Irasshaimase: Yelling At Customers In Japan


What are Japanese shop workers saying when you enter their stores? Irasshaimase (いらっしゃいませ) means “welcome,” or you could think of it as “come in.” It’s the world-renowned word Japanese staff yell out when you enter

Noren: Traditional Japanese Curtains


A noren is a Japanese curtain most commonly hung outside the entrance to a shop. Often used to distinguish when the shop is open or closed. Businesses with their noren outside are

The Price of Coffee in Tokyo

Price of Coffee in Tokyo

Coffee prices in Tokyo are not overly high. Expect to spend between ¥100 to ¥800 on coffee in Tokyo; depending on where you purchase it, what type it is, and the size

7-Eleven Japan: Great Food & Actual Convenience

7-Eleven Tokyo

Convenience stores in Japan are conveniently convenient. I know… 7-Eleven? Really? Yes. Fly all the way to Tokyo for a 7-Eleven convenience store, you should (okay, maybe not only for 7-Eleven). Greasy

Street food is making a comeback in Tokyo

The yatai: return of street food in Tokyo + amazing places to find the best! Once prevalent in Japanese culture, street food vendors (or “yatai” as described locally) are starting to return

What is the best month to go to Tokyo?

Best month to go to Tokyo, night cityscape

What is the best month to go to Tokyo? Late March to early April. Why? Because you’ll experience the cherry blossoms & they’re only around a short time.

What is Teppanyaki?

What is Teppanyaki? Flat iron grill on fire with chef

Teppan meats flat iron grill. Yaki means to cook, but in this instance, more accurately, to grill. So teppanyaki means grilled on a flat iron grill.

What is Shabu-Shabu?

shabu-shabu meat on a plate

Shabu-shabu is a hot pot dish where you swish very thinly sliced meat in boiling broth — instantly cooking the meat.

What is Okonomiyaki?

Okonomiyaki in Japan

Okonomiyaki is often referred to as Japanese-style pancakes. A mixture of batter and savory ingredients like seafood, meat, and vegetables.

What is Ramen in Japan?

Ramen Handbook

“Chinese style noodles with meat or fish broth.“ But that doesn’t explain ramen in Japan. It did come from China. But Japan has made it into its own.

Donburi: Phenomenal Japanese Fast Food

What is donburi? Bowl of rice with toppings

Rice in a bowl with stuff on top. “What is donburi” is something I’m asked quite often. It’s a simple dish. Donburi means bowl. Yep. That’s it. You’ll often find it abbreviated as simply don.

What is Karaoke in Japan?

Karaoke was born in Japan! It’s short of karappo (empty) and orchestra; aka “empty vocals.” Karaoke in Japan is insanely fun. They’re like hotels for karaoke!

What are Ryokan?

Ryokan are traditional Japanese style inns. Featuring tatami rooms, communal baths, futon beds, and traditional cuisine.

What is a Super Sento?

A sento is a public bath. Not to be confused with onsen, which is a natural hot spring. A super sento is a very large health spa. They offer many facilities…

What exactly is Dashi?

Dashi is a Japanese soup broth used in a variety of Japanese cuisine. It is made by simmering dried bonito flakes or dried kelp (called konbu).

What is Tatami?

Tatami is the rice straw flooring used in traditional Japanese rooms. The rice straw core is tightly woven with a soft rush (another type of straw). The tatami mat is a standard

What are Jinja?

Jinja 神社 are Shinto shrines. They sanctify Shinto deities. Fun fact: You’ll find a jinja in almost every community across Japan.

What is Kanpai?

Kanpai is the Japanese way of toasting. It literally means “to drink up sake from one’s cup.” It’s used much like in western society, at the beginning of a celebration. Most often

What is Kaiseki?

Kaiseki 懐石 is a traditional Japanese multicourse meal. Basically consisting of hors d’oeuvre, soup, & 3 other dishes + pickles, rice, & dessert.

What is Ukiyo-e?

What is Ukiyo-e? Japanese traditional artwork of geese flying

Ukiyo-e is a historical wood-block style of artwork from Japan — where wood is etched and used a stamp on a canvas of the artists’ choice (sometimes washi).

What is Nomikai?

Nomi means drink. A nomikai is a drinking party. Nomikai usually takes place in izakaya, but increasingly at home too.

What is Kushiage?

Kushi (串) means “skewered” and age (揚げ) means “fried.” I think you can guess where this leads, kushiage means “skewered fried food.“