Japanese Tea is Special

Steamed Japanese green tea

Japanese freshly-harvested leaves are dried naturally, and then kneaded and rolled into various shapes until they are completely dry. Leaves for matcha are ground into a fine powder.

Processing this way stops fresh leaves from oxidation and fermentation. Most Chinese green teas are pan-fried.

Japanese green tea is not pan fried. It is steamed to prevent oxidation

This is an efficient method for preventing the oxidation of flavonoids and polyphenols that gives Japanese green tea its unique flavor and health-enhancing properties.

Japan originated shading their plants to make gyokuro

Gyokuro leaves

Matcha comes from specially handled gyokuro leaves (tencha).

Matcha in bowl
Ceremonial grade matcha

More on gyokuro and matcha.

Japanese and Chinese Green Tea Differences

China is the world’s largest exporter of green tea by far. Most of the green tea you see in shops and dining establishments comes from China.

Japanese and Chinese green teas both come from the same Camellia Sinensis plant which is native to Asia.

Japanese green tea has a crisper and slightly sweeter taste due to the absence of fermentation.

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Debate: “Leashes make kids look like pets!” Manga artist’s genius rebuttal wins praise online

Source: grapee.jp

Even parents can’t predict how their young children will behave.

In addition to their limited physical abilities, their poor judgment makes it more likely that they can place themselves in danger at a moment’s notice.

To protect children from accidents and trouble, kid leashes are becoming increasingly popular in Japan.

The leashes are attached to harnesses worn by the child, and parents, legal guardians, or caretakers can hold the leash to prevent the child from straying away, running into the road, or putting themselves in harm’s way.

On the opinion that “leashes make kids look like pets”

On Children’s Day, May 5th, 2022, manga artist 洋介犬 Yohsuke Ken (@yohsuken) posted an episode from his manga 『反逆コメンテーターエンドウさん』 hangyaku komentētā endōsan (Rebellious Commentator Mr. Endo), in which the titular character appeared in a news program discussing the issue of kid leashes.

His co-host had a negative view…

Our English translation follows below each panel.

Reproduced with permission from 洋介犬 Yohsuke Ken (@yohsuken)

TITLE: Commentator Mr. Endo and the kid leash debate. | FRAME 1: (Co-host) The other day, I saw a mother who had a leash on her kid… I couldn’t help but think to myself: ‘Aw, come on now…’” FRAME 2: “…Just like a pet, don’t you think?… Tied up like that, it made me feel sorry for the kid.” (audience laughs)” FRAME 3: (Mr. Endo) “If it were me, I’d gladly use a leash to protect my kid from accidents. You’re the one I feel sorry for since you’re ‘tied up’…” FRAME 4: “…by old values and notions of common sense.”

Reproduced with permission from 洋介犬 Yohsuke Ken (@yohsuken)

TITLE: Commentator Mr. Endo and the limits of endurance. | FRAME 1: (Co-host) “But…but is it really a good idea …continue reading

    

Yakuza vs Triads – All You Need To Know About These 2 Mafias

Yakuza Facts Japanese Mafia 2

The underground world of mafias is one that most people actively avoid on the public streets but are secretly excited to read about.

Movies and books about the criminal activities of gangsters showcase their lavish lifestyles, exciting day to day adventures, and occasional heroic deeds, giving them redeeming qualities that make them almost relatable.

However, in reality, these movies and books rarely depict what the life of a Yakuza or triad member is really like.

Are you interested in learning more about these mafias? We’ve curated some interesting information below about both mafia groups for you to read to your heart’s content.

Who Are Yakuza?

The Yakuza is an internationally recognized Japanese criminal syndicate that has a long and rich history in Japan’s society. They have been around for centuries but rose exponentially in prominence after World War II.

During their historical roots, they were involved in heightened criminal activity such as turf wars and undertaking protection responsibilities for money. They eventually gained favour with the Japanese government through cooperation and saw freedoms with certain gang activities.

Post-war, the number of the Yakuza rose by more than 100% throughout Japan. Their activities heavily expanded into gang wars, sophisticated gambling efforts, loan sharking, drugs (only certain groups), and smuggling goods.

Over the years, the Yakuza have evolved from being a feared criminal organization to becoming a (begrudgingly) accepted part of Japanese society. The structure of the Japanese mafia is often referred to as being similar to a family, with its familial tiers, or a business, with its hierarchical power structure.

In recent years, the Yakuza have branched out from their mostly Japan-centralized criminal activity to locations around the world, such as in the U.S. For example, one of their favourite investments is luxury golf courses.

Make sure you also read our blog post about Yakuza Facts.

Who Are Triads?

<img loading="lazy" title="What …continue reading

    

Japan To Open Borders To Tourists From June 2022

Yes, you heard that right!

Japan is FINALLY planning to open its borders to tourists from next month (June 2022).

This is the news we were all waiting for more than 2 years!

As you probably know, Japan is one of the most strict countries when it comes to traveling during the pandemic. As of now, only Japanese nationals and foreign residents are allowed to enter the country. Exceptions are made for foreign students, technical interns and business travellers but no tourists are allowed.

