Category Archives: TRAVEL

Japanese Stamp Books: The Alternative Traveler’s Souvenir

Source: Japan Cheapo

If you’re not into gaudy key rings or personalized chopsticks, there’s a rather unusual way to trace your travels through Japan, and it’s called a goshuincho.
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Translated to mean “The Honourable Red Stamp Notebook”, you may have seen goshuincho clutched in the arms of visitors to shrines or displayed carefully at the counters of temples. These small, unassuming notebooks have a long history and are unique by design, making them the perfect souvenir of your trip.
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With concertina pages opening to form a scroll covered in bright vermilion stamps and elaborate calligraphy, the simple covers hide a beautiful secret you can add to on each trip. Whether you’re backpacking and have limited space

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Cheapo Guide to Renting a Car in Japan

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Dress up, get driving.
For the most part, you probably won’t need to rent a car in Japan—especially not in Tokyo. The trains and buses will get you wherever you want to go, quickly, safely and affordably. That said, there are some occasions when renting a car in Japan is the easiest (or only) way of getting from Point A to Point B. You might want to take a trip to the rurals, for example, or do a run to the nearest (never very near) home center to pick up some curtains or gardening tools you don’t want to lug on your local JR line.
Likewise, if you’re planning to explore the deep south that is Okinawa or bounce around Hokkaido, it makes sense to rent a car. Distances are large, public transport limited. Ditto much of the

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Ikebana: Flower Arrangement Workshops in Tokyo

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Ikebana, which stands for “living flowers”, is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, which dates back to as early as the 6th century. It is regarded not only as an art, but also as a contemplative, meditative activity.
The development of ikebana is largely credited to Buddhists because, while plants in Shinto tradition were believed to be dwellings for nature spirits and/or used to welcome spirits or deities, Buddhist priests taught people how to elegantly and meaningfully arrange flower offerings for altars. It became more of a secular activity in the 15th century, when its popularity spread to the nobility.
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Today, there are thousands of ikebana schools all over the world, with Ikenobo being the oldest and largest. D

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Cheapo Weekend for April 21-22: Art Exhibitions, Spain Fair and Yabusame

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

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Asakusa Yabusame – April 21
One of the few chances to watch yabusame, the impressive Japanese martial art of horse-mounted archery. Compared to similar events around Tokyo, this one in Asakusa is most spectacular due to the high-performance levels of the archers.
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Craft Beer & Comedy – April 21
Tokyo’s best stand-up comedians brighten up your Saturday evening with quality jokes, great beer and pizza.
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Earth Day Tokyo – April 21-22
Pop by Yoyogi Park for the Earth Day Market—where earth-friendly goods can be found for sale, from organic fruit/veg to fair trade products to handmade crafts. In addition to the marke

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