Category Archives: FEATURED

8 Must Know Japanese Kanji’s related to Family

“A different language is a different vision of life.” – Federico Fellini

Photo from Pixabay

Hi everyone. Hope you are all enjoying the summer and longer days. Love how we can still enjoy the outdoors in later hours to go for a walk or enjoy after dinner activities. 🙂

This month, I received a request to write about the Japanese Kanji’s based on topics that will hopefully give you a good “introduction” if you are new to Kanji’s or “refresher” if you had already studied them before. Based on each of the category, I will pick the most popular and important ones for you to focus on. Sounds interesting enough? Let’s get started the first article for this month. (although it’s already a mid month.. sorry everyone! ) Read on~.

Kanji Challenge Series 1 – Family

These are the 8 basic must know Kanji’s related to “Family”.

Family = Kazoku


There are 6 people in my family.

Watashi no Kazoku wa roku nin kazoku desu.

わたしの かぞくは ろくにん かぞく です。

(私の 家族は,六人 家族 です。)

Father = chichi, otōsan


My father is a high school teacher.

Watashi no chichi wa kōkō no sensei desu.

わたしの ちちは こうこうの せんせい です。

(私の父は 高校の 先生です。)

Mother = haha, okāsan


My mother is 55 years old.

Watashi no haha wa gojyūgo sai desu.

わたしの はは は ごじゅうご さいです。

(私の母は,五十五 歳です。)

Older brother =ani, onīchan, onīsan


I have two older brothers.

Boku ni wa onīchan ga futari imasu.

ぼくには, おにいちゃんが ふたり います。

(僕には,お兄ちゃんが 二人 います。)

Younger brother = otōto,


My younger brother is in 3rd grade.

Watashi no otōto wa san nensei desu.

わたしの おとうとは さんねんせい です。


Older sister = ane, onēchan, onēsan


I wish I had an older sister.

Onēsan ga itara iina.

おねえさんが いたら いいなぁ。

(お姉さんが いたらい いいなぁ。)

Younger sister = imōto,


My younger sister is only 5 years old.

Watashi no imōto wa mada go sai desu.

わたしの いもうとは まだ ごさい です。

(私の 妹は まだ 五歳 です。)

Grandfather = sofu, ojīchan, ojīsan


My grandfather lives in Japan.

Watashi no sofu wa nihon ni sunde imasu.

わたしの そふは にほんに …continue reading


Shinmachi and the Giants of Gion Matsuri

Source: deep kyoto

As Gion Festival’s pipes and bells chime throughout central Kyoto, Edward J. Taylor continues his ongoing exploration of Deep Kyoto’s streets with a stroll through the matsuri preparations on Shinmachi.

July rolled around, and not long afterward the rainy season came to an end, albeit with a devastating coda. The end of the rains ushers in the cadence of the cicada, and in Kyoto, their call serves to herald the city’s popular Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s biggest festivals.

I have a number of walks in mind for this series, but wanting this month to do something Gion related, I looked over maps for a route that would take me through the neighborhoods whose yamaboko “floats” would be on display. Ironically, the two best streets, Muromachi and Bukokuji I’d already walked, but Shinmachi came in at a close third.

In keeping with the theme, I wanted to walk the street in its entirety, to explore the old and the new. Having learned my lesson from previous walks, I chose not to begin any further south than Kyoto station. That said, I was confused for a moment as the first initial blocks leading from the station resemble exactly Higashinotoin a few blocks over, all parking lots and convenience stores. I used to joke that if you were blindfolded and placed in front of the train station in any of Japan’s medium sized cities, when the blindfold was removed you’d have no idea what city you were in. The same can be said I suppose for Kyoto’s backstreets, which can likewise be pretty cookie-cutter, until you begin to dig in.

Yet the woman in front of me is pure Kyoto, with her expensive kimono and parasol. So too I suppose are the handful of retrofit guesthouses, and the restaurants boasting of English …continue reading


A Ship with Summer Inside: Experiencing the Tokyo Bay Night Cruise

Source: Gaijin Pot
Noryosen Yukata Boat Cruise 9

It’s the opening night of Tokyo’s most popular (and boozy) evening boat cruise, back again this July for a three-month run of all-you-can-drink beer, wine and cocktails, festival food, twinkling city views, dancing and summer romance on the sea.

Upon arriving at the Takeshiba Passenger Terminal around 18:30 p.m., it’s clear that the bustling crowd of college students, families and salary men and women have been looking forward to this party all week.

There’s an atmosphere of excitement like it’s the beginning of a show or a summer matsuri (festival). As if a curtain might lift momentarily. There are yukata (summer kimono) everywhere — a discount if you wear one — and an escape from Tokyo city mode.

Boarding Ship

Walking towards the ship, my heart skips a beat. Before we enter we catch a glimpse of the boat, Salvia Maru, in the same family of multi-level cruise ships that transport summer travelers overnight to the remote Izu and Ogasawara island chains. This time though, we’ll be doing a slow cruise of Tokyo Bay, up to Haneda airport and back again.

Noryosen Yukata Boat Cruise 3

Kebab sandwiches, french fries, bowls of karaage (fried chicken), edamame, and castella (sponge cake), boxes of sushi and giant sticks of butabara (pork belly) fill this first scene. It’s tempting to use our blue food coupons — included in in our cruise ticket — on everything in sight, but we decide to grab our first of many free beers and to explore our new environment.

<img src="×640.jpg" alt="Noryosen Yukata Boat Cruise 2" width="1024" height="640" srcset="×640.jpg 1024w,×188.jpg 300w,×431.jpg 690w,×462.jpg 740w, 1600w" …continue reading


4 Simple Ways to Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic in Japan

Source: Japan Cheapo

This has been a big year for plastic so far. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed your social media feed exploding with information on the harmful effects of plastic on marine life—and lists of countries and cities that have promised to phase out single-use plastic in the next few years. Unfortunately, Japan is still choking on plastic. Items you buy at the supermarket or convenience store are often double and even triple wrapped. So how can you reduce plastic and do your part for a more sustainable world? Here are some easy ways to minimize single-use plastic in Japan on a daily basis—and save a few yen too! Yay for eco and cheapo going hand in hand.
1. Get a reusable bottle

The post 4 Simple Ways to Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic in Japan appeared first on Japan Cheapo.

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What We Know About the Toyosu Fish Market So Far

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Aerial view of the new Toyosu Fish Market (under construction).
You’ve probably heard that the iconic Tsukiji Fish Market will cease operations in October this year, and reopen as the Toyosu Fish Market. Here are the top tidbits regarding the relocation of this historic landmark in Tokyo.
When one market closes, another opens only slightly farther east …
… you know that old saying.
First, the Tsukiji Fish Market was slated to close its doors in November 2016. Then the move got pushed back. And back. And back some more. But the official word now is that it’s relocating from October 6 to open at the Toyosu waterfront district on October 11, 2018. Hopefully there aren’t any more pushbacks (if only for updating

The post What We Know About the Toyosu Fish Market So Far appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

…continue reading