to be a mangaka on Jamieism. In fact, her otaku guides to becoming a mangaka and working as an assistant to a revered manga artist are some of her most popular posts. It’s clear on her blog that she likes to travel and has been to many cities, including Tokyo, writing about the many reasons it’s good to live in Japan’s capital.
This lifestyle magazine presents Japan in moving pictures. London-based Love Japan Magazine covers travel, culture, entertainment, and experience especially for those who want to study Japanese in Japan or be an exchange student.
The e-magazine’s features can be far-ranging, from viewing cherry blossoms to eating mochi to repairing your favorite ceramic by kintsugi. Love Japan also shares interviews and places where you feel Japan in London.
Who or what is a puri? Oh, No Puri No Life! is a homage to the photo sticker booth (purikura), which is truly a Japanese invention. What you see on the blog are mostly reviews about these photo booths with background themes, banners, and props that all go to the sticker pictures. By the way, the blog is an archive of posts dating three to four years ago.
Yumi of Discover Japan Now writes mostly about culture, travel, society, history, and arts and music. Her profession as a certified music therapist for palliative care figures into her blog when she talks about music therapy and the ties between patients and their therapists. On the lighter side, she writes about Hachiko, shinkansen, and food staples on New Year’s Eve.
The good, the unique, and the weird are on the pages of Hello Tokyo!, a blog that is dedicated to the city of Tokyo. It features a lot of Japan’s oddities, like inventions that may or may not be useful, weird food, public bathhouses, plastic umbrellas, and an amulet hung for good weather. The blog also takes you to manga cafés, 100-yen shops, and shrines in modern-day Tokyo.
No way. But Matt of Super Cheap Japan drives his point as he guides you to super cheap adventures in many places in the country. In fact, he has written two “ultimate budget” travel books on Tokyo and Japan. Other than sharing ways to save money when on vacation, Matt features spots that are often hidden from tourists’ plain sight.
Introvert Japan shares a day in the life of an expat and his experience in Japan. Introvert Nathan owns the blog, which packs a lot of topics, from the earthly to the spiritual, from ninjas to mannequins, from lodging options to crazy plans for the moon. You may draw something out of his insights about living in Japan and apply it to your own.
Japanese literature fans and enthusiasts better visit Behold My Swarthy Face. It is a web journal dedicated to the classical, modern, and contemporary works of Japanese literature, history, and philosophy. The blog has study guides (think CliffsNotes) exploring the themes of many Japanese books. For researchers, students, and casual lovers of Japanese lit, the journal has an ever-expanding list of Japanese writers and books.
Books, personalities, and themes from Japan and Asia are coming your way from The Asia Collection. Berylpieces, whose background is in East Asian studies, put up this page for reviews, commentaries, and thoughts on certain aspects of Japanese and Indian culture, among others. It’s a personal blog, to say the least, and aims to offer foreign readers another perspective about Asia.
Do you miss Japan or want to have a piece of it in your living room? Japanese Style sells products that will remind you of Japan, from fans, ceramics, furnishings, kimonos, and knickknacks.
You can also look into the wares for your outdoor gardens for that Zen and serene ambience. This is not an endorsement to buy, but you can get inspiration from it for your Asian-themed home or event.
What is Celia doing in Tokyo? Just sharing her experience and adventures in the big city on her blog. You can start at “When to Go,” which jots down festivals by season, and “Where to Go,” which lists the major attractions she’s seen on her travels. Last but not least, she has a Tokyo guide that contains her recommended restaurants and cafés, parks and gardens, and events and festivals in the city.
Move over, Tokyo; make way for Fukuoka Dreaming. This blog is dedicated to Fukuoka, exploring its many attractions and curiosities from the point of view of a local with the curiosity of a tourist. Surf, play bingo in a flower park, and watch sumo practice. Of course, Fukuoka has its food and dining options, including this ramen place where you’ll never run out of tissue.
What’s cooking for lunch? Kei’s Kitchen shows you how to cook and prepare food in the tradition of kaiseki, the world-renowned multicourse Japanese meal, in Sydney. Feel free to look around and read about the different types of Japanese cuisine and recipes for tempura, miso soup, and more. The main site’s blog tells more about the kitchen’s beginnings and other culinary adventures.
TaikoSkin is like a resource for anything and everything to do with taiko (Japanese drums). Raiki, the owner of the blog, has been traveling the world with his taiko group. And on his blog, he compiles general information about taiko drums, like how to play or find taiko music for practice. He also has links on getting or making your own taiko drum and podcasts for other taiko-related stuff.
Yumi writes about the culture and society of her native country on her blog, The Spirit of Japan. For example, she takes up the unique concept of renting “family members” in Japan as what Conan O’Brien once did. She also posts about motivation and goal in learning English, as well as getting around Japan and other countries.
You’ll never run out of things to do, eat, or visit in Japan as what Tokyo Drew shows you in words and videos (vlogs). This blog has travel guides about hidden gems and tourist traps, of key konbini phrases and fast food restaurants, and vegetarian sushi and meatballs cooked Japanese-style. You may want to check out the posts on cosplaying and shamisen playing.
Tokyo Desu tries to inject humor and a different perspective to its travel guides, news, and features on its Japan culture blog. You can jump to the glossary for a crash course on words that are used on the blog and useful in your Japan travel, perhaps. The blog does not have newer posts, but you can check out its popular posts to pick up interesting tidbits.
