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When many people think of Japan, they conjure images of Tokyo and bullet trains, cherry blossoms, and Mount Fuji.

Those images are certainly well-known, but Japan is much more than that. The nation is composed of thousands of small islands inhabiting 127 million people. The terrain ranges from Tokyo’s skyscrapers and ancient shrines to Hokkaido’s stark mountain ranges to Okinawa’s dense jungle. Different regions maintain distinctive cuisine, festivals, and cultural customs.

Matador’s community of expats and travelers have written much about Japan. Here you will find personal accounts of teaching English and studying Japanese, recommendations for what NOT to do, and tips for partying with salarymen. In addition, there is a range of helpful articles to seek out cultural festivals, unusual theme restaurants, and the strangest beauty products.

At Kappa, your order even arrives at your table on a miniature, cutely kitsch train.
Japan has thousands of hot springs. Where there's a hot spring, there's probably an onsen.
Mary Richardson gives us the story on where you can dine with cats, chow down locked in a...
Mary Richardson breaks down the island's avoidable attractions...and what you should do...
If you're in Japan, you have probably been told that all the gaijin in Tokyo do their...
Matador's destination expert on Japan lays out the country's avoidable attractions...and...
Okinawa invites the outside world to share in the culture, dance, music, and spirit of...
Fear not--the following are ways to eat well without running out of cash.
Menya Musashi: "The cooks are animated in the open kitchen, with the head noodle chef...
The following Culture Crash Course will help you ease right into Japan.
Is it only random, crazy, unique, and uplifting because I don't speak Japanese?
Ramen = broth + noodles + toppings.
I moved to Japan a little over a year after the earthquake.
You have a heart of stone if you don't "awwwww!" at least once while watching this.
Living abroad as a dependent with the military feels like living abroad with training...
I hadn’t planned a pilgrimage to the centre of fetish paradise.
The metal storm shutters change the sound of the wind to a kettle whistling and whining.
Every time you ask, you regret it that little bit more.
I went to Japan to experience and document Kyudo, the ancient art of Japanese archery.
One of my more poetic students remarked that I looked like an Amazon warrior.
A few hundred years ago a samurai may have sat in this chair to do some sword shopping.
Between March 2012 and March 2013, almost everything about my life changed.
People lined up to take this shot of a cherry blossom framing the Buddha. Yes, I waited.
I began working at Kaze to Matsu every weekend. Sunday became known as Gaijin Day.
I have seen plastic pizza, beer, salads, soup, sushi, curry, everything.