Mini Guide to Japan

Festivals

Sapporo Snow Festival

At the beginning of February, Sapporo hosts the snow festival, which is famous for its ice sculpture competition. Artists from all over the world create large and elaborate sculptures with just ice and snow. Although the artwork can be appreciated during the day, in the evening, they’re all lit up creating an amazing atmosphere.

tasch / Shutterstock.com

Cherry Blossom

The cherry blossom is probably one of Japan’s most famous events attracting visitors from all over the globe eager to see the flowers of the Japanese cherry tree. It starts in Okinawa around January but reaches Kyoto and Tokyo around the beginning of April.

In Japan, it’s often associated with the Buddhist concept mono no aware, meaning “awareness of impermanence.”

segawa7 / Shutterstock.com

Nebuta Matsuri Festival

Nebuta Matsuri Festival is a summer festival that takes place in Aomori. Nebuta is a lantern float depicting gods and mythical warriors, which is carried throughout the city while dancers wearing traditional costumes (called haneto) dance and chant around it. Local teams build around two dozen floats, which can be five meters tall and nine meters wide.

AKKHARAT JARUSILAWONG / Shutterstock.com

People and Culture

Japanese people are extremely polite and welcoming. They understand their culture can sometimes be a mystery and make an effort to help foreigners adapt to their “unspoken rules.” If you learn a bit of Japanese, try to bow when you meet someone new, and understand the rules of eating with chopsticks, you’ll probably going to be fine.

Pikoso.kz / Shutterstock.com

SHARE ON

Advertisement

The Most Common Scams from Around the World

There’s nothing like traversing the world and exploring new countries and cultures, but sometimes the experience is spoiled by dishonorable people preying on uninformed travelers. If you make an effort to learn about the classic scams, you’re unlikely to fall victim to them and can just enjoy the positive side of your trip. To help, here’s a list of common scams around the world for you to get acquainted with.

How to Make Friends During Your Trip

One of the biggest fears of people who want to embark on a solo trip is being alone. They think meeting new people will be a struggle, and if they can’t find a partner to travel with, they just cancel or postpone their adventure. The truth is that with a little bit of planning and initiative, it’s actually harder to be alone than you think. The travel community is extremely welcoming and one doesn’t need to try hard to be part of it.

This Is the Fastest Way to Get through Customs

No one enjoys lines, and custom lines are some of the worst. The hundreds of confused flyers with paperwork in hand is daunting, but what if I told you that you can bypass that line for free – without paying for Global Entry? Whether you travel internationally 30 times a year or once a year, you’ll love the app. The Mobile Passport Control app speeds up the process of filling out and processing your U.S. immigration paperwork. This little-known app gets you your own line, away from the crowds, and lets you get to baggage claim that much quicker – likely before your baggage!

8 Bizarre Ocean Phenomena

The ocean is storied, deep, and complex. Whether it is the folklore surrounding Atlantis and the Bermuda Triangle, or the weird-looking fauna and flora that arise out of it, the ocean is a great source of fascination. In fact, only five percent of it has been properly explored, leaving plenty of gaps for our imaginations to fill in.

Worst Celebrity Statues from Around the World

We buy their albums, tickets to their movies, and all the products, brands, and questionable colognes that they endorse. Surely that’s enough to quell the hungry egos of some of the world’s biggest celebrities. Well, not exactly. You see, immortalization via cultural significance, world records, and millions of dollars sometimes isn’t enough. Tradition dictates that our celebrity idols need to be re-created in gold, bronze, wax, and stone, so not even the elements can dismantle the memory of their monumental rise to the top.

How to Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

If you’re an active traveler or live in a uniquely historic part of the world, chances are you’ve been exposed to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This phrase is thrown around frequently. When we first hear it, the first thing that comes to mind is that it must represent something historic and old. Many UNESCO World Heritage Sites are famous buildings, landmarks, or areas that are renowned because of their beauty and historical significance.