All posts by blogsonjapan

The Mitosaya Botanical Distillery in Chiba

The Mitosaya Botanical Distillery is located in Chiba, right in the middle of the Boso Peninsula. A little over a 1 hour drive from Tokyo, the distillery is not only surrounded by nature, it houses over 500 different varieties of herbs on it’s sprawling 16,000sqm organic farm. It’s these and other local ingredients that go into […]

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Best Banks for Opening an Account in Japan: A Comparison Guide

Source: Japan Cheapo

Here’s all you need to know about opening a bank account in Japan and a detailed comparison of fees and services available with the most popular banks.
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Opening a bank account
Closing a bank account
Overview of Japan banks
Fees and services comparison
ATM withdrawal fees
ATM transfer fees
Fees for receiving money from overseas
Fees for sending money overseas
Online banking services and fees

1. General requirements for opening a bank account in Japan
While you can’t open an account if you are on a 90-day tourist visa, foreigners that are here on other visa types, like work or student visa, are eligible to open an account with most banks. Generally, you would open a futsu yokin, the Japanese term for a general deposit acco

The post Best Banks for Opening an Account in Japan: A Comparison Guide appeared first on Japan Cheapo.

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Quality Miso Ramen in Nogata: Hanamichi


Hanamichi (味噌麺処 花道) is highly praised for its miso ramen in Nogata. They’re also open for breakfast and are actually one of the highest ranked miso ramen shops in Tokyo.

Punchy Miso Ramen

The miso ramen at Hanmichi can be described as punchy. This is because it’s far saltier than most miso ramen. But it still carries that oiliness and thickness common to this ramen genre.

Keeping it punchy, there’s also a ton of garlic in the broth. You can top up your vegetables (mainly bean sprouts) for free and they’ll come on a separate plate.

After extra bean sprouts

This is good because adding the bean sprouts makes the broth significantly more watery towards the end. The noodles are super springy and more straight than your typically wavy miso ramen noodles.

I have yet to try Hanamichi’s spicy miso ramen. This has been on my to do list for some time. The spicy version would be interesting because the Hanamichi’s owner used to work at famed spicy ramen chain Nakamoto.

Despite being on the saltier side, Hanamichi is all about quality miso ramen in Nogata. …continue reading


How to Visit Hashima Island (Gunkanjima or Battleship Island)

Source: Japan Cheapo

You’ve seen it in Skyfall and all over the media. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruins of Nagasaki Prefecture’s abandoned Hashima Island, better known as Gunkanjima (or “Battleship Island”), has attracted attention for its post-apocalyptic appearance.
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What happened on Gunkanjima?
Things to know before visiting Hashima Island
Battleship Island tour companies
Getting to Nagasaki
Making sure you have the right island in mind


What happened on Battleship Island?
As a world-class undersea mining operation, the island was once a symbol of Japan’s rapid industrialization. Bought by Mitsubishi in 1890, the previously uninhabited island was transformed with modern buildings and conveniences.

The post How to Visit Hashima Island (Gunkanjima or Battleship Island) appeared first on Japan Cheapo.

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Bangladesh’s regional majoritarian challenge

Rohingya refugees gather to mark the second anniversary of the exodus at the Kutupalong camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, 25 August 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Rafiqur Rahman).

Authors: Champa Patel, Chatham House and Rudabeh Shahid, University of York

Bangladesh is a country often subjected to the whims of its geography. Being surrounded by India and Myanmar means that ensuring good relations with its neighbours is paramount to maintaining regional cohesion but these relations are coming under strain as India’s and Myanmar’s majoritarian impulses resonate across their borders.

Myanmar is being heavily criticised by the international community for crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing, that have seen one million Rohingya flee to Bangladesh — the latest in a series of similar displacements. But despite international attention, there are still no long-term solutions — whether for resettlement or voluntary repatriation let alone addressing citizenship and nationality issues — and the Rohingya continue to be stateless.

Although negative public perceptions towards Myanmar are evident from increased societal distrust and pressure on the Bangladeshi Buddhist community, the Rohingya crisis has not yet adversely affected other aspects of Bangladesh–Myanmar bilateral relations.

Despite Bangladeshi authorities‘ frustration with Myanmar, the two countries have still settled maritime disputes through the demarcation of proper maritime boundaries. In November 2017 — right after the latest refugee crisis erupted — an instrument of ratification was exchanged between Myanmar and Bangladesh demarcating the land north of the Naf River that separates the two countries. On the trade front, when cross-land border trade was abruptly suspended in 2017 amid the crisis, a 12 per cent devaluation of Myanmar’s currency actually boosted bilateral trade. Both countries are also preparing to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

On the other hand, Bangladesh’s current antipathy towards India may seem a surprising contrast given India’s pivotal role in Bangladesh’s War of Independence against Pakistan in …continue reading