Vega @ whysojapan.com, Author at Why so Japan - Page 4 of 9

Review: Japan Travel Guide – The Ultimate Itinerary Planner

whysojapan japan travel guide The Ultimate Itinerary Planner

Japan Travel Guide – The Ultimate Itinerary Planner

We’ve been to Japan a few times now, and before each trip we always try and do some research, so we have a good plan of where we want to go and what we want to do. This can be very time consuming; searching websites, double checking sources, finding out important details are wrong, doing some more research, and so it goes on. This is where a guide would come in handy. The Japan Travel Guide – The Ultimate Itinerary Planner is a great source to turn to before (and during) your trip to Japan. They’ve done all the research for you!

whysojapan japan travel guide The Ultimate Itinerary PlannerAuthors Christopher Crane and Emma Chan have interviewed dozens of expats and experienced travelers to give you all the information you need for sightseeing, fin and interesting experiences and great food. The guide focuses on five areas: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Okinawa. You get tips about traditional and modern Japan, eat and drink, festivals and the cherry blossom viewing, with descriptions, tips and useful information, adresses, opening times prices and more.

Find out about the The Zen Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto, a masterful example of Zen landscaping. Learn about the Waterfight Festival in Tokyo, where people fight each other with rotten tomatoes, oranges, colored pigments, and everything in between. Read about Yamachan in Osaka, one of the best takoyaki restaurants.

This is a very useful guide. We found information about well known must-see spots, but we also found great information about things we’ve never heard about before, the hidden gems you really don’t want to miss. The next time we plan a trip to Japan we will sure turn to this guide.

At the moment you can get Kindle edition of the guide for free on Amazon.

Download your copy here:
Japan Travel Guide: The Ultimate Itinerary Planner





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Reviews Leave a comment

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival

Every year there is a cherry blossom festival (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”) in central Stockholm, Sweden, organized by the Japanese Association. For the public, it’s a lovely tradition to go there every year and experience a little bit of the hanami spirit even though Sweden is far away from Japan. This year the cherry trees were just beginning to flower and it was a nice sunny day. The festival was packed with people, it seems to become more and more popular each year.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

 A taste of traditional Japan

During the festival there were lots of stalls where you could see some of the traditional side of Japan.

Furoshiki – traditional wrapping cloth you use to wrap your gifts or goods in. Both sides of the fabric are decorated with beautiful colours and patterns.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015 WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Bonsai – Growing trees in small pots to make them grow into miniature size. The bonsai trees come from the Swedish bonsai association club, bonsaisallskapet.se. Even though none of the trees were for sale, the club members that had brought them along were very happy to talk about all things bonsai.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Origami –  Folding paper and sculpturing it into shapes.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Shodō –  Japanese calligraphy. This seemed to be one of the more popular stalls, where you could get your own zodiac animal sign in calligraphy, beautifully hand painted.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Kimono – A traditional Japanese garment. At the festival you could try it on to see what it’s like to wear. This was another one of the stalls that we had seen before which seemed to be very popular. We also saw lots of people walking around with kimono and yukata.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Ikebana – Flower arrangement art.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Karuta – A Japanese card game.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Food stalls, Japanese goods and more

There were also several food stalls where you could buy bento, onigri, kimchi, macha cakes, sushi, noodles and lots more.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Bon Aibon are Japanese sweet cakes made by Ai Ventura, who also sells her cakes at the cafe Kikusen in Östasiatiska Museet in Stockholm.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The food stalls were really popular at the festival with some of the stalls having very long queues.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The Swedish manga association also had a stall, showing off lots of different manga books.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Sunai Japan Shop had a stall with stationary, magazines and bento boxes for sale.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Selmish was there, selling packets of Japanese treats and more.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

It was also great to see a lot of our favourite dog breed, the shiba inu, which were all walking around very proud.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The Japanese Association of Stockholm is a great site to check for other Japanese events in Sweden.

We have posted lots of other articles about hanami over the years. They can all be found by clicking the following link: hanami





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events Leave a comment

Book Review: My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy

My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm Crazy

About the author

Grace Buchele Mineta is an author, blogger, freelance writer and YouTuber from Texas, who now resides in Tokyo with her Japanese husband.