But on May 5, the Japanese prime minister Kishida shook up the world and declared in London that he plan to relax the borders restrictions from June 2022 to allow tourist to visit Japan. He mentioned that he plans to align the Japanese travel restrictions to the rest of the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK and US).

“We will further relax control, so that in June it will be possible to enter the country as smoothly as other G7 nations” said prime minister Kishida.

When it’s not clear what will be the travel restrictions to enter Japan as a tourist yet, it’s likely that the country will give priority to fully vaccinated people and authorities will probably require a PCR test prior to the flight. We can also anticipate that the opening will be done in stages, with a limit of daily arrivals for example.

Kishida also added that Japan is currently in a holiday period (Golden Week) and people are expected to travel massively within the country. The government need to analyse the impact of the Golden Week on the circulation of the virus before to take a final decision.

Japan has been very criticised around the world for its strict immigration restrictions and is now facing economic challenges, particularly with the record-low value of the Japanese yen.

Opening the borders may …continue reading

    

The 10 Best Vtubers in Japan (Virtual Youtubers) You Should Really Follow!

Watson Amelia Vtuber

When YouTube launched in 2005, no one really knew just how big of a platform it would become.

It went from hosting random videos that people filmed of themselves at home, to now becoming a top-tier streaming platform and being a place where people actually earn their entire livelihood.

YouTube is a mega-verse that you could spiral down for hours, nay, days, and never want to surface.

An interesting trend on YouTube that’s caught the attention of many people over the past few years is the rise of VTubers. You may have come across those animated videos before that have a surreal likeliness to actual people.

But for those uninitiated, who or what exactly are VTubers?

What is a VTuber?

VTuber is short for ‘Virtual YouTuber’, and it describes internet personalities that are performed by actual people, whereby they’re superimposed on the character using motion-capture technology and live 3D modeling.

Basically, they’re online entertainment characters who walk and walk like real humans.

The first VTuber in history was Kizuna AI, introduced to the world via YouTube in 2016.

Since then, the rise in demand and popularity of VTubers has risen exponentially, and some VTuber characters have, alone, elevated their companies to new heights!

VTubers essentially provide entertainment by playing games, chatting to viewers, and participating in live streams like a real person. Some boast millions of subscribers around the world, and even collaborate with other Vtubers – just like a regular YouTuber!

They were initially Japan-focused, but since interest has grown massively overseas, there are many English-speaking VTubers out there now.

The 10 Best Vtubers In Japan To Follow

Let’s have a look at the 10 most popular VTubers you should follow.

  1. Kizuna AI
  2. Kson ONAIR
  3. Kuzuha
  4. Nytasha Nyanners
  5. Kaguya Luna
  6. Mirai Akari
  7. Watson Amelia
  8. Shirakami Fubuki
  9. Mori Calliope
  10. Siro

1. Kizuna AI



Kizuna AI is the most famous and popular VTuber in Japan, boasting a whopping 2 million subscribers to her channel.

She …continue reading

    

The 10 Best Vtubers (Virtual Youtubers) You Should Really Follow!

Watson Amelia Vtuber

When YouTube launched in 2005, no one really knew just how big of a platform it would become.

It went from hosting random videos that people filmed of themselves at home, to now becoming a top-tier streaming platform and being a place where people actually earn their entire livelihood.

YouTube is a mega-verse that you could spiral down for hours, nay, days, and never want to surface.

An interesting trend on YouTube that’s caught the attention of many people over the past few years is the rise of VTubers. You may have come across those animated videos before that have a surreal likeliness to actual people.

But for those uninitiated, who or what exactly are VTubers?

What is a VTuber?

VTuber is short for ‘Virtual YouTuber’, and it describes internet personalities that are performed by actual people, whereby they’re superimposed on the character using motion-capture technology and live 3D modeling.

Basically, they’re online entertainment characters who walk and walk like real humans.

The first VTuber in history was Kizuna AI, introduced to the world via YouTube in 2016.

Since then, the rise in demand and popularity of VTubers has risen exponentially, and some VTuber characters have, alone, elevated their companies to new heights!

VTubers essentially provide entertainment by playing games, chatting to viewers, and participating in live streams like a real person. Some boast millions of subscribers around the world, and even collaborate with other Vtubers – just like a regular YouTuber!

They were initially Japan-focused, but since interest has grown massively overseas, there are many English-speaking VTubers out there now.

The 10 Best Vtubers To Follow

Let’s have a look at the 10 most popular VTubers you should follow.

  1. Kizuna AI
  2. Kson ONAIR
  3. Kuzuha
  4. Nytasha Nyanners
  5. Kaguya Luna
  6. Uruha Rushia
  7. Watson Amelia
  8. Shirakami Fubuki
  9. Mori Calliope
  10. Siro

1. Kizuna AI



Kizuna AI is the most famous and popular VTuber in Japan, boasting a whopping 2 million subscribers to her channel.

