The idea of "mottainai" is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, and reflects the belief that resources should be valued and waste avoided. At Shotengai, we strive to uphold this ethos by promoting sustainable products and minimizing waste wherever possible.
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is more than a collection of historic buildings; it is a living testament to the enduring beauty and cultural heritage of traditional Japan. From its elegant streetscapes to its captivating museums and delightful culinary offerings, this enchanting neighborhood invites visitors to step back in time and experience the charm and grace of a bygone time.
Kenroku-en, which translates to "Garden of the Six Attributes," has a history dating back over 300 years. Initially created by the ruling Maeda family during the Edo period, the garden has been meticulously maintained and expanded upon by successive generations. Its enduring beauty and historical significance earned it the status of one of Japan's Three Great Gardens.
Japan offers a wealth of unique and fascinating products that make great souvenirs or gifts. Whether you're interested in ceramics, beauty products, snacks, stationery, or fashion, Japan has something for everyone.
Osaka and Tokyo are the two cities that most people think of when they think of Japan. Tokyo is a giant megapolis, while Osaka has earned an impressive 10th place on the EIU's Global Liveability Index. This article will compare the two cities to help you decide which one is a better fit for your travels!
Sanrio was founded in 1960 by Shintaro Tsuji, and has since become an iconic brand known for its cute and charming designs. Its colorful and imaginative designs have brought joy and happiness to millions of people around the world.
Tokyo Tower, standing at 333 meters tall, has since become a symbol of Japan's post-war rebirth and modernization. Its unique appearance and memorable color scheme make it a beloved landmark and symbol of Japan's cultural and technological advancements.
Akihabara is a district located in central Tokyo that has become synonymous with Japan's otaku culture. The district's unique atmosphere and eclectic mix of pop culture offer visitors a one-of-a-kind experience, attracting anime, manga, and video game enthusiasts from around the world.
Himeji Castle (Himeji-jo) is a masterpiece of wooden architecture. It has been designated as an official national treasure of Japan and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a magnet for millions of travelers due to its cultural significance and beauty.
Ueno Koen (Ueno Park) is a large park in central Tokyo, covering an area of about 53,000 square meters. Established in 1873, Ueno Park was the first park in Japan. Its lovely cherry blossoms attract millions of visitors annually, making it one of the most popular city parks in Japan.
Located in a city of temples, Senso-ji Temple is the oldest one, with a history of over 1300 years. With over 30 million annual visitors, it is the most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The temple complex is extensive, including the main temple, two grand gates, a five-story pagoda, and a shopping street.
Nihon Teien is traditional Japanese landscaped gardens that incorporate Japanese aesthetic and philosophical ideas, the designers of which avoid artificial decorations and highlight natural landscapes. It is a refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life to experience Zen.
Aoshima is heaven for cat people! It is an island with more than a hundred cats! These cute things roam and wander the island freely. You can take food and toys to feed them and play with them. Just imagine a scene of you being surrounded and greeted by dozens of cats the moment you set foot on the island!
The biggest attraction of Nara Park is the deer. 1,200 semi-wild deer roam the park and nearby mountains. In Nara Park, you can play with the deer and feed them shika senbei (deer crackers). There are also beautiful temples and shrines in Nara Park!
From paintings to articles, from decorations to food, not to mention modern manga and cartoons, cherry blossoms can be seen everywhere. Sakura is the unofficial national flower in Japan. As a symbol unseparated from Japan, it is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and history, affecting art, literature, and the spirit of the Yamato people.
Fujisan (Mount Fuji) is the sacred mountain of Japan. For thousands of years, numerous artworks depicted its breathtaking beauty. Many shrines and temples were built around and on it to enshrine it. As Japan's most famous place of interest, there are many ways to enjoy Fujisan.
If you've ever been to any Chinese/Japanese restaurants and stores, you must be no stranger to the small cat statue with a beckoning paw. The cat statue is called Maneki Neko. It's a Japanese talisman believed to bring good luck and wealth to its owner.
Sumo was initially a traditional Japanese Shinto ritual dance praying for harvest and prosperity. Nowadays, it is competitive full-contact wrestling in which two wrestlers compete against each other with their topless bodies. With its popularity and long history, Sumo is the national sport of Japan.
Ekiben is a pre-packaged lunch box with everything you will eat. It's a Japanese bento to be enjoyed on trains. Once seated, you can unwrap your Ekiben box and enjoy your meal with the beautiful view passes by your train window. Many Ekiben consists of local specialties, which makes it a good way to know the local food.
Geisha are Japanese performance artists who have mastery of dancing, singing, instrument playing, and tea ceremony. They are the best hosts and entertainers to make you feel at ease. They've trained hard to become a proficient performer. Therefore, remember to appreciate their performance with respect!
