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Nawate dori: Matsumoto’s Charming Frog Street

A visit to the mountain city of Matsumoto wouldn’t be complete without a stroll down Nawate Street. Just 10 minutes’ walk from Matsumoto Castle, the quaint Nawate-dori looks as though it’s been plucked from the pages of...

Exploring Cosplay Shops in Tokyo. Destination: Akihabara.

Many a Tokyo guidebook will suggest a visit to the neighbourhood of Akihabara. A bright, loud spot for electronics, idol groups, maid cafes and manga, it’s one of the best places to get acquainted with Japanese pop culture. Akihabara also happens to...

Japanese Summer Accessories to Keep You Cool All Season Long

Summer is a great time for travel, but summers in Japan, with soaring temperatures and high humidity, are no joke. Luckily, there are a number of cooling items available to keep you chilled and fresh all summer long. I made a trip...

Sampling, Shopping and Snacking at Tokyu Food Show

Food lovers, prepare yourselves for one of the most dangerous foodie activities in Shibuya. It’s not sushi, it’s not renowned international fare, it’s not impossibly kawaii sweets—it’s all of the above and then some. Nestled beneath Shibuya Station, Tokyu Food Show is...

Harajuku LUSH: Eye Candy and Exclusive Products

For a nation that adores bathing and kawaii things so much, it’s no surprise LUSH has taken off in Japan. (Just don’t try to drop one of these sparkly bath bombs into the public onsen—they’re strictly for home use!) With over 80...

Canal City: A Shopping Oasis in Central Fukuoka

Called the oasis within the city, Canal City is a massive complex housing hundreds of shops, a theatre, game centre, cinemas, two hotels and a namesake canal that winds through it all. With everything you need to shop until you drop, rest...

Daimyo: Fukuoka’s Super Cool Neighbourhood

Amitabha Tattoo shop in Daimyo. As a one-stop-shop for craft beer, ‘grammable food, vintage clothes, record stores and tattoos, Daimyo is inarguably one of Fukuoka’s coolest neighbourhoods. You’ll find this—dare we say hipster—haunt between Tenjin and Akasaka stations....

Gachapon Capsule Toys: Cheap Souvenirs and a Bit of Fun

If you’re looking for a cheap souvenir that comes with a bit of fun and surprise, try gachapon! These coin operated toy vending machines are seemingly everywhere in Japan—from tourist attractions to airports, arcades, supermarkets...even dedicated gachapon centres like Akihabara Gachapon Hall....

10 Things you Wish you Knew Before Coming to Japan

The main street in Akihabara
Whenever we travel anywhere, there will always be things that take us by surprise. This happens even if we do our research, take a phrasebook, and prepare ourselves for a little culture shock. No matter how prepared you think you are, there...

Shopping on Miyajima: What to Buy

Miyajima Island, with its sacred shrines and pristine nature, makes a wonderful day trip from Hiroshima City. Every day, throngs of visitors make the aquatic journey to enjoy its magical oceanside atmosphere of roaming deer, lush forests and stunning views. But would...

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