She is …continue reading

    

T-Rex turns shiba inu’s dog park visit into greatest weekend

Source: grapee.jp

A trip to the dog park is highlight of the week for many dogs, but Japanese Twitter user @kuroshibapeko made sure to make it special enough fun to last for weeks on end.

@kuroshibapeko recently shared a video of a very different type of dog park trip with their beloved shiba inu, Peko. As you can see in the video, Peko was treated to quite the exciting time, and the caption @kuroshibapeko shared the video with speaks for itself:

I had the greatest weekend with my dog.

愛犬と最高の週末過ごしてきました pic.twitter.com/5TmafQx2F3

— 暴君ぺこ (@kuroshibapeko) April 24, 2022

In a conveniently empty dog park, @kuroshibapeko is giving Peko quite the humorous chase in a giant dinosaur costume. Peko seems super enthused, and almost seems to be mocking them as they run circles around the flailing dinosaur and stopping and starting to give them a chance to catch up.

@kuroshibapeko explained that in order to not scare Peko with the costume, they first showed it to them at home and tried it on around them in order for the excitable shiba inu to get used to it.

Source: @kuroshibapeko

It certainly makes for quite the image!

jk
Source: @kuroshibapeko

Related Article

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10 Interesting Edo Period Facts You Probably Did NOT Know

Sushi Etiquette Japan 6

The Edo Period, also known as the Tokugawa Period, was considered the last period of history that was considered ‘traditional’ and ‘olden’ Japan.

This era was characterized by strict samurai ruling, rapid economic growth, peace across the prefectures, borders closed, cultural revolutions, and in particular, the major urbanization of Japan.

For example, it was during this period that such forms of entertainment as Kabuki and Haiku became popular. It was also during this time that sushi came into existence!

In fact, there are many interesting cultural and traditional aspects of Japan that emerged during the Edo Period that you probably didn’t know.

Let’s have a look at some of them with these 10 Edo Period Facts!

1. Sushi was the ‘fast-food’ option of the Edo Period

Sushi may seem like a Japanese dish that has been around forever, but it was actually invented by a street vendor as a snack during the Edo Period.

Back then, it was tasty, nutritious and cheap, and thus became a staple for the less affluent people in Tokyo.

Due to the industrialisation efforts of the Shogunate, there were many construction workers who were mostly single men who either did not know how to cook or were too tired after work. Sushi was the easiest option, and fast became one of the most popular options for food.

However, it wasn’t until the early to mid 1900s that its popularity spread around Japan, as this was when technology caught up and made refrigeration and transportation easier.

Read More: 10 Things Not To Do When You Eat Sushi In Japan

2. Women shaved their eyebrows after marriage (amongst other things!)

Edo Period Beauty Standards

It’s often the case that beauty is in the eye …continue reading

    

Best Tourist Spots in Kurashiki

Have you heard of Kurashiki (倉敷), a charming Japanese town that is known for its Edo Period canal district and old storehouses? The Ohara Museum and Ivy Square with historical significance but a trendy feel to it are other attractions of Kurashiki. Chances are that this is the first time you learn about what’s called the ‘Venice of Japan’, and that is because it is not on the average international tourists’ radar yet. Local Japanese tourists already know about the charms of this city in Okayama Prefecture though, and we would like to introduce the best tourist spots in Kurashiki to you as well! History of Kurashiki During the Heian […]

…continue reading

    

Bone-chilling discovery at abandoned farm in Japan looks like a horror movie opening

Source: grapee.jp

Japanese farmer’s discovery has the makings of a horror movie.

Earlier this year, Japanese Twitter user Morris=Dama (@moridama) began work as a farmer and beekeeper in the countryside. A fulfilling and quiet job, but like all horror movies, the quiet only lasts so long before you find something you maybe shouldn’t have.

Morris=Dama took to Twitter to share a photo of an unsettling discovery she made. Near the apiary she works on, she stumbled across an abandoned farm. That enough might make some people want to turn back, but she was captivated by the chilling and mysterious sight that decorated the walls of the deserted ranch.

Terrified, she shared a photo of what she found saying “I have no idea what to do and am so scared.

Source: @moridam

何をすれば良いのか分からなくて怖いやつや…(・∀・) pic.twitter.com/Hfl2Ly0pRC

— 🦋モリス=ダマ🐝 (@moridama) April 17, 2022

Hanging on the outer walls are a number of deformed and withered masks that are strangely lifelike and seem to be staring right at you. Posted next to them is a mysterious sign board that says “Those who enter the farm, please make sure to…“, with the lettering where the specifics of what to do were either never filled in, or faded over time.

The eerie combination of an abandoned farm, horrifying masks, and a mysterious incomplete message has many on Twitter feeling chills, comparing the scene to the beginnings of a horror movie like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

While it seems like we’ll never know the mystery behind the abandoned farm, it seems Morris=Dama has taken the scare in good stride, deciding to use the blank space in the message as a template for a meme by filling in “Those who enter the farm, please make …continue reading