Yakuza Origins: Hatamoto-yakko and Machi-yakko

When you think of the yakuza, you probably think of hardened criminals that made up the deadly and sinister Japanese mafia. Or maybe you think of the dirty political deals, gambling empires, smuggling, and violence. Or you could just think of the hit video game series highlighting the aforementioned  criminal activities. But was this always... Continue Reading →


Scooping Goldfish

If you think of Japanese fish, probably the first thing you think of is the beautiful koi. What you may come to second, or maybe third, is goldfish. To those of us in other parts of the world, goldfish may just be the cheapest thing at the pet store. But in Japan, they’re a hell... Continue Reading →

花火 – Fireworks in Japan

花火 (はなび) roughly translates to “fire flower” or fireworks. In the U.S., fireworks are most common on the 4th of July and New Year’s. So when are fireworks set off in Japan? Let’s start with a little history.  History:                                                                                    Gunpowder first came to Japan in 1549 (a.k.a, a long damn time ago.) This was a... Continue Reading →

The Oldest Hotel in the World

One hotel. 1300 years of history. And it's still open for business Photo from SoraNews24 The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan was opened in 705 A.D. To put it into perspective, this hotel was open before England was even a thing. And for only a few hundred bucks a night, you could stay at the same hotel... Continue Reading →

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