When talking about Japanese food, sushi is probably the first thing coming to your mind. As the iconic food of Japan, sushi is also famous and popular worldwide. However, many people have some wrong ideas about it. Read to learn what makes quality sushi and where to enjoy them!
You are totally wrong if you think Natsu Matsuri is all about music, dance, and shrines! It's undeniable that the three above are important and indispensable parts of Natsu Matsuri. There is something more exciting! Horse racing, speed contests, splendid fireworks...if these are your cup of tea, read to explore more about Natsu Matsuri!
After learning basic information about Natsu Matsuri, it's time to explore some interesting festivals! With a long duration, a huge number of participants, and a grand scale, Gion Matsuri, Tenjin Matsuri, and Sanno Matsuri are the three greatest Natsu Matsuri. Don't miss these spectacular celebrations!
Ramen is food with al dente noodles and rich booth. Though sounds simple, there are many variations. As for the noodles, there are curve noodles and straight noodles with a different firmness. For the broth, there are salt broth, saucy broth, savory broth, etc. Let alone the numerous toppings. If you want to try delicious ramen, Japan is a place you can't miss!
Everyone that knows about Japan can recognize Kimono - the beautiful Japanese traditional clothing. With a history of thousand years, various types have been designed. Similar to other craftwork, the materials and patterns of the Kimono represent some special meanings. After reading, you can definitely learn the difference!
Buddhism and Shinto, temple and shrine, Romon and Torii…What's the difference between them? For travelers, it's hard to distinguish which is a shrine and which is a temple. This article is here to help! Moreover, do you know there's a reason why the temples and shrines in Japan share so many similarities? Read to find answers!
Do you feel familiar with this emoji: ⛩？ Few people will feel difficult to connect this icon with Japan. As one of the most famous iconic symbols, Torii represents Japanese culture and Japanese religion. Torii is the gate of the Japanese Shinto Shrine. Here is the article to tell you more about Japanese Shinto and Shrine.
Naruto, Luffy, Conan, Sakuragi, Doraemon, Yagami…If you've been access to Japanese comics (manga), you must have heard at least one of these names. With various genres and copious content, manga is the heart of Japanese pop culture. If you've never heard of any Japanese manga, here is the article to help you to cross the threshold!
Though the Junmai Daiginjo is the best and most famous sake, there is numerous "non-famous" sake that deserves to be explored and appreciated. After all, the best does not necessarily the most suitable. Your preference and taste are the things that really matter. This passage will change you from an amateur to a real professional of Sake!
Sake is the Japanese national beverage. With more than 2000-year history, Sake has gradually evolved into many types. For travelers, it's hard to understand the differences. Actually, Sake is categorized according to main factors: RPR and additional alcohol. In this passage, you can learn the 6 most famous types of Sake!
Japanese cuisine may appear strange to many travelers. Even though you have already learned some basic rules, you may still feel lost when you face various Japanese food. Should I use a spoon or chopsticks? Is it rude to slurp? After reading this passage, you will learn the specific rules of eating some common Japanese food!
Dining Etiquette is the customary code used while eating. Different countries follow different rules of table manners. Japan is known for its emphasis on etiquette. Though the Japanese won't blame a foreigner for not knowing these rules, here are the rules you need to know if you want to be regarded as a polite traveler in Japan!
Is it possible for a vegan/vegetarian to travel to Japan - a country that emphasizes seafood and meat? The answer is "YES!". You can enjoy not only the beautiful view but also the tasty food in Japan even though you are a vegan/vegetarian. Sushi, ramen, tofu... many iconic Japanese foods can be vegan-friendly. Here's a guide for you!
Contrary to most people’s expectations, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Japan. Nowadays, the four main beer producers and hundreds of microbreweries in Japan produce tons of beer every year to meet the consumer's needs. With this passage, you can learn the history, styles, and new trends of Japanese beer!
For a long time, Japanese whisky seems to be nameless and underrated. Things have changed since the 21st century - Japanese whisky began to win gold awards and high appreciation. Nowadays, Japanese whisky has become one of the sought-after whisky categories in the world. Here's a passage about how Japanese whisky achieved its success.
After dusk, the flickering and shimmering lights illuminate a new side of the Japanese cities. Japanese nightlife is full of drinks, food, and music. People can relax and enjoy themselves after a long day. After reading this passage, you'll have more ideas about where to enjoy an exciting night in Japan!
Chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, is the art of preparing, serving, and drinking green tea. It presents the unique Japanese aesthetics and traditional Japanese culture. Chanoyu can make you feel calm and Zen. This passage is about the history, process, and etiquettes of this elegant art form.