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FOOD Popular culture


Touristic Guide

Japan has cutting-edge travel facilities, with transport like the shinkansen or ‘bullet train’ making it easy to travel to and from the main areas in relatively short amounts of time. The Land of the Rising Sun as Japan is affectionately known, offers dream like tour ideas. From Tokyo (What not to see in Tokyo!) A vast, futuristic, metropolis; the capitals pristine streets are home to a million interesting sights, to the country’s south and the sublime city of Kyoto which harmoniously defines the essence of Japan.

Vibrant yet laid-back Hiroshima the city has transformed itself into an energetic, welcoming destination and the small town of Hakone - the gateway to Mt. Fuji – Japan’s icon - that can be reached easily from central Tokyo. Japan is lovingly known for its cuisine and is a food-lover’s dream; the country offers a whole universe of flavors, tastes, textures and dining experiences. One of the beauties of exploring Japan is the variety of dishes and cooking styles from region to region – and it’s not all sushi, yakitori and ramen but a whole plentitude of cuisine is waiting to be discovered.


Improve your health by eating local Okinawan cuisine!

In Okinawa, there is a saying that “food is the best medicine for life” and a belief that eating good, tasty food is the secret to health and long life. You will also likely become healthier if you eat local Okinawan cuisine using ingredients cultivated in the rich natural environment of Japan’s southernmost islands.

Truly unique Okinawan cuisine Okinawa has its own unique local cuisines - such as “chanpuru”, which literally means “an assortment”, “Okinawa soba noodles” and “pork cuisine” - all of which are quite different from typical Japanese dishes. These can be enjoyed at many restaurants within Okinawa Prefecture, such as “Koos Okinawacuisine Asatoya”, “Komminka (old folk house) Teirabui” and “Eminomise” in the central area Naha. Actually, when we asked for recommendations at a restaurant during research for this article, the owner said “First you have to try chanpuru - otherwise you won’t have properly enjoyed the Okinawa experience!” Chanpuru is a fried dish where ingredients such as tofu and pork are mixed with vegetables such as goya (bitter melon). The tofu used is a type called “shima-tofu”, which is distinctively hard and chunky. It can be eaten as it is, in soup, or deep-fried. “Okinawa soba noodles” is another unique dish and is completely different to standard Japanese soba. Full-bodied wheat flour noodles and served in a pork stew made with a soup of tonkotsu (pork bone broth) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). Specialists each have their own unique flavors and arrangements, so it is a good idea to eat and compare at various restaurants.


Through a long culinary past, the Japanese have developed sophisticated and refined cuisine. In recent years, Japanese food has become fashionable and popular in the United States, Europe, and many other

sushi, tempura, and teriyaki are some of the foods that are areas. Dishes such as

commonly known. The Japanese diet consists principally

rice; fresh, lean seafood; and pickled or boiled vegetables. The healthy Japanese diet is often of

believed to be related to the longevity of Japanese people


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Visiting Tokyo, Japan is an exciting plan especially during the month of May. During this month, you will be able to experience firsthand and see various festivals being celebrated in this delightful city. You will see various infusions of Japanese and Western culture. Moreover, you will enjoy festivities while touring the city and seeing sites and attractions being offered to its visitors. Moreover, Sumo wrestling events are one of the highlights that can be enjoyed during the merry month of May in Tokyo. Furthermore, the city districts offer a lot of things to do on a daily basis.

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The sight of fireflies can leave anyone in awe nowadays, since it is so rare to see one. However, in the center of Tokyo along the Sumida River, you will be amazed at what you will see. Faint lights floating on the river that flickers as that of real fireflies are seen during the Hotaru Festival. LED lights called Inoriboshi Prayer Stars will be released over the river. Then during the festival period, mini concerts, parades, and various performances can be enjoyed along the Sumida River.


This festival is held annually and features colorful lantern floats called nebuta which are pulled through the streets of Central Aomori. This festival is held from about August 2–7 every year. This event attracts millions of visitors. During this festival, 20 large nebuta floats are paraded through the streets near Aomori JR rail station. These floats are constructed of wooden bases and metal frames. Japanese papers, called washi, are painted onto the frames. These amazing floats are finished off with the historical figures or kabuki being painted on the paper. These floats can take up to a year to complete. There is a dance portion of this festival. There are haneto dancers and they wear special costumes for this dance. Everyone is welcome to purchase their own haneto costume that they may too join in on the fun (Mishima, Aomori Nebuta Festival).


The Japanese wear two types of clothing. The two types are yin and yang. These were developed to go along with nature. In modern Japan clothing is typically divided into western clothing andJapanese clothing . While the traditional ethnic garments of Japan are still in use, they are mainly worn for ceremonies and special events, funerals, coming-of-age ceremonies (seijin shiki),

and festivals. Western clothing is worn more often in dayto-day life. Men and women favor "western-style" clothing in their daily lives due to the comparative convenience as well as the influx of global fashion. While the westernization of fashions has continued at a rapid pace, the kimono is dying, but it will remain part of the Japanese way of life for many years to come. Both genders can wear kimono.


One of the most interesting parts of Japanese society and culture today is the whole area of popular culture. That really means youth culture. Thus, young people are at the center of some of the most lively developments in Japan today. Japanese popular culture has a very interesting history, and if we had time, we could trace it all the way back to the Edo period, that is, to 1600 or so, at the very least. Japanese popular culture not only reflects the attitudes and concerns of the present but also provides a link to the past. Japanese cinema, cuisine, television programs, manga, and music all developed from older artistic and literary traditions, and many of their themes and styles of presentation can be traced to traditional art forms. Contemporary forms of popular culture, much like the traditional forms, provide not only entertainment but also an escape for the contempo rary Japanese from the problems of an industrial world. When asked how they spent their leisure time, 80 percent of a sample

of men and women surveyed by the government in 1986 said they averaged about two and one-half hours per weekday watching television, listening to the radio, and reading Japanese newspapers or magazines. Some 16 percent spent an average of two and onequarter hours a day engaged in hobbies or amusements. Others spent leisure time participating in sports, socializing, and personal study. Teenagers and retired people reported spending more time on all of these activities than did other groups. In the late 1980s, the family was the focus of leisure activities, such as excursions to parks or shopping districts. Although Japan is often thought of as a hard-working society with little time for pleasure, the Japanese seek entertainment wherever they can. It is common to see Japanese commuters riding the train to work, enjoying their favorite manga or listening through earphones to the latest in popular music on portable music players.

POPULAR CULTURE

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Andrea Aguirre y Gerardo Canizales.



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