Category Archives: FEATURED

Lifestyle changes under COVID-19

Office; May 2006

The company Link and Communication, who make an AI health advisor mobile app called Calomama, surveyed their users about mental and physical health changes since the State of Emergency was declared.

I’m working from home, and my walking distance has been reduced from an average of 10,000 steps to about 500 or so. However, it’s been great for my stress levels, even though I find myself doing much more overtime than I did in the office. Due to the wonders of modern technology, I can log into my beefy work PC and do 95% of what I need to do.

Even better, the company has extended work at home for the forseeable future; the target is less than 50% per team commuting, but I think our team is under 10% right now.

Here’s a random Japan home office that is much more exiting than mine:


Research results

Q1: How has your working status changed? (Sample size=6,302)

  Working Not working
Before Corona 85% 15%
After State of Emergency 76% 24%

Note that full time is defined as working more than 6 hours a day, part time is less than 6 hours, and not working is zero hours.

Q2: How has your working status changed since COVID-19? (Sample size=5,356, employed before COVID-19)

  Full time Part time Not working
Before Corona 88% 12% NA
After State of Emergency 72% 16% 11%

Q3: Have you been working at home since the state of emergency was declared? (Sample size=4,748)

  Full time Part time
Work at home 36% 54%
Work on site 64% 45%

Q4: Do you have any mental worries? (Sample size=6,302)

  Yes No
All 44.7% 55.3%
Full time 42.7% 57.3%
Part time 46.3% 53.7%
Out of work 48.9% 51.1%

Q4A: Do you have any mental worries? (Sample size=3,894, full time)

Work from home, hours increased 50.0%
Work from home, hours unchanged 41.6%
Work from home, hours decreased 43.2%
Work on site, hours increased 56.6%
Work on site, hours unchanged 40.4%
Work on site, hours decreased 43.4%
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The 4 Types of Remote Workers in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the world has started working from home to keep the show going. In Japan, those of us who were fortunate enough to be able to work remotely have all gone through particular phases within our teleworking stints. Perhaps one day we can look back on what it was like to work from home, at a nearby izakaya on a Friday night.

The diligent worker

The first phase we all evolve from. The highly-caffeinated, ready to clack away at our keyboards phase. This is something you want to aim for, and something that’ll make your bosses proud (if you could even see them through Zoom with their outdated webcams).

The no pants

With all the technological advancements made by Japan, we have yet to see a webcam that stretches to your bottom half. Ergo, no need for pants if your co-workers can only see the top, right? Think of this as the halfway point between the diligent worker and a just plain lazy bum.

The SNS/Gamer

Ah yes, now we’re at the point where we’ve begun to let loose even more. In other words, during our breaks (or when the boss isn’t looking) we have a video loop of us paying attention while we simultaneously surf the internet and catch up on Animal Crossing turnip prices. The best part about working from home is the flexibility, of course.

The work from bed

Okay, now you’re just plain lazy. Get out of bed and get some work done! At the very least, you could slide onto the floor next to you and finish some tasks.

In the end, we all have to do what’s best for us. Watch the video above for more types including the one who just splashes water on their face and considers it a shower. Close …continue reading


3 Vegetarian Rice Cooker Recipes

3 Original Vegetarian Rice Cooker Recipes Rice Cooker button

Rice cookers are a staple of Japanese kitchens. After using them in China, and now in Japan, I’ve discovered how versatile they can be.

Many people believe that you can only make rice in a rice cooker, but just because the name tells you so doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with it. There are loads of simple dishes and drinks that can be made in a rice cooker in under an hour—and with minimum preparation. Here are three of my favorite rice cooker recipes perfect for the rainy season ahead.

1. Spiced French toast casserole with azuki spread

3 Vegetarian Rice Cooker Recipes - Spiced French toast casserole with azuki (red bean) spread

A great recipe that can be eaten for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Serves: 4 Cook time: 45 minutes


  • 4 slices of white bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 375ml of soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mandarin orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon of mandarin orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar (white sugar is okay, too!)

Azuki spread

  • 64 grams of azuki (Japanese red bean) paste
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon


3 Vegetarian Rice Cooker Recipes - Spiced French toast casserole with azuki (red bean) spread preparation steps

  1. With a sharp knife, cut the bread into small, square pieces.
  2. Next, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, mandarin orange juice, mandarin orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and light brown sugar.
  3. Then, place the bread into the same mixing bowl as the mixture. With a spoon, evenly coat the bread …continue reading

Kanji Cheat Sheet: Going to the Dentist in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot
GaijinPot Health and Safety Study

Going to the dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience on its own, let alone going to the dentist in a country where you only have an elementary grasp of the language?

I remember the time I urgently needed dental care. I’d gone on countless trips to the dentist as a kid, but this pain was unlike anything I’ve felt before. It started on the morning of my second month in Japan, and I recall frantically scouring the internet for the nearest dentist in my area. In the end, they had to do an extraction, and now I wear a removable tooth.

Photo: Ray Larabie

Unsurprisingly, most, if not all, the dentists I found only spoke Japanese. In Tokyo, clinics with English speaking services are expensive. At the time, I was more stressed about effectively making my dental appointment than the actual pain I felt in my tooth.

Going to the dentist isn’t fun, but we can make the process easier. In this kanji guide, you’ll brush up on the basics of visiting the dentist.

Finding a clinic

If the pain is too severe, and there aren’t any English speaking clinics available, I highly suggest looking up the nearest dental clinic in your neighborhood. Search up dental clinic 歯科クリニック(shikakurinikku) and add the name of your area. If you’re looking for something a little more specialized like an orthodontist, use 歯列矯正(shiretsu kyousei).

English Japanese Romaji
Dentist 歯医者 haisha
Dental clinic 歯科クリニック shikakurinikku
Orthodontist 歯列矯正 shiretsukyousei

Talking about symptoms

Once you’ve successfully found a clinic, you’ll need to describe the pain you’re feeling and where you’re feeling it. For your canine teeth, use 犬歯 (kenshi) or 切歯 (sesshi) for your incisors. Next, if you think you may …continue reading


Kyoto’s Newly Renovated Kyocera Museum of Art

the facade of the new museum, which re-opened on May 26, 2020 Opened in 1933, the Kyoto Enthronement Memorial Museum of Art would go on to survive a world war and multiple natural disasters to become Japan’s oldest public art museum. Built in what was known as the Crown Imperial Style of architecture, its classical […]

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