All posts by blogsonjapan

Tweet of the Week #32: Pill Problems

Source: Gaijin Pot

Legalized in Japan only in 1999, birth control pills, 経口避妊薬(けいこうひにんやく) (keikouhininyaku) or ピル (piru) in Japanese, just aren’t as popular here — and it’s easy to understand why.

Getting a prescription for the pill is not exactly the simplest pathway to protection. Why bother when condoms are practically sold in every one of Japan’s more than 50,000 convenience stores?

Even if a woman finds a doctor that agrees to prescribe the pill, the prescription will typically be only for one or two months at a time. On top of this, birth control pills cost around ¥2,000 to ¥3,000 a month and aren’t covered by national health insurance.

Just stop doing the deed, the ol’ hanky panky, the getting down and durrrty, I hear you cry! Well, even if abstinence were the best method of contraception (spoiler alert: it’s not), the pill actually has a host of other health benefits for many women — especially young females going through puberty.

Educate yourself

Birth control pills can also be prescribed to treat medical conditions, from acne to endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, cramps and other joyful symptoms dear Mother Nature blessed women with in addition to their reproductive organs.

So when her high school teacher announced during a health class that he believed no girls in the classroom could be on the pill, Twitter user @sasarin took her anger to the internet.

聞いてください 現役女子高生 ピル飲んでます

— さき (@75cW0Bj6e1j08C6) May 15, 2019

この間(あいだ)、保健(ほけん)の授業( じゅぎょう)で先生(せんせい)が「皆(みな)さんの中(なか)で飲んでる人(ひと)はいないと思(おも)うけど」と言(い)っていて悲(かな)しくなりました

“Please listen to me, as I’d like to get rid of the prejudice against high schoolers that are on the pill. Recently, during our health class, the teacher said that he believes none of the students in our class were taking birth control pills. It made me sad. Isn’t this education program outdated? Birth control pills aren’t only for birth control. …continue reading


Kaita Murayama, the Enigmatic Artist Who Died 100 Years Ago at 22

One hundred years ago, on a cold February in 1919, the artist and poet Kaita Murayama left his house near current-day Yoyogi (Tokyo) and wandered into the cold night. He was discovered in a field early the next morning around 2AM and was pronounced dead shortly after. He was only 22 years old. As an […]

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Tsuyu: Japan’s Rainy Season

night street tsuyu Japan

Does your home country have a rainy season? Japan does, and it occurs every year in the month of June. Here’s everything you should know about tsuyu, Japan’s rainy season.

What is Tsuyu?

Every year between spring and summer, the majority of Japan goes through a rainy season. Called tsuyu (梅雨) in Japanese, its written with the kanji characters for “plum” and “rain”, because it occurs at the same time as plum season in Japan.

Throughout most of Japan’s islands, tsuyu lasts from the beginning of June to the middle or end of July, but a few places are an exception to this. The rainy season starts in Okinawa almost a whole month earlier, and doesn’t even fully affect the farthest places in Hokkaido or the Ogasawara Islands.

Photo: Texan in Tokyo

Tsuyu Across Japan

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the below dates are the average starting and ending periods for tsuyu in various regions across Japan. Of course, this may vary year to year, but it is a good idea to keep the rainy season in mind if you plan on traveling to Japan in either June or July.


rain in japan


Does It Rain Every Day?

Unlike the rainy season of other countries, during tsuyu in Japan, it does not rain every day. During a typical day in the rainy season, the chance of rain far outranks the chance of sun. And, if it does rain, it is not all day, and varies from a light drizzle to a heavy downpour.

rain in Shibuya, Tokyo

Photo: Tokyo Cheap

What To Do During Tsuyu

As a result of the frequent chance of rain, the rainy season is not the most popular time for tourists to visit Japan, when compared to other seasons like spring and fall. However, …continue reading


Shibuya to Ban Public Drinking for Halloween 2019

Source: Gaijin Pot
Shibuya to ban drinking for Halloween in Tokyo 2019

The west Tokyo district of Shibuya is one of the busiest in Japan, home to the famous “Scramble” crossing and more iconic shops and bars than you can shake a stick at. There’s one particular time of the year, though, when Shibuya goes into overdrive. We’re talking, of course, about Halloween.

Last year was a high point of mayhem, with multiple arrests during the weekend before Halloween. Fights broke out, property was vandalized, a truck was overturned and, of course, the area looked like a rubbish dump when the sun finally did rise. In the cold light of day, it seems Shibuya’s residents, shopkeepers, and the local government decided it had had enough.

Reported by NHK World, Shibuya Ward has announced it is banning public drinking at certain times of the year, including Halloween and New Year.

How Halloween in Tokyo got cray

What seems to have started as overflow from Shibuya’s numerous bars and clubs as the Halloween night grew late has, in the last decade or so, formed into a massive and still largely impromptu street party. If you’ve seen any photos of Halloween in Japan, you’ve almost certainly caught a glimpse of the hordes of people — according to The Japan Times, more than 70,000 by 2015 and growing every year since then.

A bird’s eye view of the madness.

Recently, police experimented with temporarily pedestrianizing streets, including the iconic crossing, to relieve the pressure and keep people from staggering about on roads with cars on them. “DJ police” were even introduced in 2016 to give instructions over loudspeakers, and interpreters for them brought in in 2018.

This isn’t the first time the authorities have attempted a crackdown on Halloween festivities specifically. The semi-legendary “Gaijin Train” tradition …continue reading


More Mascot Manholes

Though there was reputed to have been a culling of some of the more useless cute mascots that threaten to outnumber the humans in Japan, new one keep appearing and some make it onto manhole covers. These three were all found on my recent trips to Kyushu. This first one was in Omuta which is home to some of the coal mines that have become World Heritage sites…..

This one, found just

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