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  • The early cherry blossom report for 2020 has arrived…

    The worst of winter is (with any luck) done - our evenings and mornings are slowly getting lighter once more, and it's not too long until winter slopes off for another year and spring comes bounding to the fore. And spring, of course, means lots of lovely cherry blossom. (more…)

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  • 5 things you never knew about Christmas in Japan

    Merry Christmas everyone! Or “Meri Kurisumasu”, as they have it over in Japan. It’s estimated that less than one percent of Japan’s population in Christian, and so it should come as no surprise that Christmas in Japan is not an official national holiday in Japan. New Year is an important family occasion (and the Japanese have about a billion-and-one other festivals to keep them busy throughout the year), but on Christmas business generally continues as usual. (more…)

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  • Tastes of Tohoku

    Every month, our Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist Amy Tadehara brings us insider knowledge on how to access semi-impenetrable experiences, avoid crowds, and find hidden delights well away from those tourist-worn pathways. This month she’s giving us the run-down on Tohoku's delicacies. (more…)

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  • Ninja vs. Samurai

    Two of the most evocative images of historical Japan are the ninja and the samurai. We've all heard of them, but what do you actually know about these famous historical assassins and warriors? It's time for the epic showdown of the ninja and the samurai! First of all, who were they? Samurai 侍 (usually called "bushi" or "buke" in Japanese) were the military nobility of Japan. They lived during a time when the Emperor of Japan was little more than a ceremonial figure, and the country was actually ruled by a shogun, or military general. The shogun presided over a bunch of powerful clans, called daimyo, each of which controlled its own small portion of the country and hired samurai to act as its guards and warriors. Samurai were not only fierce warriors but followed strict cod ...

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