Whysojapan My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm CrazyWe first came across Grace (Texan in Tokyo), the author of “My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy”, and her husband Ryosuke through our love for all things Japanese. In this particular case our first encounter with Texan in Tokyo was their YouTube channel. We stumbled upon the channel after hearing other J-vloggers (Japanese videologgers on YouTube) talking about them. After watching a couple of their videos we added them to our subscription list.

The YouTube videos are a part of her blog, Texan in Tokyo, where she posts a mixture of  personal essays, videos and comics, all from personal experience, or as she puts it on her own blog, “a window into the life of my husband (Ryosuke) and my entertaining and wonderful life in Tokyo”.

My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy

This is the second book from the self published author. The book is an autobiographical collection of comic strip styled shorts about her and her husband’s life on a day to day basis and informative text snippets about Japanese culture and life.

As we were already fans of Grace and Ryosuke, it was great to read the comic styled book, with them both in. It was like watching some of the videos we had already seen on YouTube, but done into comic strip form. But you don’t have to have even heard of them before to fall in love with the book itself. It’s a charming, quirky and sweet look into their relationship. After reading the first couple of pages it is easy to get hooked. You can’t wait to see what Ryosuke gets up to on the next page, because he always has something crazy that he is up to.

Whysojapan My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm Crazy

I found the book was an easy read, since it’s comprised of many short and comical comics, which is great for a person like me who hate to read page after page of text. You don’t have to be a Japanese fanatic to enjoy this book, but of course it does help. I am now looking forward to reading the first book, My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy, which is available on Amazon, along with her new book.

Whysojapan My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm Crazy

Get the books on Amazon, and check out her website to continue following Grace and Ryosuke.

For the next couple of days you can download both books for free. Check the books on their Amazon page below for more info.

 

My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Husband-STILL-Thinks-Crazy/dp/0990773698/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424030842&sr=1-1

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Husband-STILL-Thinks-Crazy/dp/0990773698/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424030842&sr=1-1

Texan in Tokyo website and blog:
http://howibecametexan.com/





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Media, Reviews, Shopping 1 Comment

4TE – Japanese influenced j-pop girl group

whysojapan 4TE

4TE – Japanese influenced j-pop girl group

4TE (pronounced forte) are a new Japanese influenced j-pop girl group. They have just released their first single M O R E. Their music has a very Japanese vibe to it and really reminds us of the j-pop girl group Perfume and Japanese electro group Capsule, both produced by Yasutaka Nakata. The main difference is that 4TE are not from Japan. Not that you would know that they are not from Japan, since the group has captured the essence of what a j-pop group is in their music, both in style and language.

4TE are based in the southwest of the USA. Because the girls are not situated in the same location the rely on the internet to run the group, where they all work together on every aspect – from the music to the group’s image and concepts.

Group members

4TE consists of Chii, Jenny, Micchi, and Mei.

Chii is a Mexican-American singer and songwriter, studying audio engineering and vocal performance. She has her own YouTube channel with over half a million views and she is the winner of the “Singer Search Award 2013” hosted by NHK World.

Mei is a Chinese-Indonesian-American actress, singer, and songwriter. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at the Azusa Pacific University. She currently lives in Osaka, Japan, where she works at Universal Studios.

whysojapan_4TE_group_members

Jenny is a Colombian-American singer and songwriter.  She has studied music studied, visual arts, graphic design and taken studies in sound engineering and entertainment technology. She has taken part in countless bands and online musical projects with various Japanese and western genres.

Micchi is a Filipino-American dancer, trained in tap dance, hip hop, jazz, flamenco, and contemporary ballet with a focus in Classical Russian ballet. She’s been invited to several anime conventions, such as Anime Matsuri, Omnicon, and Shimakon, under the dancing duo “Aquakia”.

whysojapan 4TE

The first single and music video: M O R E

The music video and first single M O R E was released on January 4, 2015. We’ve listened to the single a few times and watched the video a couple of times so far and we think it’s really good. If you’re into Perfume’s music, then I’m sure you will love M O R E.

Our thoughts

With the first single M O R E being a strong first release, we are excited to see what 4TE will deliver next. If their next song is as good as their first, maybe the next time Perfume are in the US you might just see 4TE as the opening act.

Find 4TE online:
Official site: http://www.4teofficial.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/4TEofficial
Twitter: https://twitter.com/4teENG
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/4TEofficial

4TE are back with a new single check our review: http://www.whysojapan.com/4te-new-music-video-ippo-zutsu/





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Music, Reviews 1 Comment