Japan Guide: The One about Japanese Calendar Years for Modern Japan

When I’m in Japan, one of the things that can really stump Japanese is when you ask them what year they were born?  What year was the structure or business started? In the US, we are used to going by a year such as:  This person was born in 1979.  That structure was build in 1907. But in Japan, it’s different.  Their year is based on when the emperor has […]

TRAVEL GUIDE: The One About the Meaning of Fox Statues at Shrines

You have seen it at many Shrines throughout Japan.  Fox statues galore. Perhaps one of the few places where you will see a lot of them are in Kyoto at Fushimi Inari Jinja where they are everywhere.  May it be at the main path or hidden paths, there are fox statues everywhere. But what do they symbolize? In Japan, fox statues are part of Shinto religion. The fox (known as […]

Travel Guide: The One about Tips Before Going to Tsukiji Fish Market

You are planning your trip to Japan and one of the locations in Tokyo that you want to visit is the Tsukiji Fish Market. Excellent choice as this is the place to visit if you are a sushi connoisseur. But unlike many locations throughout Tokyo that you want to visit anytime during the day, the Tsukiji Fish Market is the only place that you want to get there before 5:30 […]

Travel Guide: The One about the Differences between Temples and Shrines

When going to Japan, it’s easy to confuse temples and shrines. But they are quite different. Temples are Buddhist sites, while shrines are Shinto sites.  It’s even more confusing by the fact that there are some areas that meld the two religions together.  And that they co-exist, so at times,  you will find a temple and shrine together. Buddhism  is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, […]

Travel Guide: The One about Tax-Free Shops in Japan

In Japan, especially in Tokyo, in major foreigner-friendly shopping areas such as Akihabara, there are logos showcasing “Japan Tax-Free Shop”. It’s important to for people traveling Japan to know that shops will NOT give you tax-free if you don’t ask for it.  Afterall, how would they know if you are a foreign traveler versus a person who lives in Japan?  The rule is all temporary visitors (less than six months […]

Travel Guide – Japan: The One about Preparing a Budget and Knowing about Japanese Yen (Currency)

You are planning to go to Japan for the first time and are wondering about Japanese currency. Should you get currency at the American airport or local bank before going to Japan?  Should I wait until you get to Japan? Here is my advice when it comes to someone getting Japanese currency for the first time before leaving to Japan. I.  SHOULD I THINK ABOUT CURRENCY CONVERSION? Yes and no.  […]

Travel Guide – Japan: The One about Chozuya or Temizuya – To Drink or Not to Drink?…That is the question.

You are visiting Japan and go to a shrine or temple and you notice people going to an area which looks like a tub of water and you see people drinking from it? The thought may cross your mind… “Why are they drinking the water?”, “Is it sanitary?”, “Is it clean or will I get sick? Those are all valid questions, after all, we are used to our way of […]

Travel Guide: The One about Basic Economy

You booked a flight and got it very cheap and you are now excited. But many travelers are learning that the cheap flight they paid for was “basic economy” and not regular “economy”. And for those who have read about the confusion, frustration or the anger on social media. You have every right to be upset but unfortunately, United Airlines, Delta (who has been doing it since 2012) and American […]