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WPCS 2.1.3
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Wabi Sabi: The Art Of Embracing Imperfection

Wabi-sabi (侘寂)  is an aesthetic philosophy whose roots are based in Zen Buddhism, particularly the tea ceremony, in which masters prized bowls that were handmade and irregularly shaped, with uneven glaze, cracks, and beauty in their imperfection. Wabi-sabi has influenced many Japanese arts such as ikebana (flower arrangement), gardens, haiku, and pottery. Loosely translated, “Wabi”...
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Meet our Staff – Tammy

Hello from Japan! It’s Tammy (Ota-san) from Kyoto Office. I have been working as a regional manager for Samurai Tours for 15 years. When Mike, the owner of Samurai Tours, started taking guests around Japan 17 years ago, he did everything from guiding to accounting. Now 10 Japanese staffers and 100 local guides work for...
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Sashiko

Sashiko, meaning “little stabs”, is a perfect way to describe this needlework. This embroidery technique is functional, acting to reinforce torn fabric or make repairs, but also elegant. Traditionally the embroidery design is a geometric pattern with white cotton thread on indigo blue fabric. Sashiko embroidery has been used in Japan for centuries, developed in...
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Oyakodon – A Taste of Japan

To understand what Oyakodon is, it is best to first translate into English. “Oya” means parent, “ko” means child and “don” is short for donburi which is a rice bowl. The name of the dish is a poetic reflection of the fact that chicken and egg are served over rice. (Chicken is the parent and...
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Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen Kinosaki Onsen is located in northern Hyogo Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan. This pleasant town, built along a willow-lined canal, is one of the top onsen destinations of the Kansai Region and is popular with people from all over Japan. Overall Onsen Rating   Atmosphere   Hot springs were...
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Onigiri – Japan’s Perfect On-The-Go Snack

If you go shopping at convenience stores in Japan, you will see a variety of packaged rice balls lined up on the shelf. These Japanese rice balls are generally called “Onigiri (おにぎり)” or “Omusubi (おむすび)”. Onigiri is commonly used in the eastern part of Japan, whereas Omusubi tends to be used in the western part....
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Japan’s Shinkansen

Written by: Ota-san, Samurai Tours Japan staff The Shinkansen, known as the bullet train, is one of the fastest trains in the world. It’s a network of high-speed railway lines, which runs at about 200 kilometers an hour on average and connects the main island with other two smaller islands. 900 trains run to carry...
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Anime and Manga Destinations in Japan

Anime and manga are big parts of modern Japanese culture today as well as attracting fans from all around the world. Here is a shortlist of destinations for the manga/anime lover travelling to Japan.   Ghibli Museum If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli and their famous works such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited...
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Education in Japan

Much like the United States, the education system in Japan consists of elementary school, middle school, high school, and university. The system there is divided into 5 cycles: Yōchien(幼稚園, Nursery school) from 3 to 6 years old. Shōgakkō(小学, Elementary school) from 6 to 12. Chūgakkō(中学, Middle School) from 12 to 15. Kōkō(高校, High school) from...
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Culture Corner – Bowing

Bowing is a well-known form of Japanese etiquette and deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. The Japanese believe the head is the most important part of the body, and by bowing, they are showing their respect. Although bowing may seem pretty straightforward, it’s actually quite complicated, with everything from the depth of the bow to its...
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