Osushi is a Japanese culture magazine covering fashion, beauty, food, and travel. While the travel territory has been covered extensively by some of the blogs featured here, there are still cultural spots worthy to be discovered through this blog. Examples are the temple that has the tomb of revered Japanese literary giants Osamu Dazai and Mori Ōgai, and the places that inspired the Studio Ghibli movies.
What’s in Shiba, Japan, for you? This blog offers guides that may be helpful in finding a job or renting your own place in Japan or tips for everyday survival. It also touches on basic Japanese phrases that may help you get by. Aside from those practical matters, Shiba Japan shares snippets of the Japanese culture, like the Japanese’s preferences on food and drinks.
Tune in to Abstract: Japan for music and conversation one podcast after another. Each episode is downloadable, with talks about Hayao Miyazaki, anime, manga, film, documentary, and anything about the Land of the Rising Sun. The podcasts are accompanied by songs from Japan’s indie line of musicians. It’s one way to get to know Japan’s music and culture presented in a modern-day format.
Japanese Business Guide wants you to take notes on how you can properly conduct yourself before Japanese business folks or when doing business in Japan. As the blog notes, the country’s business environment has its own rules and rituals such that something as simple as handing out a business card is almost ceremonial. These articles aim to inform you or supplement what you know about the Japanese etiquette in the work/business setting.
It is Okinawa’s time to shine as Goya Republic is about its notable attractions, restaurants, and parks and recreation in this Japanese destination. Where to start knowing about Okinawa? There’s the Ginowan City Museum, to get familiar with Okinawan life, and the Yanbaru Wildlife Conservation Center, to get to know the wild animals of the place. Of course, you can’t miss the soba that Okinawa’s famous for.
Here’s a blog wholly dedicated to Japan’s kimono. Bebe Taian, clothed in kimono in her posts, does her homework on the history or context of a particular era’s outfit. This makes an interesting read about these traditional Japanese garments and their place in Japanese fashion. If you look closely, you may be able to learn an old anecdote about kimono.
The moms behind Best Living Japan want to share their love for Japan, topped with ideas and tips with other expat families in the country. They recommend attractions, events, and activities for families. They also put up a list of classes and programs that parents and their kids may be interested in, such as Japanese history, arts and crafts, and cooking classes.
Tokyo Podcast muses about practical, random, and general matters that any expat faces when working or living in Japan. The first season of the podcast definitely has a lot going on such that season 2 makes for an easy binge-listening. If you find downloading a cumbersome thing to do, each episode is accompanied with a wall of text for your reading pleasure.
Daniel of How to Japanese teaches you a lot of words and expressions that may be useful to your Japanese studies. What’s more, he drops English translations of Japanese stories including, Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, a separate yet complete translation project in itself. Every now and then, he blogs about certain aspects of everyday Japanese life/culture.
Call it déjà vu as the “Ichigo ichie” phrase has appeared twice in this roundup (look it up above). For her part, Lisa of Ichigoichie Love likes to present a Japan that is free of the usual stereotypes. She writes about the cherry blossoms that look their best in autumn, Japanese folks being superstitiously wary of lucky and unlucky days, among many others.
That Japan Girl has a potent weapon in upgrading the skills of the learners of the language: the Japanese pop culture. The blog points to techniques in learning Nihongo that may not be exactly out of this world but are not “scholarly-sounding” either, like watching anime, J-drama, and variety shows for listening practice. It also recommends using social media to practice your writing and reading skills.
The Wadas are patrolling the internet to share what they know about traveling in and around Japan, as well as settling there for good, through their blog. They have travel destinations, event schedules, shopping tips, and the newest attractions. Quite fittingly, the Wadas have compiled community gyms in their local area of Okayama, so you remain physically well even while on holiday.
There’s no room for ‘No’ in the Rhythm team’s vocabulary. They’ve taken on the challenge of mastering every slope and terrain of Niseko to provide both tourists and natives the best, most and adventurous yet safest Japanese winter experience they could possibly have. Everything Japan adventure winter-related, you’ll find it here.
Osaka, a city that lives and preserves Japan’s distinct cultural heritage and rich history, is often overlooked by many visitors. Which is why Kansai Odyssey and it’s owners Lina and Shigeharu have taken it upon themselves to show what people are missing, what to look forward to, and expect from the entire Osaka prefecture. You will surely include a full itinerary for the best Osaka has to offer after reading.
Japan’s artistry and craftsmanship is nothing short of superb. However, as much as many people want to appreciate it, they cant. This blog helps remove challenges . By removing the daunting language barrier and providing succinct yet comprehensive tips and insider reviews. You won't be second-guessing art and just start appreciating.
Sayaka is doing a good job at collating the best Japan has to offer in her blog Take me to Japan. This blog takes your skill from novice tourist level to native-like expert with several tips. Sayaka has also made it easier for others to study in Japan with her honest reviews and articles about the different Japanese schools.
Ever wish for one website where you can find everything you need to learn about Japan? Nihon Scope got you covered! From Japan’s most basic geography to basic Japanese language lessons for free, you’ll be prepared for your visit in no time. It’s no surprise if you know more about Japan’s history compared to most Japanese.
To grab your badge, simply copy the code below and paste it onto your own site.