Category Archives: FEATURED

Geisha Japan Brings a New Project to Japankuru Funding! Raising Money to Help Foreigners Join in with Maiko Culture!

As the amount of people visiting Japan and Kyoto increases, the interest in different parts of Japanese cultural points also increase. With this, more people wish to participate in these events such as Ozashiki Asobi, which is a banquet or party where guests can watch Maiko and Geiko perform, play games and have interesting conversations.

One problem that faces foreigners that come to Japan is that in order to join such events, you need to have both an understanding of Japanese, and to have also had the experience of attended such an event. Many establishments have a [No First Timers] rule which potentially closes the restaurants off to many visitors from abroad.

Geisha Japan and Maiko Club are looking to change this by creating special events that allow for visitors to Kyoto to participate. At the current time they have a foreign interpreter on hand, but this will soon change as this person returns back home. Geisha Japan are therefore looking to bring in more English speaking staff to allow for foreigners to be able to participate.

The project can be found at:

Creating the Chance for Foreigners to Learn and Understand about the Traditional Maiko Culture! Creating an English Support System so Visitors can Enjoy the Special Culture!

Project Page

They are looking to raise money via crowdfunding to raise money to bring in English speakers so that they can carry on offering special events for foreigners that wish to join in and learn more …continue reading


The Economics Of Dating In Japan: Who Pays the Bill?

The Economics of Dating in Japan Who Pays for the Bill?

The guy goes first. He gets a nice Moleskine notebook and a fancy ballpoint pen. He thanks her. The girl goes next. She opens a small box to find a Swarovski earring and necklace set. She thanks him. They finish lunch, they get the bill at the table, and… he only has ¥2,000 in his wallet. The girl opens her wallet and pulls out ¥10,000 which more than covers the bill, and they leave together, both smiling and holding hands. The end.

This actual date happened right next to me when I was writing another article. I made a note of what happened for two reasons: one, they were both being very vocal about their gifts and their discussion of the bill, and two, because it got me thinking about the economics of dating in Japan.

The lingering debate

Traditionally speaking, “men are supposed to pay for everything” on a date, but in my opinion that’s so far out of touch, it doesn’t even bear thinking about. Things are a lot more expensive nowadays (thanks to the ever-increasing consumption tax!), women can work and earn their own living, and frankly speaking, putting the full financial burden of a relationship only on one partner is just plain wrong.

And it’s not just me who thinks that way. According to a 2015 survey conducted in the US and cited in a Sage Journal research paper on “Who Pays for Dates?”, 64% of men believed that women should contribute to dating expenses, while 40% of women felt annoyed if men refused to accept their contribution to the bill.

In Japan, however, there are still some remnants of this old-fashioned train of thought.

For example, a Japanese male friend of mine, while being a very forward thinker and feminist, thinks it’s …continue reading


Fashion magazine Vivi t-shirt tie-up with Liberal Democratic Party attracts criticism

jiminto vivi liberal democratic party ldp japan tshirt-campaign tieup new generation diversity promo politics fashion magazine controversy

Many Japanese fashion magazines are suffering from declining sales. To boost their economic prospects and keep creditors at bay, publishers may attempt new directions and types of content, or approach different kinds of advertisers. The fashion magazine Vivi tried both by launching a recent online tie-up with the Liberal Democratic Party, the biggest political party in Japan and which has been in power with only a couple of relatively short intervals since the 1950s.

The “New Generation” tie-up features a series of young female models — the magazine’s nine “Vivigirl” official models — wearing t-shirts with messages about the kind of future they would like to live in. Examples include colorful messages in English about happiness, being a nation more welcoming to foreigners, and expressing oneself. “Happy & Smile.” “Face Your Fears.” “Open Heart.”

The t-shirts, which also feature the logo of the LDP on the shoulder, were then offered to people who posted on Twitter or Instagram their own aspirations for future society with the promotional hashtag #LDP2019.

jiminto vivi liberal democratic party ldp japan tshirt-campaign tieup new generation diversity promo politics fashion magazine controversy

jiminto vivi liberal democratic party ldp japan tshirt-campaign tieup new generation diversity promo politics fashion magazine controversy

jiminto vivi liberal democratic party ldp japan tshirt-campaign tieup new generation diversity promo politics fashion magazine controversy

The tie-up is promoting a vision of diversity and hope, in line with recent buzzwords and campaigns by local governments (particularly Shibuya in Tokyo) and the 2020 Olympics, and an intriguing counter-narrative to the standard conservative stance by the LDP, which usually emphasizes “restoring” values and protecting the interests of business and older voters. On the other hand, it is the LDP that has lower voter age in Japan from 20 to …continue reading


Your Guide to Gion, Kyoto’s Famous Geisha District

If you’re fascinated by the atmosphere of old Japan, then Gion is the place for you. Gion (祇園) is Kyoto’s famous Geisha district, as well as the home of the large Gion Matsuri festival held every year in July. Here’s what to do when visiting Gion!


Gion is a historical district in the city of Kyoto that is filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (お茶屋, Japanese teahouses). Gion is famous for being one of the few remaining places in Japan where geiko (芸妓, what “geisha” are called in the Kansai region) and maiko (舞妓, apprentice geiko/geishas) train to perform for guests.

Gion includes the area around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in the west. The Yasaka Shrine was actually originally called Gion Shrine, and was an important pilgrimage spot. The entertainment area developed here to provide the many pilgrims with food and drink.

As kabuki theater grew in popularity, more high-end forms of entertainment were developed, leading to the rise of the geisha. Even today, Gion is known as Kyoto’s most famous geisha district. The district remains packed with bars, restaurants and traditional teahouses, and reaches its peak atmosphere in the early evening. After the sun goes down, street lanterns light up, and the apprentice geisha walk around the back alleys on their way to their various appointments.

Gion can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus 100 or 206, which cost 230 yen to get to Gion bus stop. The closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.

Photo: Japan Objects

Shijo Avenue (Shijo-dori)

Shijo Avenue is a popular shopping area filled with stores selling local products. Called Shijo-dori in Japanese, the avenue runs through the center of the Gion district and connects the Kamo River to the Yasaka …continue reading


Mount Fuji: How to Climb Japan’s Most Famous Mountain

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Gazing down on Japan from atop its symbolic mountain is high on the bucket list for most visitors and residents alike, but at 3,766m it’s not the effortless stroll that many elderly Japanese people make it seem. If climbing Mount Fuji is your summer to-do this year, here’s what you’ll need to know.
Jump to:

Mount Fuji trails
Climbing season
What to pack
Guided climbs
Getting to Mount Fuji
Helpful resources

The various trails of Mount Fuji
It’s possible to take four different trails to the summit of Mt Fuji, as well as one that goes on an ambling circular route around the fifth stations, for anybody who enjoys punishing themselves without much payoff.
Which trail on Mount Fuji is the best?
All the trails up

The post Mount Fuji: How to Climb Japan’s Most Famous Mountain appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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