Author

Azra Syakirah

  • Known as the “sampuru” by the Japanese which translates to mean sample, these food replicas are a glance into what to expect at the restaurant — from the actual bowl to toppings and side dishes included. The details of the food replicas can even boil down to the bubbles of oil in a ramen bowl. The best part of these food replicas is that it acts as a visual menu to point at, for those of us who are lacking in the survival Japanese language. If a picture says a thousand words, an actual 3D model of the meal will speak volumes.

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  • To get one in the Land of the Rising Sun is unlike any other — given that tattoos have made a mark (pun intended) way back in the history of Japan, as far back in the 5,000BC, their quality and techniques are unquestionable. None can match up or even compete. The ancient tale of Japanese tattoos carved the scene of this art-on-skin today — from methods and studio settings to design and creativity — and it is not only inspiring but a motivation for some to travel across the globe just to get inked.

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  • The Japanese people are quite obsessed with their visual presentation, especially in terms of grooming. Walk down any street in Japan and you’ll come across not one or two but at least five different barbershops and salons. More often than not they’re priced at a premium cost because the Japanese would never compromise on quality and service. With such a concentrated market, it can be quite confusing as to which one to set your mind on for your regular haircut fit.

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  • Whether the unrestrained usage of plastic is because of quality providence, cleanliness, or convenience, there’s no denying the fact that the numbers are reaching a dangerously high level. The people of Japan are starting to realize that, and a couple of changes have been set in motion to assist the situation. Yet, it may not be enough to reverse the effects of decades of damage. What else can Japan — and those of us who are traveling and residing in it — do to soften the blow of impact of excessive plastic use?

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  • The blood moon is a rare sight, making it spellbinding in itself. In our present day, we have the science to explain why Earth’s natural satellite turns red once every few years. But can you imagine what the people in ancient times think about the natural light in the night sky suddenly becoming blood red one evening? It would’ve raised more than one question and have alarmed most. The Japanese have been around for so long that it’s not surprising that the people have their own superstitions and mythology on the blood moon.

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  • Don’t get me wrong — Japan is gorgeous in every way at every corner. There are some areas that are more satisfying than others to visit. Likewise, the other way around is true as well. There are hyped up areas that aren’t as you expect it to be, but these not-up-to-standard spots are apparently getting way more attention than they deserve. Most of the time, these overrated places in Japan are crawling with tourists with their camera phones or high-tech cameras trying to get the perfect picture. And sometimes, that’s all there is to these overblown tourist places — they’re just a picture spot, looking good in photos but not as substantial in real life.

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  • Japan will bring out even the smallest and deeply burrowed shopaholic out to play. The Land of the Rising Sun is not only reputable in quality and range of products in all categories but it also produces quite a substantial amount of Japan-exclusive ones that you can’t get anywhere else in the world. The key is to know where to look. However, the country is huge and for travelers with only a limited amount of time in the country, it’s impossible to cover every inch of land for the best goods.

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  • Here’s the thing: if you’re not born in Japan or have lived long enough in the country, you wouldn’t necessarily know the ins and outs of it. The Japanese etiquette is one that’s profound and sometimes confusing. The unique customs, social norms and rules that regulate the society and relations can be pretty far off compared to what some of us are used to, including the tons of “don’ts” that we are obliged to follow. Even if foreigners tend to get a “free pass” in most situations, it’s best to not take advantage of that.

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  • For those of us who have been to this great land, and especially for those lucky ones who had (or still having) the opportunity to live here, would know that it’s actually not so bad. While there are things that are comparably expensive to get here, there are also quite a number of things that are extremely cheap and only in Japan! Sometimes it’s a matter of luck on discovering the exact spot that sells the item cheap, but there are also categories of stuff that’s the cheapest overall. Occasionally, you got to have a little bit of both.

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