Sunday, 12 August 2012

Great Websites & Online Resources About Japan

The internet is filled with websites about Japan from useful travel guides and informative blogs to up to date news and fun videos. Here is a list of my recommendations and favourites:

Tried & Tested by Itsumo Japan! 
Entries that bear this stamp websites that I regularly use myself. Enjoy!


Japan Guide
A good place to start for anything Japanese, this website contains travel guides and information about transport, accommodation and shopping as well as articles about arts, crafts, living and working in Japan and much more.

Web Japan
A fun and interesting page packed full of facts and articles about Japan including new trends, an online magazine called Nipponia, lots of useful links and a special page for children.

Web Japan Video Topics
Web Japan's video page deserves its own mention because of the wide variety of topics that they cover. There are films about kimono dying, modern technology, arts, crafts and food. My personal favourite is a video called 'Leave it All to the Movers' that shows the ingenious methods of Japanese removal companies.

Japan Society: About Japan
The Japan Society's About Japan page is filled with interesting and useful resources, essays and lesson plans that will be interesting to teachers and students of Japan studies alike.

BBC News: Japan Profile
The BBC's Japan page has lots of facts and figures about the country, its economy, leaders, population and media. It also includes a timeline of key events and links to relevant articles.

The Japan Times Online
This online English language newspaper is packed with articles and features to keep you up to date with all the news and events in Japan
Japan Today
A Tokyo-based online magazine that provides original articles in English on news from all areas of Japanese society. There are features on art and culture, food and travel as well as more serious topics.


Japan National Tourism Organization
The JNTO site is host to a wealth of information about Japanese travel and culture including a monthly online magazine filled with articles about travel around Japan and an extensive archive of regional and special interest travel guides and brochures to download.

Visit Japan
Lots of information about places to visit in Japan including promotional videos and suggested routes for various themes and interests.

Japan Experience
This website, along with arranging tours in Japan, also offers a selection of lovely looking apartments for holidaymakers. There are 5 in various areas of Tokyo and 22 in Kyoto, many of which have traditional features like shoji and tatami.

The Brovision website is filled with videos of Japanese places, events like matsuri and hanami and activities like noodle making and a trip to an onsen.  They're great for reminiscing about your last trip to Japan or to have a look at places that you might be planning to visit.
YouTube: World-Cruise
I only discovered these videos recently but I am totally in love with them. Filmed in various cities around Japan the videos quietly observe everyday life either walking along the back streets or from a street corner. They capture the sights and sounds of Japan that will either bring back a flood of memories from your last trip or give you a feel for places that you plan to visit.


MIT Visualizing Cultures
MIT's Visualizing Cultures website combines academic essays with images that depict unusual and interesting aspects of Japanese history and culture such as Commodore Perry's entry into Japan, foreign tourists in Meiji Japan and cosmetic advertising from the early 20th century.


Wochi Kochi Magazine
Wochi Kochi is the Japan Foundation's online magazine featuring articles, essays and interviews relating to modern Japanese culture.

White Rose East Asia Centre
Bringing together academics from the universities of Sheffield and Leeds this website contains essays on Japanese culture and society as well as language resources.

Contemporary Japan: Culture and Society

Columbia University's Contemporary Japan: Culture & Society site features videos of Harvard University academics speaking about aspects of japanese society such as the family, pop culture and religion, links to further information, a bibliography for each subject and transcripts of the videos.

Food & Drink

Eat-Japan aim to promote Japanese food, drink and culture in the UK. Their website has lots of information about ingredients, a database of recipes, a list of shops and restaurants in the UK and an online shop where you can buy cookware, books and much more.
Just Bento
The Just Bento website has everything that you need for making delicious and creative lunchboxes: recipe ideas and meal planners and recommendations for where to buy bento supplies. Makiko Itoh, the blog's author, has also written an accompanying book.

Just Hungry
The sister to site to Just Bento focuses on Japanese food in general and contains lots of recipes and tips.

This website isn't about making bento but instead is a really useful database of restaurants and bars in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka searchable by area or cuisine. The website also contains articles about Japanese food and drink and recipes.

Lonely Planet: A Guide to the Eateries of Japan
This handy article on the Lonely Planet website explains the difference between the myriad of dining options available in Japan from budget izakaya to expensive ryotei.

YouTube: Cooking with Dog
A series of cooking videos 'hosted' by Francis the dog that cover such Japanese classics as onigirioyakudon and okonomiyaki. They are quirky but very informative.

Geisha & Kimono
The Victoria & Albert Museum's page dedicated to articles about kimono history, motifs and use in modern day as well as details of kimono in the museum's collection.

Immortal Geisha
A website, wiki page and forum all fall under the Immortal Geisha umbrella and each one is packed full of information and facts about geisha and kimono including book reviews and recommendations, a guide to the difference between maiko and geisha and extensive information about the many different elements of kimono.

Brovision: Geisha 'Sakurako'
An interesting video including an interview with Tokyo geisha Sakurako and footage of her applying her make-up, being dressed in kimono and performing a traditional dance.

Think there's something missing?
This page is a work in progress and I am always on the lookout for new things to add. If you've got a favourite website that you think should be on the list then tell me all about it by going to the Itsumo Japan Facebook page.


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