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Japanese History

What does Myogadani mean?

This place name is a hot mess. All aboard the Tangent Express!!!

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

What does Haneda mean?

Nobody ever thinks about the etymology airport names. Be one of the few chosen ones!

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Tokyo Train Line Names

Most of the train lines in Tōkyō have names based on whatever major area they originated/terminated – or at least stopped at. For example, the Marunouchi Line’s most important stations were in the former Marunouchi (Daimyō Alley) and the Yamanote Line connected centers of the “new Yamanote.[ii]” Some of the more ambitious, longer train lines have names that describe their start/stop points in general terms. This type of name usually reflects the tendency of the Japanese language to make new matches out of existing kanji.

Most of these names are self-evident to the Japanese, especially people who live and/or work in and around Tōkyō. But many of these names may be slightly mysterious to foreigners.

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Japanese History

What does Toranomon mean?

I’m not even joking when I say I think this name was chosen just because it sounded cool.

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Japanese History

What does Ogikubo mean?

At the very end of the Marunouchi Line in Suginami Ward lies an area called Ogikubo. The name, “grassy basin” seems straight forward enough, but might there be a Buddhist connection as well?

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Japanese History

10 Ways to Learn Japanese History

Today, I’d like to answer a few readers questions in one post. In short, how can I get an overview of Japanese History? I’m also going to recommend a few online sources that will help you broaden your understanding of Japanese history and culture.

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Japan Japanese Music

Top 10 Japanese Songs of Summer 2

Part 2 of the JapanThis list of Top 10 Songs of Summer in Japan. This list is less traditional. But screw it, I’m busy as hell and have no time to write or go to festivals or anything. Indulge me this month for slacking off, please.

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Japan Japanese Music

Top 10 Japanese Songs of Summer 1

Japanese Top 10 Songs of Summer (part 1) This list is divided into 2 parts. The first part is a little more traditional, or at least songs that you’ll associate with summer because they only are heard in the summer or because they are about the summer. The second half is made of songs I […]

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Japan Japanese History

Samurai Archives Podcast (part 1)

So……… yeah. Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter may have seen my giddy posts about doing a podcast with some of the guys from Samurai Archives. I finally got to do it and although I was super nervous to talk with them, it actually was the most normal and natural thing […]

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Japan Japanese iPhone Travel in Japan

Free Wifi for Travelers in Japan

So you’re planning a trip to Japan. You have a smartphone or PC and you’re worried about only having wifi in your hotel room. Flets will give you access to their hotspots around Tokyo (and some other cities). It might not be perfect, but it’s better than nothing. And it’s FREE!