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Cannot find your bookmarks links ?

You have a working desktop in the office and you also used a laptop to work from home. During your lunch break while having lunch, you found some interesting sites and bookmarked in your office desktop. You reached home wanting to continue with the articles on the particular sites,  but you can’t remember the link which is not found on your laptop! Next day, you import the links using a thumb drive and import the links onto your laptop …

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Budget Restaurants

Food can be extremely expensive in Japan and the number of chain eateries and budget restaurants have risen. These days, even eating at fast food chains can get quite pricey. Plus, Japan aren’t exactly known for their hefty meal portions. So here are a few cheap eateries that are recommended if you are on a budget, though most seem to be popular for their beef and rice bowls:

Matsuya

Matsuya is an extremely well known chain budget restaurant that usually serves beef and rice at 250YEN which is a good find. They also have curry, kimichi and pork with rice and several set meals that are less than 1000YEN. Matsuya is 24 hours and also serves breakfast.

Yoshinoya

While Yoshinoya are much more popular for the tastier beef and rice bowls, they also serve a variety of other types of meals that come in different sizes- Small, medium and large. Yoshinoya also has deep fried foods like tonkatsu and fried ebi among others like teriyaki chicken and curry rice.

Yayoi-Ken

Yayoi Ken serves mostly set meals under 1200YEN and are very popular for their rice-refills. This means, you can refill your rice as many times as you want and get your worth for your money. Most set meals are under 1000YEN and are quite huge in portion. They have a huge variety in their menu that comes with fish, chicken, beef and pork. It is certainly a good find for a hungry man. Please also do note that refilling of rice is self-service.

Suki-Ya

Suki-Ya is another popular eatery for Gyu-don (beef and rice bowl) and also offers different sizes for their meals. Albeit the same as Yoshinoya, they are known to be give their value for your money and usually have sit-in booth areas instead of the usual table at the counter type. They also tend to come up with seasonal promotions and menus which are worth checking out.

Enjoy the Fireworks in Japan’s Summer Fireworks Festival – Hanabi Matsuri

Japan has a tradition of holding a fireworks festival during the end of july-start of august period which is smack right in the middle of summer. It is a huge celebration in every part of Japan that has Yatai (street food stalls and games) covering the roads for miles and miles. And sure enough, you can expect thousands of people to be there.

Most men and women would dress in their respective kimono or yukata and would carry a fan (as the weather is very hot.. and also, it’s part of the style!) as they walk around eating, playing games and stand around the river watching the boats sail pass. These boats are usually sponsored by several companies or universities and would have their staff or students sit on it and make a lot of noise.

Most people would be accessing the festival area via train and it is very common for trains to run extra-late and more frequently due to the high volume of passengers. Do expect an extremely huge crowd and that cellphone service might have some complications as well. It is also a known fact that pickpocketing will be a little more common in such situations, so be sure to keep your belongings safe.

There will also be a designated time for the fireworks to start, and you will see people reserving spots on the grass where they will drink beer, eat grilled meat and watch the fireworks with their loved ones. Do save a spot early (around 4-5pm) if you wish to have a picnic under the sky.

Difference between Sento and Onsen

Many people seem to misunderstand these two different bath houses in Japan which is a common topic among travellers. One is the Sento and another will be the popular Onsen.

A sento is a communal Japanese Bath house that is most popular in cold weather. The common misconception is that it has natural spring water coming out from it, but it is actually just normal water. The exception is, that they have many different type of baths/pools like a jacuzzi type and jet water type.

There are certain Sento where you will have to pay 50/80 YEN to use the hairdryers. And of course, an entry fee is required for any Sento. You will be given a locker to keep your personal belongings in. Sentos are split into a male and female section, and yes you are required to go naked in front of others. Sentos are usually used for bathing, instead of relaxing.

An Onsen is a communal bath house that has water originating from natural hot springs. People go to an Onsen to relax as they believe that it is good for clearing their minds and improving their skin. Some Japanese even believe certain onsen to be magical and able to cure illnesses! Most Onsen now are seperated into male and female sections, but some still are multi-sex. So be sure to check ahead if you are uncomfortable in co-ed situations.

Many Onsen come hand in hand with a Ryokan (Traditional Japanese Inn) where there will be a package for lodging, food, and of course, use of the Onsen. It is a great retreat for both foreigners and Japanese alike.

Selling/Buying Manga in Japan

Many people know that buying and selling of 2nd hand Manga is a very popular culture in Japan. Buying 2nd hand manga is not only a cheaper alternative, it is also usually still in pristine condition. Selling of your 2nd hand Manga is called Kaitori (買取). You are not only able to do this with Manga, but CDs and DVDs as well!

Places to sell/buy 2nd hand manga:

-Tsutaya
-BOOK OFF

Somtimes they have the option to buy a bundle at a discounted rate which is a steal for customers! Do keep a lookout for these deals.

Watching a Movie in Japan

Watching movies in Japan is almost the same as any other cinema in the world. However, prices may differ for everyone. A popular cinema in Japan would be Toho Cinemas which can be frequently found in O1O1 shopping malls.

Special Prices:

-Wednesdays are the usual “ladies days” where movie tickets for ladies can be purchased at 1000YEN.
-Every 1st of the month, tickets are all 1000YEN.
-Senior citizens above 60 years old can also purchase tickets at 1000 YEN.

A normal ticket price can be 1500YEN-1800YEN.

Popcorn and the like can also be purchased for around 1000YEN with a drink.

Please take note:

There are usually two choices for American movies/English Speaking Movies. Those that are dubbed over in Japanese. Or those that are in English and have Japanese subtitles. It is important to clarify that before purchasing tickets, especially for non-Japanese speaking people.