There’s a lot of information about Japan floating around on the internet, so finding a really great site can seem like a never-ending endeavor. As self-proclaimed Japanophiles, we have more than a few sites we frequent to get our daily dose of anything about our home away from home. It was hard to choose, but here are five of our favorite blogs about Japan.
More Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan – Ojisan Jake
This beautiful blog does exactly what the name implies and shows off a different side of Japan that few tourists get to see. Based in the lesser known Shimane Prefecture, the blog’s author, Ojisan Jake, explores the hidden backroads of this sleepy area of Japan, showcasing temples, hiking trails, and the traditional culture of the area. The blog is updated regularly with plenty of photos to give you a true glimpse of unfamiliar Japan.
Exploring Japan’s Ruins / Haikyo – Michael John Grist
More of an official website than a blog, Exploring Japan’s Ruins is a photo-filled subpage of author Michael John Grist’s site. There are many blogs out there that explore Japan’s numerous abandoned buildings, but Grist’s is filled with skillfully taken photographs and detailed accounts of his adventures in withering shrines and forgotten hospitals.
This wonderfully simple blog is about “an American guy with a wife and daughter trying to build a life in the Japan countryside – and share some of it along the way.” It gives a charming view of a mixed family’s life as they go mulberry picking, plant rice, and make traditional foods in the Japanese countryside. The family also runs tours through rural Japan for those interested in getting away from the normal sightseeing spots. This is a somewhat infrequently updated blog, but there are plenty of archived adventures to read through to give you a thorough glimpse of natural Japan.
If you’ve ever wanted to explore the natural sites Japan has to offer, Hiking in Japan is a wonderful resource cataloguing various hikes throughout the country. Categorized by area and including valuable information such as when to go, access routes, and level of difficulty, this blog is a must-view if you’ve ever been told to “take a hike” while living in Japan.
This blog catalogues photographs taken between the 1860s and 1930s, a time when Japan had just opened its doors to the outside world after 200 years of isolation. As the blog states, “many of the customs that are now called traditional were invented during this time. And many that are still seen as new can trace their origins to this time as well.” The photos on this site are not only beautiful, but informative; each one is presented with the photographer’s information and a brief description.
***BONUS*** I just can’t today
Though not quite a blog, this tumblr “apprehensively maintained by an expat in Tokyo” is full of sarcastic, hilarious and extremely snarky GIFs about life in Japan. When you’ve had one of those expat days in Japan where you curse the day you set foot in the country, I just can’t today will put a smile back on your face and get you laughing off having to deal with all that mold in your apartment and having to work uncompensated overtime for the eighth day in a row.