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Japanese Sweets

  Department stores in Japan, from Seibu to Daimaru to shopping areas near stations, are the go-to source for clothing, household goods, and even gourmet food. Usually located in the basement floors, food areas of department stores are stocked with high-quality goods from wine to fresh vegetables to carefully prepared salads. The amount of choices available can be overwhelming at times but is also exciting for customers to...

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KYOTO & TOKYO SPRING BREAK TOUR (Kyoto, Nara, Hakone, and Tokyo) March 22- 29, 2014 Day One & Two First two days were dedicated to flying from Honolulu to Narita, then from Narita to Itami, then lastly from Itami to Kyoto. After arriving safely in Kyoto around midnight, we checked into New Miyako Hotel Main Tower and called it a night.           Day Three: Kyoto After a good breakfast we got together...

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The sakura have begun to bloom, and there is hardly a more attractive time of year to visit Japan than now. Clouds of pink petals are covering the nation as friends and family gather for a week of hanami, or flower viewing parties. It’s this time of year that sakura flavored goods start filling the shelves. That’s right, Japan’s love for this transient bloom doesn’t just stop at merely gazing at them–...

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After writing about a few regions in Japan and the omiyage they are famous for, people actually got in touch with me asking more about what omiyage are and the etiquette behind them. If you’ve been to Japan, surely you’ve seen them before, tourist shops everywhere filled with enticing boxes of local sweets that are all packaged individually inside a nice, large pre-gift wrapped box. These are omiyage. Even outside Japan, omiyage are...

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In the month leading up to Valentine’s Day, stores beginning put out elaborate displays selling chocolates and other such gifts, much like any other country. However, these displays are all geared towards women looking to buy chocolate. In Japan, women have the social obligation to give every man they know chocolate on this day. The men get to sit back and relax as he’s pampered by all the women in his life. The types of...

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  Arashiyama is a bit of a romantic destination and it’s a great example of picture-perfect, traditional Japan. You’ll often see people dressed in kimono walking through the small alleyways and rickshaws running past carrying customers. While there are a few temples and other points of interest, such as the Bamboo Grove, what I love most about Arashiyama are all of its small shops. The main road is lined with small,...

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