Japanese Festivals You Must Experience

Japan has approximately 190,000 temples and shrines and an estimated 200,000 festivals. Think about it, 200,000 events -- that averages out to almost 550 festivals a day!

The great thing about these festivals is the variety. There's the religious, fire, dance, snow, music, performance and the outrageously strange festivals.

Below is my list of the best festivals you must try if you're ever in Japan.

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Strange Japan: Weird Things That Baffle Foreigners

Japan is a quirky, weird and wonderful place.

There's a lot of things about the Japanese culture that amuses, surprises and shocks visitors. Some of the weird things stem from the fact that this is a very reserved culture.

Most of the items on the list are harmless and fun in nature, while others are quite shocking and sad. This is my list of the top things that baffle foreigners when they visit Japan.

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Photo Blog – Halloween In Shibuya

Last year I happened to be in Japan during Halloween. The Japanese are notorious for their love of cosplay and dressing up as their favorite characters. Halloween is a relatively new celebration in Japan, but from the crazy day and night that I spent in Shibuya it's safe to say that they have fully embraced this event.

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Tokyo Metro Guide

Anyone visiting Tokyo WILL end up using its metro system. It's the best and most economical way to navigate the city. Prior to coming to Tokyo it's important you do your research and learn the basics about how to use it. At first glance, it can be very intimidating. You're in a country where few of the locals speak English and the metro lines look convoluted and complicated.

Don't worry -- it's not that bad.

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Japanese Etiquette You Must Know Before Visiting Japan

Japan is famous for being a reserved country that values tradition, social conformance and societal rules. This strong attachment to their traditions is visible everywhere and makes visiting Japan a unique and wonderful experience.

As a tourist, having a basic understanding of Japanese etiquette will help you avoid uncomfortable situations. While the Japanese don't expect tourists to be familiar with all their social norms, run afoul of an unwritten rule and you can create an uncomfortable situation.

So in the interest of helping you avoid an international incident :oops: , below is a list of Japanese etiquette you should know before visiting Japan.

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7 Night Activities You Must Try While In Tokyo

Just like the big apple, Tokyo is a city that never sleeps. When the sun goes down another world comes to life. Below is a list of 7 night activities you must try while visiting this amazing city.

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Onsen Like A Local

The Scandinavians have their saunas. The Moroccans love their hammams. The Japanese worship their onsens.

Visiting an onsen is a uniquely Japanese experience that you shouldn't miss while you're in this incredible country. Onsens are natural hot spring baths that are scattered throughout Japan. For foreigners the communal bathing, public nudity and unspoken Japanese etiquette make visiting an onsen intimidating; so most people decide to skip it. That's a shame, since bathing in an onsen is a rejuvinating experience that'll leave you refreshed, relaxed, and clean.

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Best Themed Restaurants In Tokyo

There are restaurants you go to for the food. There are restaurants you go to for the ambiance. Then there's Tokyo's crazy themed restaurants which you go to for a unique experience. The themed restaurant business in Tokyo is constantly evolving and changing. Just when you think you've seen everything, a new crazier idea pops up. One that you would've never thought of in a million years. In fact, the crazier the idea the more popular the place.

So if you ever make it to Tokyo, here's a list of themed restaurants you must checkout.

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Guide To The Best Japanese Gardens In Tokyo

Tokyo is a mega metropolis of steel and stone, yet people forget it also hosts some of the world's most beautiful gardens. The Japanese have elevated the art of landscaping to a level few other countries can reach. For a small fee you can stroll through these magnificent and meticulously designed gardens. The placement of every bush, flower, tree or boulder is purposeful and thought out. Walking through these stunning spaces brings a meditative quiet to the spirit as you sit back and enjoy your surroundings.

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Animal Cafes You Must See In Japan

One of my guilty pleasures in Tokyo is the animal cafes. I visited an owl, cat and dog cafes while I was there last year. Each place offered a uniquely different experience and the animals at each establishment looked like they were loved and well taken care of by the staff. Tokyo has a plethora of different animal cafes from the conventional to the slightly bizarre.

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